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Syngenta spraying assistant app adds agronomy factors

A digital crop spraying assistant that helps sprayer operators select the most appropriate application techniques for different crops, situations and timings has been further developed to add agronomy considerations.

The Spray Assist app for mobile devices was developed as part of agrochemical manufacturer Syngenta’s initiative to harness the potential for digital agriculture.

In its original form, the app links to live local weather data to analyse the factors that influence the accuracy of spray treatments and the potential for drift, including wind, rain and frost.

Techniques for sprayer operators

The app suggests techniques for sprayer operators to mitigate risks or alter practices in terms of nozzle choice and sprayer set-up, including water volume and ground speed.

Users can enter plans for cropping, locations, and product use and application timings; data from the farm’s spraying equipment enables algorithms to provide guidance on the most appropriate available sprayer set-up in any situation for the forecast weather conditions.

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The Spray Assist app is designed to help sprayer operators select the best nozzle, water volume, ground speed and boom setting to optimise treatments in different situations. - Photo: Horsch
The Spray Assist app is designed to help sprayer operators select the best nozzle, water volume, ground speed and boom setting to optimise treatments in different situations. - Photo: Horsch

Data for 16 different crop types

The app has data for 16 different crop types, more than 45 application timings and targets, and over 600 nozzle types from more than 10 leading nozzle manufacturers, with a new update for this element advising on the suitability and use a top-five selection of suggested nozzles and settings.

Syngenta application specialist Harry Fordham, says: “Our application trials research has shown the potential for even small tweaks in sprayer set-up and operation to make significant differences to the results achieved, including grass weed control and fungicide treatments.

“Sprayer operators also play a huge role in managing the potential risk of spray drift – to ensure sprays hit the intended target and give the best performance – and Spray Assist helps them make better-informed decisions and tailor their application techniques to optimise results.”

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Syngenta application specialist Harry Fordham. - Photo: Syngenta
Syngenta application specialist Harry Fordham. - Photo: Syngenta

Enhance sprayer set-up decisions

In its new upgraded form, the app integrates agronomy advice to enhance sprayer set-up decisions. The first instalment covers pre-emergence herbicide treatments, with factors that influence treatment timing including weather, soil moisture, crop emergence and weed germination.

“Spray Assist will provide a five-day forecast of how each of these interacting factors might influence results, enabling users to evaluate the optimum time for their pre-emergence applications,” says Harry Fordham.

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Latest iteration of Syngenta Spray Assist provides a five-day forecast of opportunities for optimum treatments. Local weather forecasts and advice on nozzle selection and set-up are also features of the Spray Assist app. - Photo: Screenshot
Latest iteration of Syngenta Spray Assist provides a five-day forecast of opportunities for optimum treatments. Local weather forecasts and advice on nozzle selection and set-up are also features of the Spray Assist app. - Photo: Screenshot

Fine-tuning the system

Users can fine-tune the system by adding soil type, which in turn will prompt information such as the implications for blackgrass seed dormancy; in each case, the influence of different factors is reflected in a ‘traffic light’ warning system.

“Application and agronomy decisions cannot be taken in isolation,” says Mr Fordham. “Providing more information in a clear graphical format that can be quickly and simply interpreted will help operators make better decisions.”

Spray Assist is free to download from the App Store or Google Play in selected countries.

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