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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #431359

Research Project: Efficacious Insect and Disease Control with Intelligent Spray Application Technologies in Ornamental Nurseries in Northwest Pacific Area

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21620-010-11-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2016
End Date: Dec 31, 2020

Objective:
Evaluate pest control efficacy, reliability and durability for a newly developed intelligent sprayer to advance spray application technologies in commercial ornamental nurseries in Northwest Pacific area.

Approach:
A new laser-guided variable-rate air-assisted sprayer developed to improve pesticide application efficiencies for ornamental nurseries will be tested for its performance on control of insects and diseases. The sprayer integrates a high speed laser scanning system to a custom-designed sensor-signal analyzer and variable-rate controller, variable-rate nozzles and a multi-channel air-assisted delivery system. This unique precision sprayer can visualized the presence, size, shape, and foliage density of target trees and apply only the necessary amount of pesticide. Field tests with randomized complete block designs for the new sprayer and conventional air-assisted sprayers will be conducted to compare pest control efficacy, pesticide uses, sprayer reliability and durability under different production conditions in commercial ornamental nurseries; economic analyses will be conducted to determine the savings that growers can gain by using the new sprayers and by the potential environmental cost remediation; educational materials will be produced through this project for workshops, field demonstrations and grower meetings to teach spray applicators how to use the new spray technologies.