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Pest Manag Sci. 2010 Feb;66(2):203-12. doi: 10.1002/ps.1858.

Effect of spray application technique on spray deposition in greenhouse strawberries and tomatoes.

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Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Technology and Food Sciences Unit, Agricultural Engineering, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 115, bus 1, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.



Increasingly, Flemish greenhouse growers are using spray booms instead of spray guns to apply plant protection products. Although the advantages of spray booms are well known, growers still have many questions concerning nozzle choice and settings. Spray deposition using a vertical spray boom in tomatoes and strawberries was compared with reference spray equipment. Five different settings of nozzle type, size and pressure were tested with the spray boom.


In general, the standard vertical spray boom performed better than the reference spray equipment in strawberries (spray gun) and in tomatoes (air-assisted sprayer). Nozzle type and settings significantly affected spray deposition and crop penetration. Highest overall deposits in strawberries were achieved using air-inclusion or extended-range nozzles. In tomatoes, the extended-range nozzles and the twin air-inclusion nozzles performed best. Using smaller-size extended-range nozzles above the recommended pressure range resulted in lower deposits, especially inside the crop canopy.


The use of a vertical spray boom is a promising technique for applying plant protection products in a safe and efficient way in tomatoes and strawberries, and nozzle choice and setting should be carefully considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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