Targeted Spraying In Apple Orchards
For many years, On Target Spray Systems, a manufacturer and distributor of electrostatic sprayers based in Mt. Angel, OR, has been focused on the grape and berry markets. Recently, however, it has turned its attention to apple orchards.
“After many discussions with apple growers, we learned that there was a need for a new way to spray in these high-density plantings,” says Willie Hartman, owner of On Target Spray Systems. “Two years ago we modified our designs for high-density tree fruit growers.”
On Target Sprayers use the law of attraction, the basis for electrostatic models. Spray droplets are charged as they leave the nozzle, and the charged droplets repel from one another but are attracted to the plants. The material can reach behind and under leaves, providing coverage inside and out.
“These sprayers are designed to help growers achieve complete wrap-around coverage, using 50% to 80% less water and spending more time spraying and less time filling the tank,” says Hartman. “Our sprayers require 50% less horse power than conventional air blast sprayers, which adds up to substantial fuel savings. The spray is electrically attracted to the tree, and this eliminates run-off and minimizes drift.”
Simple To Use
On Target currently offers vertical tower and V-trellis sprayers for high density apple orchards. The electrostatic spray manifolds can be mounted in numerous positions depending on the target. In many cases spraying from the top down produces positive results while minimizing drift. Sunburn protection products should be applied from the top down. Another added benefit is multiple spray zones. “If you only want to spray the top of the tree, you simply turn off the lower spray tubes. This comes in handy when spraying some plant growth regulators,” says Hartman.
For more information, go to www.ontargetspray.com.