Smart Sprayer Economic Analysis for Application in Wild Blueberry Fields
Description: The wild blueberry industry is spending over $80 million dollars per year on agrochemicals for 93,000 ha under production in North America. A pressing need to reduce agrochemical usage and production cost has resulted in the development of a smart sprayer for spot-application of agrochemicals in wild blueberry fields. A commercial 13.7 m wide boom sprayer was modified and retrofitted. A sensing and control system was developed and incorporated into the sprayer to control each nozzle individually. An economic analysis was conveyed to determine the potential savings for spot-applications of agrochemicals using the smart sprayer. The economic analysis compared the smart sprayer with two other commercially available sprayer technologies. The cost analysis was performed to compare the different features of the sprayer technologies, i.e., base sprayer, additional technology, training, usage, repair and maintenance. The additional components installed on the smart sprayer were justified in terms of agrochemicals/water savings via spot-applications, tractor fuel and operator’s time. The agrochemical cost ranged from $1139 ha-1 to $2110 ha-1 for the three sprayers used in this study over a two year production cycle of a typical wild blueberry field. Results revealed that the smart sprayer had significant advantage from both an environmental and economic perspective over the other two sprayers.
Keywords: digital color camera; GPS; plant detection; weed detection; payback; real-time; cost savings
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2016 Annual Conference, Halifax, 3-6 July 2016.
Session name: Session 4C: Precision Agriculture/Power and Machinery
Citation: . 2016. Smart Sprayer Economic Analysis for Application in Wild Blueberry Fields. CSBE/SCGAB 2016 Annual Conference, Halifax, 3-6 July 2016.
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering