“Smart” sprayer technology provides environmental and economic benefits in California orchards
Spray applications of pesticides to orchards are a common cultural practice; however, they present environmental concerns due to emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), runoff that can allow pesticides to enter waterways, and spray drift onto nontarget areas. Advanced sprayer technology can address these concerns and improve application efficiency by reducing the amount of spray that does not reach the target. Target-sensing sprayers were evaluated in multiseason experiments. They reduced pesticide application rates by 15% to 40% and nontarget orchard-floor deposition by 5% to 72%, providing significant environmental and economic benefits.