Intelligent Spray Applications in Ornamental Nurseries in Midwest and Northeast 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):
Literature and research reports will be reviewed and nursery fields will be surveyed to determine top insects and diseases in midwest and northeast region ornamental nurseries for the development of models to predict top insects and disease pressures; field experiments in an Ohio 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.
Spray deposition and biological control tests were conducted to compare performances of newly developed laser-guided air-assisted sprayer and conventional sprayers in three commercial nurseries. The new sprayer was demonstrated at Lake County Nursery Field Day and numerous Integrated Pest Management workshops. Information presented was to educate growers on the benefits of using the new sprayer in their crop production. Top insects and diseases in the midwest and northeast region ornamental nurseries were surveyed 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.
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”.