Effect of the Airblast Settings on the Vertical Spray Profile: Implementation on an On-Line Decision Aid for Citrus Treatments
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Autor/aGarcerá, Cruz; Moltó, Enrique; Izquierdo, Héctor; Balsari, Paolo; Marucco, Paolo; Grella, Marco; Gioelli, Fabrizio; Chueca, Patricia
Cita bibliográficaGarcera, C., Moltó, E., Izquierdo, H., Balsari, P., Marucco, P., Grella, M. et al. (2022). Effect of the Airblast Settings on the Vertical Spray Profile: Implementation on an On-Line Decision Aid for Citrus Treatments. Agronomy, 12(6), 1462.
Airblast sprayers are widely used for the application of plant protection products (PPP) in citrus. Adaptation of the vertical distribution of the spray cloud to the canopy (density, shape and size), is essential to deposit an adequate amount of PPP on the target and to reduce losses (drift, runoff). Vertical spray profiles of three air-assisted axial fan hydraulic sprayers with different configurations and settings were obtained to evaluate the effect of these settings on the vertical spray profile. From the analysis of the empirical results, the impact of operational settings (nozzle, air volume and flow rate) on treatment efficiency is assessed. The empirical database generated in this work has been employed to feed the Citrus VESPA model, a highly intuitive, web-based decision aid tool that helps farmers to easily estimate the vertical spray profiles generated by their particular sprayers and settings and how these influence deposition and potential drift. The tool can also be used to determine the effect and importance of adequately selecting, orienting and opening/closing nozzles and optimizing volume application rate and fan speed, in order to adjust the application to the actual vegetation, with the aim of saving resources and reducing risks to humans and the environment.