Smart Sprayers – Good for You, Good for the Environment

—Written by Jodi Azulai, UC Statewide IPM Program

Imagine a pesticide sprayer smart enough to hit trees and turn off between them. What would that mean for your wallet? What would it mean for the rivers and streams near your orchard? View On Target, a video that shows how smart sprayer technology is helping Smart sprayer in actionfarmers manage orchard pests with clever results:

  • Substantially reduced pesticide use and cost
  • Less pesticide movement to rivers and streams
  • Full tree coverage
  • Same efficacy as conventional sprayers
  • Ease of use
  • Valuable application data.

Walt Bentley, retired UC IPM Advisor, narrates this video showing a smart sprayer in action.

Smart sprayer technology is based on the use of high frequency sound waves. An onboard computer directs sound waves toward trees. When sound waves are returned, a target is detected and the computer triggers nozzles to spray. When sound waves are not returned, a gap is identified, prompting the program to turn off nozzles.

Find the video on the UC IPM Mitigation Pesticide Hazards page at Scroll down to the second bullet under “Before application.” Remember this page the next time you plan a pesticide application. It will help you consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.Smart sprayer in action Sprayer Walt Bentley

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