Good Fruit Grower

March 1

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5 The Top Five Five things to consider when buying a new ORCHARD SPRAYER This Rears tower sprayer has adjustable airflow doors on the tower. by Richard Lehnert B 1 What���s your plan? The first thing to consider is your farm���s existing situation and plans for the future, he said. You may be buying more land and expanding your orchards, maybe bringing in the next generation, in which case you���ll need new, remodeled, or additional sprayers. You���re probably changing the design of your orchard, moving from bigger trees to smaller ones that are shorter and narrower in the row. Alleys are probably narrower, too. The old airblast sprayer technology you���ve been using since the 1960s may no longer be required. ���Many growers are caught between a rock and hard place,��� Landers said. ���They���ve already expanded their acreage and have pushed their sprayers to the limit. There���s only so much time available to spray, and growers who have extended their spray interval or reduced spray This Durand Wayland sprayer is equipped with ultrasonic sensing eyes to detect trees��� reducing spray up to 25 percent in Cornell trials. PHOTOs cOurTesy Of andrew landers efore you buy a new orchard sprayer, you���ll want to think about it a bit. A sprayer is a major investment, about $50,000, not something to be taken lightly. And what you buy is likely to be with you for many years. Dr. Andrew Landers, an agricultural engineer at New York State���s Cornell University, is one of the nation���s few researchers���the only one at a land-grant university��� who keeps track of new orchard spray technology, researches better techniques, evaluates new machines and sprayer concepts, and teaches growers and students ways to provide more effective and safer spraying. In an interview with Good Fruit Grower, he offered a checklist of things to consider when purchasing a new sprayer. Sardi fans fitted to a vertical mast allows spray to be directed into the tree canopy at higher levels. 75 1938 - 2013 Years volumes may not be getting adequate coverage. This can result in reduced fruit quality or resistance of pests to pesticides.��� What���s your time situation? Timeliness is important. You have to consider the area you need to spray, the frequency with which you need to do it, and the characteristics of your land, your weather, and the workload of the farm, he said. Most modern pesticides have short residual lives, need to be precisely targeted to the life cycle of the disease or insect, or need to be applied in a narrow window for proper thinning or prevention of diseases like apple scab and fireblight. Look at alternative spraying techniques. ���There are alternatives to airblast sprayers,��� Landers said. The concept of bombing an orchard with a blast of sprayladen air is an old one that has been refined in recent years. Modern systems include directed deposition sprayers, tower sprayers that use multiple small fans rather than a single large one, tree sensing systems that turn the sprayer off when there���s no target to spray, and sprayers that automatically adjust airflow and reduce fan speed for smaller trees or smaller canopies. Some modern orchards may need no supplemental airflow at all. If a tree wall becomes thin enough, coverage may be adequate from nozzles spraying directly without the benefit of a blast of air. ���Do you need air assistance?��� he asks. 2 75 Years of Superior Fruit Selections 3 Dapple Dandy Pluot�� Hickman 19701 Lake Road Hickman, CA 95323 209.874.1821 20 Zee Fire Nectarine White Lady Peach 800.654.5854 MARCH 1, 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Arctic Jay White Nectarine Reedley 21200 E. Dinuba Ave. Reedley, CA 93654 559.638.6675

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