Farmers are known to be super resourceful and can do pretty much anything, but some processes actually just become a pain when trying to scale them. Sprayer calibration is one of these processes! Get it wrong and you either waste money or you end up with unwanted disease on your crop.
The challenge with calculating the sprayer’s calibration settings is that it has many input variables and many constraints making a model in Excel close to impossible.
Using apple farming as an example, the input variables would typically be:
- Row width
- Tree spacing
- Tree height
- Growth Stage
- Tractor Speed
- Number and combination of nozzles
- Nozzle delivery
- High volume / low volume
Examples of constraints during Sprayer Calibration are:
- Number of tractors
- Suitable low wind spraying conditions
- Spreading load amoung the staff equally
- Distance to chemical / spray rooms
- Chemical being applied
- Sprayer’s constraints around water pressure and delivery
All these factors make the calculation nice and tricky but another management dimension of human behaviour is introduced when actually spraying. The farmer needs to be ensured that the staff are:
- Adhering to the speed they are meant to be driving in each block on the farm to ensure optimal water delivery
- Spraying all the rows in the orchard / vineyard
- Not dumping chemical
- And more
This is where the Agri Apps Sprayer Calibration solution can help. Our GPS based sensor solution reads the sprayer’s water pressure and water delivery as it sprays the orchard / vineyard and relays information back to the farmer over GPRS using the Agri Apps cloud. In this way, the farmer can monitor their operations in real-time and be alerted their staff deviate from the pre-defined parameters.
We are currently testing our solution on working farms and we will soon be launching our retrofit kit. Watch this space for more, or sign up to our news letter on our home page to stay informed.