Reduced chemical use, economical spray application and advanced crop mapping… finally there is some good news to come in 2020! The year that has been known for a global pandemic, a national lockdown and an impact on business’ bottom line, can now also be remembered for the arrival of, what is possibly, the most revolutionary spray technology to enter the Australasian market.

The BA Smart Sprayer powered by Smart-Apply® is a density-based spray system that utilises sensor technology, providing viticulturalists and horticulturalists with greater spray application. John Dixon, Operations Manager at BA Pumps and Sprayers, said the system has an abundance of benefits for growers, not least the growth data it can source.

“Unlike traditional sprayers, the BA Smart Spray system utilises LIDAR sensor technology that detects the specific architecture of the canopy,” Dixon explains. “The sensor can create a digital representation of the crop, including height, width, spacing and density of each plant it passes. Each spray nozzle is then controlled independently for instant application and adjustment of spray where required, reducing chemical use and achieving cost savings.”

Field-tested for proven results

Researched, developed and field-tested at the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture over the past decade, the BA Smart Sprayer powered by Smart-Apply® has been proven to reduce spray inputs and spray loss beyond canopies. The system is also proving effective in reducing up to 87% of airborne drift. “The sustainability factors of this technology are huge,” says Dixon. “Both in terms of environmental sustainability as well as economic. The precision this system can achieve has significant long-term benefits for orchards and vineyards by way of healthier plants and cleaner and safer groundwater. Add to that greater overall yields and you can see why we’re excited to have this cutting-edge technology available for the New Zealand market.”

Retro-fitted technology

The system can be retrofitted to existing air blast spray equipment and utilises an Android Tablet for display, enabling easy application. “This interface enables the LIDAR sensor technology to work in tandem with a GPS to determine ground speed and position in the field, thus allowing growers to easily gauge the spray coverage and gather valuable data of their orchard or vineyard,” says Dixon. “But it also offers growers the flexibility to revert to manual spraying if needed.”

The BA Smart Sprayer powered by Smart-Apply® is available to the Australasian market through BA Pumps and Sprayers (formerly known as Bertolini Australasia). BA Pumps and Sprayers will be conducting a series of demo events throughout the country. “After months of planning, and the disruption of COVID, it’s great to finally get out and introduce this pioneering technology to New Zealand growers,” says Dixon.

Environmental and economic benefits

USDA research has confirmed that LIDAR sensor technology can result in the following savings:

  • Up to 73% reduction of spray consumption
  • Up to 87% reduction in spray loss beyond tree canopies
  • Up to 87% less airborne drift 
  • Up to 93% reduction in spray loss on the ground
  • As effective or better crop protection

For more information view our dedicated website::