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.
An experimental intelligent sprayer implementing ultrasonic sensor controlled system was delivered to a commercial nursery in Oregon for field tests. The cooperator set two plots to determine two top insects and one top disease for comparing the biological control of insects and diseases between the intelligent and conventional sprayers. There were five assessments for both the aphid and mildew evaluations in the two plots. Because the pressure was not very high in either plot, aphid numbers were very low. No obvious difference was found between treatments.
This research addressed 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”.
The authorized departmental officer's designated representative (ADODR) and the cooperator had conference calls and email communications to discuss the project progress every month. The ADODR and his staff had two site visits to setup the sprayer for field tests in Oregon.