INTELLIGENT SPRAY APPLICATIONS IN ORNAMENTAL NURSERIES IN TENNESSEE AND SOUTH CENTRAL REGION 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 Tennessee ornamental nurseries for the development of models to predict top insects and disease pressures; field experiments in a Tennessee leading nursery 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.
Pests that are most consistently a problem and that require the most repetitive spraying in Tennessee nurseries were determined. Three test plots in a commercial nursery were established to test the new sprayer to control insects and diseases for 2013 and 2014 growing seasons. These tests started in April, 2013.
Over 100 site visits, email communications and telephone calls were made with Tennessee 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 Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association Field Day, Turf and Ornamental Field Day, TNLA Winter Educational program, Green Industry Express, Grounds Maintenance Short Course, TDA Nursery Inspectors’ Annual Meeting, Georgia Green Industry Association, TNLA Green Expo, Tennessee Master Nursery Producer Program, and Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association Summer Outing.
This project addresses critical elements for the development of precision sprayer technology envisioned in Objective 1 “Develop precision sprayers that can continuously match canopy characteristics to deliver agrichemicals and bio-products accurately to nursery and fruit crops”.