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Pesticides made to measure

Controlling the amount of pesticides used on crops is a task that is not always executed to perfection, as shown in a recently released report by the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). Of the samples of fruits, vegetables, and legumes analyzed in 2012, 29% contained excess levels of toxic substances or chemical compounds not licensed in Brazil. To help farmers calculate the quantity of pesticides that they should apply to their fields, researchers from the office of the Environmental Division of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) in Jaguariúna, São Paulo, and from EMBRAPA’s Agriculture Informatics Division, in Campinas, São Paulo, developed the software program Gotas (drops), which can be accessed for free on the Agrolivre Network. The program also helps determine the best combination of nozzle tips and application speeds.