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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Title: Two intelligent spraying systems developed for tree crop 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, Stanley -
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 20, 2012
Publication Date: September 18, 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.C., Zondag, R.H., Fulcher, A., Rosetta, R., Jeon, H.Y., Chen, Y., Gu, J., Liu, H., Shen, Y., Rios, A.A. 2012. Two intelligent spraying systems developed for tree crop production. Meeting Abstract. 6th National Small Farm Conference,Memphis TN, September 18-20, 2012. p. 69-70.

Technical Abstract: Precision pesticide application technologies are needed to achieve efficient and effective spray deposition on target areas and minimize off-target losses. Two variable-rate intelligent sprayers were developed as an introduction of new generation sprayers for tree crop applications. The first sprayer was a hydraulic vertical boom spraying system using ultrasonic sensors to detect tree size and volume, and the second sprayer was an air-assisted spraying system using a laser scanning sensor to quickly measure the entire tree structure. The automatic controllers consisted of a computer program, a signal generation and amplification unit, and pulse width modulated solenoid valves. The controllers provided variable flows to nozzles based on tree characteristics and plant occurrence. Application qualities of the sprayers were field tested against industry standard application rates using multiple plant species. Laboratory and field tests demonstrated that both sprayers had the capability to control spray outputs that continuously matched canopy characteristics in real time, and significantly reduced chemical off-target losses to the air and ground. Compared to the constant application rate of 50 gpa, the intelligent sprayers reduced the application rate by 52 to 86%. During field trials, pest control for select insects and diseases was not different from conventional sprayers.

Last Modified: 11/30/2015
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