About the Drift Reduction Technology Program

EPA's purpose for the Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) Program is to encourage the manufacture, marketing, and use of spray technologies scientifically verified to significantly reduce pesticide drift. Initially, the focus of the program is on spray technologies used primarily for pesticide applications to row and field crops by ground or aerial application equipment. EPA hopes to expand this program to include technologies for orchard and vineyard crops.

To participate, EPA encourages technology manufacturers to test their technologies for drift reduction potential. EPA has provided test methods for manufactures.

EPA will use a rating system to indicate the level of potential drift reduction of tested technologies. Based on review of submitted test results, the agency will assign a DRT rating, using one to four stars, to each technology that meets the minimum standard for drift reduction. Pesticide manufacturers are encouraged to state on their product labels that applicators should use DRT-rated technologies in applying pesticide products. 

Read more about DRT review and rating.

Technologies include:

  • nozzles,
  • spray shields and
  • drift-reducing adjuvant chemicals. (An adjuvant is any substance added separately to a pesticide product, typically as part of a spray tank mixture, that will improve the performance of the pesticide product.)

Read more about testing of drift reduction technologies.

How to submit a study for review formatting a scientific study.

Directions for submitting studies to EPA.

Benefits of Using Drift Reduction Technology

Using DRT-verified pesticide spray technology can benefit pesticide applicators, the environment and people by:

  • reducing loss of pesticide from the application site,
  • keeping more of the applied pesticide on the crop, improving pest control,
  • reducing pesticide exposures to people, wildlife, and the environment, and
  • reducing risks of damage and liabilities from off-target deposition of drift.

The use of DRTs should result in significantly less pesticide from spray applications drifting and being deposited in areas not targeted by those applications, compared to spray technologies that do not meet the minimum DRT standard. EPA may place fewer use restrictions on pesticide products that must be used in conjunction with DRTs. 

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Availability and Adoption of DRTs 

Over time, the successful adoption of the DRT program will move the agricultural sector toward the widespread use of low-drift technologies. A robust adoption of this voluntary testing program by equipment and pesticide manufacturers and the widespread use of these technologies by pesticide applicators will provide a standardized, verified system for reducing pesticide drift. 

Drift-reduction ratings could appear on technology and pesticide labels as early as  spring of 2017. Look for information about use of DRT in the directions for use.

View EPA-Verified and Rated Drift Reduction Technologies

For More Information

Documents describing the DRT program, including test methods or protocols, the Information Collection Request and our guidance to industry for participating in the program are available in the docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0631) at www.regulations.gov

Read the Federal Register notice: Agricultural Pesticide Spray Drift Reduction Voluntary Program

For questions on the Drift Reduction Technology Program, contact Anne Overstreet (overstreet.anne@epa.gov) at (703) 308-8068 or Tracy Lantz (lantz.tracy@epa.gov) at
(703) 308-6415.

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