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How would you like to use a new sprayer in your no-tilled fields that would use only half as much pesticide as conventional sprayers, yet still do as good or even better in controlling insects and weeds?
Developed by Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center researchers at Wooster, Ohio, the “spray less” double-nozzle sprayer unit can be retrofitted to existing hydraulic sprayers. Preliminary results indicate the unit could slash pesticide application rates by 50 to 75 percent while increasing the effectiveness of chemicals and reducing pesticide drift.
Ohio State University holds the patents and has licensed it to Spray Redux LLC, which recently started manufacturing and selling the sprayer. A retrofit kit for a typical 20-nozzle sprayer costs $2,200, but not all farmers will need the entire kit.
This company is owned by the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Program, Ohio State University , nine researchers who worked on the sprayer technology development project and the Spray Redux Foundation.
Besides boosting farmers’ profits by cutting pesticide bills, the new sprayer technology should also reduce the exposure of pesticides to the air, soil and water while making chemical application much more environmentally friendly.
Researchers Robin Taylor, Frank Hall and Roger Downer found large pesticide drops have little biological effect on their target since they shatter and pollute the environment. Even so, the bigger drops are still needed in a pesticide spray.
The big drops carry the small drops into the plant canopy, where small drops stick and do most…