Sprayers that can change the composition of sprays across a field are a step closer, thanks to French technology.
A direct spray system would allow a more targeted approach to weeds and disease, varying the pesticide mix across a field.
The prototype developed by Diimotion involves the main sprayer tank being filled with clean water.
The pesticide is then injected into the water as it flows to the nozzles, delivering the right concentration.
– Designed to fit new and existing systems
– No residue left in tank
– Smaller amounts of pesticide necessary
– Stop spraying at any time
Xavier Cassassolles, director general of Diimotion, explains that undiluted chemicals are held in much smaller tanks. “It does away with dosing pumps, which are OK when you are using one chemical mix but if you want to vary it, then it won’t.”
To get round this limitation, Cassassolles developed his own injection technology that works with both liquid and powders. It also copes with differing viscosities of liquid.
Testing of the prototype system proved successful on a farm in eastern France last year and it gave 1% accuracy.
This year he is looking to commercialise it and the system is designed to be retrofitted to existing systems, as well as to brand new units. Another advantage is that you only use the chemical needed with no residue in tank.
But the big bonus is that farmers can cut back the amount of pesticide used with smart variable rate or spot applications. In addition, there is no need to prepare a new tank mix between different crops. If the weather turns, you can stop spraying without loss of mixture, Cassassolles says.