Drift Management

Drift is the movement of a pesticide through air, during or after application, to a site other than the intended site of application. A Drift Management Plan assists the pesticide applicator in minimizing the impact of pesticides on non-target areas, especially those areas downwind of the application site.

Applicable Regulations

  • State of Michigan Act 451 Part 83.

Overview of Procedure

A Drift Management Plan:

  1. Helps the applicator determine when wind direction or speed, precipitation, or other weather conditions make it unsuitable to conduct certain types of pesticide applications.
  2. Helps the applicator select the appropriate formulations, spray additives, equipment, application techniques, and other mechanisms to minimize potential drift.
  3. Provides the names, addresses, and phone numbers of residents in the affected area who need to be notified prior to a pesticide application when drift is a possibility (informed consent), or who need to be notified that an unexpected drift may have occurred.

Any Albion College employee who applies pesticides as a part of their regular job responsibilities must be certified and/or registered in accordance with MDA Regulation R 285.636.

Waste Minimization Procedure

A Drift Management Plan is actually a decision-making device that assists the applicator in accurately treating the target trees, shrubs, or lawns while using the minimum amount of product. It includes use of any or all of the following practices:

  1. Use of a combination of spray nozzles, pressures, and particulating agents to obtain the largest spray droplets applicable to a host plant. Larger spray droplets will not drift as far as smaller spray droplets.
  2. Use of any specialized equipment that is designed to minimize off-target drift. Ultra Low Volume sprayers present the greatest hazard for drift because the droplets are fine. Mankar units, have virtually no drift.
  3. Use of the closest possible spray release to the target. As the distance of the boom or nozzle from the target increases, the potential for wind effect and drift increases.
  4. Identification of the maximum wind speed and direction under which application can be made because weather conditions affect distance of drift.
  5. Use of wind shields or windbreaks to contain spray drift or deflect spray drift away from sensitive areas, or spray when adjacent susceptible vegetation is mature or not present. These measures are intended to control the adverse effects of spray applications harming non-target vegetation.

Known Limitations

  • None known

Safety and Health / Personal Protective Equipment

  • Follow all applicable safety and health protocols and regulations as published on product label. The label is the law.


  • The use of a Drift Management Plan helps to minimize the impact of pesticides on non-target areas, especially sensitive regions that may be in the area being sprayed.


  • None known