Laser-Guided Spray Technology Puts Creston orchard on the Cutting Edge
Rivers End Farms in Creston will soon be the proud owner of the only two LIDAR precision spraying units in British Columbia, and possibly the only ones in Canada.
LIDAR (laser detection and ranging) “intelligent spraying” is a new technology for foliar fertilizer and pesticide application developed by the USDA over the last decade and now commercially available from SmartGuided Systems. Results from US orchard trials are promising, with massive reductions in spray use (47 to 73%), more than 70% less spray loss on the ground, up to 87% less spray drift, all with equal or better crop protection.
Rivers End Farms received $24,000 towards the units from the Environmental Farm Plan for this “Creative Environmental Solution”, and will attach one to their vertical tower sprayer and the other to a round airblast to apply both foliar nutrients and pesticides.
Take a look at this video from River’s End Farms in Creston where farm manager Sam Struther’s shows off the system they rented for a trial this season. Sam explains how much chemical they saved, and how the units will likely pay themselves back quickly while also benefiting the environment.
Both the Ministry of Agriculture pesticide specialist and SmartGuided systems hope to run some trials on Rivers End Farms next year. If you’re interested in a field day, let us know!
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions and to learn how you can use this technology on your own farm.