Spray Application Problems: LXXVII Insecticide Spraying Trials in Willow Beds Using a Shoulder-Mounted Mistblower

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Stott, K.G.
Mapother, H.R.
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Somerset basket willows are usually grown as annual coppice crops, and produce rods which, by October, are often eight feet long. For basketry, the rods must be long and straight without blemishes or side branches. If the growing point is disturbed side shoots develop leading to a much branched and worthless rod. For this reason basket willows are easily damaged by the many insects that attack them. Investigation of the life histories of the major pests and methods of their control first developed by Keams in the 1930's did much to improve both yield and quality. Subsequent improvements in pest control have centred on the introduction of more effective insecticides, e3pecially BBC/DDT, but growers have made little progress in the sphere of application. Present techniques are still based on the knapsack sprayer although its limitations in basket willows were described by Kearns in 1935 in an account advocating the introduction of power operated methods. At that time the softness of the ground was often a limiting factor, but drainage has been much improved and in the growing season the ground will now support fairly heavy machinery. Modern tractor-mounted equipment could, with minor adaptation, solve most of the outstanding problems of spray application but until beds are planet to allow alleyways and headlands for mechanical spraying, only operator-carried equipment can be used.
Bulletin, pp. 285-289