With planting and spraying season top-o-mind right now, more and more growers are saving money with planter and boom control precision agriculture technology. For growers ready to move up to the next level of precision, check out Harrison Ag Technologies and their Smart Nozzle–which received a FinOvation award for 2009 from Farm Industry News magazine.
Using GPS technology for tracking purposes, the Smart Nozzle utilizes computer driven valves to control the flow of herbicides and pesticides when applied with a large agricultural spray vehicle. Once an operator “maps” a field – creating an outline of the area to be sprayed and also eliminating wash, hazard and wetland areas – the computer will then control the flow of each spray nozzle. The system will interrupt the chemical flow to those nozzles that are in recognized areas that are not intended to have chemical applied and it will also terminate the flow of nozzles that are in an overlap area or an area that has previously been sprayed. This system can also be used for the application of fertilizer with the same benefit of less product being needed. In addition, the Smart Nozzle can be employed in planting equipment and currently experimentation for variable rate nozzles is being developed.
The Smart Nozzle can be purchased as an add-on item to most large land based spray vehicles. A stand-alone system retails for $13,900.
In a presentation by the company at the Kansas Precision Agriculture Technologies conference, they state that the smart nozzle is reducing overspray by 10 to 15 percent. That could certainly help pay for a system in short order. Check out a YouTube video on the product.