Intelligent Spray Applications in Ornamental Nurseries in Oregon and Western States
Application Technology Research Unit
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Assist development of an expert system for the intelligent sprayers by investigation of top insects and diseases in ornamental nurseries and field experiments to test the new spray system.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Literatures and research reports will be reviewed and nursery fields will be surveyed to determine top insects and diseases in ornamental nurseries in Oregon and western states for the development of models to predict top insects and disease pressures; field experiments in three Oregon leading nurseries will be conducted to evaluate performances of new intelligent sprayers to control the top insects and diseases with reduced pesticide rates; educational materials will be delivered through workshops, field demonstrations and grower meetings to teach spray applicators how to use the new spray technologies.
Information about the top insects and diseases in Oregon and western state ornamental nurseries from an Oregon Association of Nurseries online survey was used for the development of models to predict top insects and disease pressures and for the field efficacy experiments to test the new air assisted variable-rate sprayer performance. Field efficacy tests were conducted to evaluate the control of aphids and powdery mildew by use of newly developed air-assisted variable-rate sprayer in a commercial nursery in Oregon. The control efficiency was also compared between the new variable-rate sprayer and a conventional constant-rate sprayer.
Over 35 site visits, email communications and telephone calls were made with Oregon and northwestern states nursery growers to introduce the new intelligent spray technology to improve pesticide spray application efficiency and reduce environmental contaminations. The intelligent sprayer development and benefits were presented at Clackamas Water Basin Technical Working Group, Washington DC Congressional Briefing Panel – Morrill Act Extension representative on panel, 18th Ornamental Workshop on Diseases and Pests, North Willamette Research and Extension Center Advisory Council, and an industry article in the Digger.
This project addresses critical elements for the development of precision sprayer technology envisioned in ARS parent project Objective 1 “Develop precision sprayers that can continuously match canopy characteristics to deliver agrichemicals and bio-products accurately to nursery and fruit crops”.