RESEARCH ARTICLE


Dust Emissions During the Sowing of Maize Dressed Seeds and Drift Reducing Devices



Marcello Biocca*, Daniele Pochi, Roberto Fanigliulo, Pietro Gallo
CRA-ING Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria, Unità di Ricerca per l’Ingegneria Agraria. Via della Pascolare, 16 – 00015, Monterotondo Roma, Italy


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Biocca et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the CRA-ING Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria, Unità di Ricerca per l’Ingegneria Agraria. Via della Pascolare, 16 – 00015, Monterotondo Roma, Italy; Tel: 390690675215; E-mail: marcello.biocca@entecra.it


Abstract

Mortality and sub-lethal effects on honey bees have been related to the sowing of maize seeds dressed with neonicotinoid insecticides. Pneumatic precision drills, used for commercial seed sowing, play a role in the dispersion of the abrasion dust because abrasion dust is emitted with the airstream generated by the drill’s fan. The paper provides the results of the assessment of dust drift both from a conventional and a modified drill with a novel filtering-recycling system developed at CRA-ING. We employed maize seed treated with thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, clothianidin and fipronil. The tests assessed the residues produced both at soil level and in the air, during static sowing simulation tests carried out at fixed point. The results show that the use of the prototype allows a remarkable reduction of dust drift of about 86%, at ground level, and of 85% in the air, with respect to the conventional drill.

Keywords: Honey bees, insecticide-treated seed, neonicotinoids, pneumatic drills.