Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Division of Agriculture (SAFES)
Peaches are a significant crop for the South Carolina economy as well as the culture. This specialty crop requires high chemical inputs to control pests and pathogens. In efforts to reduce overall chemical use as well as chemicals lost to drift a new sprayer system has been designed by the Ohio State University and the USDA-ARS to be implemented in multiple crop systems. This new Intelligent Sprayer System (iSprayer) utilizers a LIDAR sensor as well as solenoid assisted nozzles and an imbedded computer system to sense the presence and absence of trees as well as sensing the individual tree canopy densities and controlling the amount of spray material that is applied to the trees accordingly. We compared the iSprayer setting to a conventional air-blast sprayer in terms of pest and disease control, spray volume use per acre, and spray coverage and drift in order to analyze field efficacy of this new sprayer system in a peach orchard. The iSprayer was used on multiple peach cultivars throughout the growing season the access if it would reduce spray material use and drift while still controlling pests and diseases with the same efficiency as a conventional air-blast sprayer. The iSprayer and conventional sprayer settings maintained the same pest and disease control while the iSprayer reduced the amount of spray material used, reduced drift, and increased coverage to varying levels throughout the growing season.
Boatwright, Harriet G., "Assessment of Laser-Guided Sprayer Technology in Peach" (2020). All Theses. 3389.