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Abstract

Plant protection is a vital part of current agricultural and horticultural practices assuring yield and quality. Application of agrochemicals for plant protection requires dedicated practices such as spraying and seed treatments.

Sustainable plant protection required minimizing environmental risks associated with drift of agrochemicals during field operations. Mitigation measures to reduce the risk to the environment include buffer zones and drift reduction technologies. The acceptance and range of measures vary widely with limited harmonization. To assist development of more uniform measures, implement effective practices and assess new application technologies, computational modelling provides comprehensive and objective insight into the drift process affected by operational, environmental and field factors.

Challenges to overcome to achieve more reliable and effective modelling frameworks of drift include improved models of the interactions of particles/droplets with canopy and soil structures affected by environmental conditions, the temporal and spatial scales affecting dispersion of particles, droplets and vapor, and integrating into the models the properties and dynamics of application technology and operations, and impact on plants, humans, animals and ecosystems. Computational Fluid Dynamics provides a means to implement such framework. Still, the multiscale nature of the drift process requires to build dedicated, more efficient and user friendly simulation platforms that solve and integrate the models into predictive tools to support drift risk assessment.

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