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Spray drift and off-target loss reduction with a precision air-assisted sprayer

Permanent URL:
http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/58500
File:
Download [PDF File]
Abstract:
Spray drift and off-target losses are inherent problems of conventional air-assisted sprayers. Their low efficiencies cause environmental pollutions resulting in public anxieties. A new drift reduction technology incorporating laser scanning capabilities with a variable-rate air-assisted sprayer was developed to address these problems, and tested in an apple orchard. This new sprayer, the same sprayer with the variable-rate function disabled, and a conventional constant-rate air-blast sprayer were the three test treatments for comparison. Tests were conducted at beginning to leafing, half-foliage, and full-foliage growth stages. Spray deposits from spray drift and off-target losses were collected within tree rows at ground level, above and behind the sprayed trees, gaps between two trees, and from 3.2 m tall poles at 5, 15, and 35 m from the tree rows. Compared to the constant-rate sprayer, the laser-guided variable-rate sprayer reduced average spray losses on the ground by 68% to 90% and around tree canopies by 70% to 92%, airborne spray drift by 70% to 100%, and most importantly, the spray volume by 47% to 73%, while their spray deposition qualities inside canopies for these sprayers were comparable. These results demonstrated that the innovative laser scanning technology incorporated into the variable-rate sprayer reduced spray drifts and off target losses of pesticides, was environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial to growers.
Author(s):
Y. Chen , H. Zhu , R. C. Derksen , C. R. Krause
Subject(s):
Malus domestica , air-assisted sprayers , apples , application rate , developmental stages , image analysis , lasers , orchards , pesticide application , pesticides , precision agriculture , spray deposition , spray drift , spray volume , trees
Source:
Transactions of the ASABE 2013 12 22 v.56 no.6
Language:
English
Year:
2013
Collection:
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Rights:
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.