Innovations in orchard spraying: sensor guided precision sprayers


Abstract: The reduction of the emission of plant protection products (PPP) to the environment is an important issue when applying agrochemicals in fruit growing in the Netherlands. In the last years several strategies and innovations have been developed in order to come to a practical spray application solution that results in a reduction in spray drift, reduction in total amount of plant protection products used, together with an efficacy at the same or an increased level as of conventional orchard spraying. The innovations consisted of combining sensor signals, decision algorithms, and actuators in the integrated automated spray technology. The advances of canopy density based spraying in pear was foreseen at the points of: no spraying where gaps were detected in the crop foliage; reduced spraying when minimal crop foliage was present, optimal spraying where large amounts of crop foliage was present.

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