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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Title: Development of smart spray systems to enhance delivery of pesticides in field nursery production

item Zhu, Heping
item Ozkan, Erdal -
item Derksen, Richard
item Reding, Michael
item Ranger, Christopher
item Canas, Luis -
item Krause, Charles
item Locke, James
item Ernst, Stanly -
item Zondag, Randall -
item Fulcher, Amy -
item Rosetta, Robin -
item Jeon, Hong -
item Chen, Yu -
item Gu, Jiabing -
item Liu, Hui -
item Shen, Yue -
item Rios, Alfredo -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2012
Publication Date: August 5, 2012
Citation: Zhu, H., Ozkan, E., Derksen, R.C., Reding, M.E., Ranger, C.M., Canas, L., Krause, C.R., Locke, J.C., Ernst, S., Zondag, R., Fulcher, A., Rosetta, R., Jeon, H.Y., Chen, Y., Gu, J., Liu, H., Shen, Y., Rios, A. 2012. Development of smart spray systems to enhance delivery of pesticides in field nursery production. Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society. Meeting Abstract, August 5-8, 2012, Providence, Rhode Island. #173-P.

Technical Abstract: Two smart sprayer prototypes have been developed and are being evaluated with a goal of increasing pesticide application efficiency and minimizing environmental impact in field nursery production sites. The first prototype, a modified hydraulic vertical boom system, utilizes ultrasonic sensors to detect size and volume of liner-sized plants, and the second prototype is a air-assisted system utilizing a laser scanning sensor to measure plant structure and foliage density. Automatic controllers consisting of: a computer program, signal generation/ amplification unit, pulse width modulated solenoid valves with different algorithms/circuit designs, manipulate nozzles to produce variable-rate outputs based on target characteristics and occurrence in real time. Field tests comparing standard industry sprayers, using multiple target species, were conducted using spray deposition and coverage as criteria. Field tests evaluated insect and disease control (powdery mildew on Norway maple and aphids on red oak) and determined no difference between the smart and conventional sprayers. Laboratory and field tests demonstrated that both of the smart sprayer designs had the capacity to control spray outputs, matching canopy characteristics in real time, with the potential to drastically decrease pesticide usage thus reducing environmental impact and enhancing applicator safety.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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