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Site--Specific Fumigant Applicator for Prevention of Almond Replant Disease

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  071080.(doi:10.13031/2013.23412)
Authors:   Robert W Coates, Mir S Shafii, Shrini K Upadhyaya, Greg T Browne
Keywords:   Almond, replant disease, GPS, HPGPS, site--specific application, variable rate application (VRA)

The goal of this research was to use recent advances in the global positioning system and computer technology to apply just the right amount of fumigant (0.2 kg/tree) where it is most needed (i.e., in the neighborhood of each tree planting site) to decrease the incidence of replant disease, and achieve the environmental and economical benefits of reducing the application of these toxic chemicals. In this study we have retrofitted a chemical applicator with a high--performance global positioning system receiver (accuracy in the range of 10 to 20 cm) and developed software necessary to accomplish tree--planting--site--specific application of fumigants. The results of accuracy tests indicated that the error in position location depended on vehicle speed and look--ahead value. A look--ahead value of 0.8 s appears to account for the hydraulic system response time. The RMS error was 33.5 cm (13.2 in) when the speed effect was properly accounting for. Although this error is higher than desirable, even at this level of accuracy the amount of fumigant applied can be reduced by nearly 50% thus realizing significant cost and environmental benefits.

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