Location: Crop Production Systems ResearchTitle: A web guide system for aerial application to avoid off-target drift caused by temperature inversion through open-source weather stations
Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2019
Publication Date: 7/11/2019
Citation: Huang, Y., Fisher, D.K. 2019. A web guide system for aerial application to avoid off-target drift caused by temperature inversion through open-source weather stations. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). Paper No. 1900193, pp 7.
Interpretive Summary: Injury of susceptible crops from off-target application spray is of concern to applicators and producers. To assist applicators and producers to timely avoid off-target drift caused by field surface temperature inversion locally in Stoneville, Mississippi, scientists of USDA ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit at Stoneville, Mississippi have developed a website to provide online real-time guide for when is proper time to conduct aerial spray during a day. This web application was developed using inexpensive open-source hardware and software to build and deploy portable weather stations and wireless data communication and transfer over the Stoneville area. The website was adopted on mobile terminals such as tablets, smartphones and iPad as well. The Internet mobile system can provide timely guidance for aerial applicators and producers to avoid not only crop damage and but also air quality issues relatively long distances downwind for better site-specific drift management.
Technical Abstract: It is important for applicators to avoid spraying stable atmospheric conditions to prevent surface temperature inversion-induced off-target drift of crop protection materials. Our statistical analysis determined the time sections of high likelihood of stable atmospheric conditions, which are unfavorable for spraying, during a clear or cloudy day in the hot summer months at the center of Mississippi Delta and validated the thresholds of temperature increase in the morning and temperature drop in the afternoon, respectively, with wind speeds to switch between stable and unstable atmospheric conditions. With the information we created an algorithm to calculate for any instant during the day if the atmospheric conditions are favorable to spraying or not with the input of the most recent field temperature and wind speed at the instant. With this algorithm a web application has been built to provide real-time determination of atmospheric stability and hourly online recommendation of whether aerial applications are appropriate for a location and time at the area of Mississippi Delta. On the basis this study further developed another web application specifically for Stoneville, Mississippi with the data measured in 15-minute interval from weather stations, which were built with inexpensive open-source electronics, accessories and software, deployed within the area of Stoneville for more accurate online guidance for site-specific drift management. The web application is adapted for accessing on mobile terminals, such as smartphones and tablets, and provides timely guide for aerial applicators and producers to avoid crop damage and air quality issues long distances downwind in the area.