US (OH): Intelligent sprayer can reduce pesticide use

A new "intelligent" sprayer designed and developed jointly by engineers from Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service can reduce pesticide use up to 73% while reducing off-target contamination. By using a laser to detect canopy conditions and an algorithm to determine the amount of spray material needed for a given target type, the intelligent sprayer varies the application rate according to the foliage density on the tree. In field experiments with nursery and orchard growers, the intelligent sprayer was found to provide more uniform spray coverage inside canopies with different foliage densities at different growth stages. The technology is now ready to be commercialized by sprayer companies.

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