Optimizing pesticide spray coverage using a novel web and smartphone tool, SnapCard

Christian Nansen, J.C. Ferguson, J. Moore, Lloyd Groves, R. Emery, N. Garel, A. Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015, INRA and Springer-Verlag France. The overuse of pesticides leads to contamination of water and food. Therefore, there is a need for tools and strategies to optimize pesticide application. Here we present SnapCard, a user-friendly and freely available decision support tool for farmers and agricultural consultants, available at snapcard.agric.wa.gov.au. SnapCard allows to predict, measure, and archive pesticide spray coverage quantified from water-sensitive spray cards. Variables include spray settings such as nozzle orifice size, sprayer speed, water carrier rate and adjuvant, and weather variables such as barometric pressure, relative humidity, temperature, and wind speed at ground level. We use separate regression models for four nozzles types. Our results showed that there are strong and positive correlations between water carrier rate and spray coverage for all four nozzle types. Moreover, sprayer speed is highly negatively correlated with obtained spray coverage. In addition, there is no consistent effect of either nozzle type or use of a particular adjuvant, across water carrier intervals. We conclude that varying combinations of spray settings and weather conditions caused marked ranges of spray coverages among the four nozzle types, thus highlighting the importance of selecting the right nozzle orifice size and type. We demonstrate that realistic scenarios of environmental conditions and spray settings can lead to predictions of very low spray coverage with at least one of the four nozzle types. We discuss how the novel and freely available smartphone app, SnapCard, can be used to optimize spray coverage, reduce spray drift, and minimize the risk of resistance development in target pest populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1085
JournalAgronomy for Sustainable Development
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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