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Effects of Field Shape and Size on Application Errors Using Manual and Automatic Boom Section Control on a Self-Propelled Agricultural Sprayer

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009611.(doi:10.13031/2013.31997)
Authors:   Joe D Luck, Rodrigo S Zandonadi, Brian D Luck, Scott A Shearer
Keywords:   precision agriculture, pesticide application, spray overlap, off-target errors

Past studies have been conducted to determine how the shape or size of a field may affect field efficiency and overlap errors. Typically these studies have been conducted using actual field boundaries, with assumed field coverage paths, implement types, and overlap widths. The information gained from some of these studies, while often based on hypothetical situations, can be beneficial to producers who want to reduce application errors. The goal of this study was to utilize actual field application data collected from a self-propelled agricultural sprayer to compare errors resulting from manual and automatic boom section control. Application errors resulting from both boom section control scenarios were evaluated versus field size and shape factors to identify if any trends existed as these parameters vary. Results of the statistical analysis indicated a relationship existed between field perimeter-to-area ratio and over-application resulting from manual (R2 of 0.57) and automatic (R2 of 0.56) boom section control for both sprayers. The reduction in over-application with the addition of automatic boom section control also demonstrated an increasing trend as the field perimeter to area ratio increased (R2 of 0.61). Errors increased at a greater rate using manual boom section control which suggests that as field inclusions (grassed waterways or other obstacles) increase or the field boundary becomes more complex, automatic boom section control will provide a greater opportunity for producers to reduce over-application.

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