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.
Surveys on critical insects and diseases in nurseries in south central region states were conducted at an “Airblast Sprayer Workshop” in McMinnville, Tennessee. The information from the survey will be used for the development of models to predict top insects and disease pressures for the intelligent spraying system. Growers, farm managers, sprayer operators, researchers and extension educators from Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and North Carolina attended the survey.
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 ARS Scientist and the cooperator had conference calls and email communications to discuss the project progress every two months. The ARS scientist also had a site visit to participate in the workshop.