New Sprayer Reduces Pesticide Use


sprayer_Main articleA new laser-guided spraying system will help growers of nursery, orchard and grape crops apply chemicals with more precision and less waste.

The new system is able to characterize the presence, size, shape and foliage density of target trees and apply the appropriate amount of pesticide in real time.

A high-speed laser-scanning sensor combined with a Doppler radar travel-speed sensor, an automatic nozzle-flow rate controller, an embedded computer, a touch screen, a manual switch box and four five-port nozzle manifolds on each side of the sprayer provide the exact precision to treat several rows at a time.

The spraying system was developed by a team of researchers at Agricultural Research Service and university scientists from Ohio State University, Oregon State University and the University of Tennessee. In test trials, the new sprayer reduced pesticide use by 68 percent.

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