To know the shape of spray vertical distribution diagram that corresponds to one specific sprayer model and setting is essential for the application of arboreal crops, as it enables to select of the most adequate adjustment of the sprayer (e.g. number, type and size of active nozzles, air flow rate, etc.) for achieving an effective target coverage while minimising off target losses. However, it is difficult for farmers and technicians to measure this profile, since the measuring devices have a high price and the number of settings to be measured is also high. Therefore, DISAFA/UNITO and IVIA in collaboration, in the ambit of PERFECT Project, developed a new citrus VESPA tool. It is freely available at https://www.laboratorio-cpt.to.it/citrus-vertical-spray-pattern/?lang=en, and represents a simple and quick app that one farmer or field technician can use to compare the different spray vertical profiles resulting from the selection of different settings on their own sprayers.
Experimental trial to measure the vertical spray profile
Initial screen of Citrus VESPA web application
The user is guided to the selection of the specific citrus orchard sprayer model and setting, to provide the system with data necessary to release as output a figure of the expected vertical spray pattern, which is generated based on experimental results carried out at IVIA with the real sprayers and the vertical test benches.
The diagram obtained also contains a reference figure of the citrus canopy target to apply so that it can be easily verified to which extent the shape of the vertical spray diagram matches the target profile and the incidence of expected spray losses over the citrus canopy.
Result of vertical profile obtained by Citrus VESPA
Selecting different sprayer settings options is then possible to individuate the most appropriate one to adequately cover the target and minimise spray losses in the atmosphere.