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WSDA Spray Drift Surveillance

WSDA sent the email below to licensed applicators the second week of May. It highlights new surveillance of off-target spray drift. If you would like to receive more information on how to reduce drift from your sprayers please see the following resources.

Personal contacts:

Gwen Hoheisel
Regional Extension Specialist
Washington State University
Bradley Farrar
Pesticide Education & Outreach Supervisor
WA State Department of Agriculture

Online resources:

WSU Tree Fruit Newsletter article: 6 steps to calibration and optimization

Websites: WSU Viticulture Website    WSU Tree Fruit Website     Ontario’s Sprayers 101 Website

email transcript:

Dear Agricultural Stakeholders,

You are receiving this email as a contact for your organization. If there is a better contact within your organization, please forward this email to them.

Beginning this spring, the WSDA Pesticide Compliance Program will increase our field presence with a focus on surveillance, in addition to responding to complaints. We will specifically look at crop areas that use airblast sprayers, but will look at other types of pesticide applications as well if drift is observed.

Our goal is to improve compliance with existing laws, rules and pesticide labels that require pesticide applications to stay on the target site. We want to see airblast sprayers performing properly to avoid off-target drift, which will reduce complaints and exposures.

Be aware that you may be violating pesticide laws and rules if you are applying pesticides in any of the following ways:

  • With an airblast sprayer that creates excessive plumes above the canopy and/or the spray is drifting off target site.
  • In winds strong enough to cause drift.
  • During inversion conditions.
  • Not shutting off the spray at end of the row or not doing it in time

This spring we will focus on documenting incidents of off-site pesticide movement and issue warnings, along with providing information for follow-up technical assistance. In cases of human exposure or larger drift incidents, we can issue fines of up to $7,500 per violation.

Please be careful when applying pesticides, and work with our agency teams as they help you to keep pesticide applications on site.

If you have questions, contact Tim Schultz, Acting Compliance Program Manager at 509-994-0936 or

For TTY relay, call 800-833-6388.

Thank you.

Tim W. Schultz
Acting Compliance Program Manager
WSDA – Pesticide Management Division
222 N. Havana, Ste 203
Spokane, WA 99202
Cell 509-994-0936  |  FAX 509-533-2621
Toll Free 1-877-301-4555

Washington State University