Precision of a sensor-based variable rate sprayer

J.G.P. Michielsen, J.C. van de Zande, V.T.J.M. Achten, H. Stallinga, P. van Velde, B.R. Verwijs, C. Kempenaar, D.A. van der Schans, J. de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When spraying plant protection products (PPP) the used amount per spraying is generally based on a pre set dose. Most often fields with variations in crop development are treated uniformly while spraying some patches in these fields would have been sufficient. In order to deal with the variations in crop development and site-specific variations in a field, a sensor-based spray technology was developed; SensiSpray. The system consists of sensors to detect crop variation and a spray system to automatically change spray volume. Electronics and software were developed to use the output signal of the sensor NTech GreenSeeker to adapt spray volume. For the variation of spray volume (50-550 L ha-1) Lechler VarioSelect nozzle bodies were used fitted with four different low-drift venturi flat fan nozzles. Spray deposition measurements were performed to test the sprayer accuracy in adapting spray volume based on the reflection signal per section, using a fluorescent dye (Brilliant Sulpho Flavine) added to the spray liquid. By moving diagonally over stripes of grassland, varying in greenness, longitudinal accuracy and lateral variation in spray deposition was quantified. The system showed to be able to adapt spray volume within 1-2 m in the direction travelled. In the 2007-2009 seasons different potato fields were sprayed and a general use reduction in PPP for potato haulm killing was c. 50%, maintaining efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
JournalAspects of Applied Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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