Assessing the “Special-Serre” sprayer for pesticide application to a greenhouse chrysanthemum crop

B. Bernardi, S. Benalia, M.R. Panuccio, G. Zimbalatti
Pesticide application constitutes one of the most important agricultural practices without which reaching high yields from both quantitative and qualitative point of views is almost impossible. Modalities and machinery used to perform this practice considerably influence treatment efficiency, farm production costs, workplace safety, and ecosystems durability. Due to their particular agro-climatic conditions, protected crops provide a suitable environment for the spread of diseases and weeds, requiring more chemical consumption. As currently carried out, pesticide distribution in greenhouses presents many inconveniences. That is why more efficient equipment is needed to guarantee crop health, environment sustainability and laborers' safety. The current research aims to investigate the operating performances of an innovative system called “Special-Serre”, which was especially manufactured and optimized for pesticide distribution in greenhouses. It enables this practice to be carried out without the direct exposure of laborers to the spray. Experimental trials were carried out on a chrysanthemum crop and focused on quantitative and qualitative analyses using respectively, the colorimetric method and image analyses of hydro-sensitive cards, in order to assess distribution evenness and drift containment. The results highlighted important aspects of spray distribution. Indeed, the fixed network of nozzles enabled the mixture to be distributed in an even way in terms of quantity over the monitored area, when considering the upper (top of the canopy at 60 cm) and lower foliage (30 cm) regions separately. However, spray deposit was extremely influenced by height within the canopy (F=192.4; df (1;52), Pr (>F) = ‹2e-16 ***) with α=0.05. Further trials should be carried out in order to determine the most suitable operating conditions that improve the performance of this system.
Bernardi, B., Benalia, S., Panuccio, M.R. and Zimbalatti, G. 2017. Assessing the “Special-Serre” sprayer for pesticide application to a greenhouse chrysanthemum crop. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:603-610
agrochemical application, protected crops, fixed nozzle network, machine efficiency

Acta Horticulturae