Wineland media April edition article

Get Smart With Modern Technology On The Farm

High-yield crop production is a priority in modern agriculture, and one of the keys to achieving this is effective crop protection. The success of spraying as a crop protection method is highly dependent on the quality of the spray and when it is applied. Bad timing could have several consequences, including financial.
Optimal spray windows are, therefore, essential for growers looking to protect their crops from pests and diseases effectively. Growers should also consider several factors when selecting an optimal spray window.
An optimal spray window occurs when Delta T, the evaporation rate, is between 2 and 8. Furthermore, the wind speed should ideally be below 3m/s to minimise drift, and no rainfall should occur in the next 24 hours to avoid wash-off. It could be difficult to account for all these weather conditions, and it can take some time to look at each to determine whether you can spray or not.
Weather stations are important tools for growers to predict potential weather conditions and plan their operations accordingly. Metos SA’s weather stations are equipped with sensors measuring temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, solar radiation, wind speed, and leaf wetness. This data is used to develop a comprehensive weather forecast specifically for that location and determine the optimal spray window for successful crop protection.

Figure . Optimal spray windows indicated on Metos SA’s FieldClimate platform.
The quality of the spray is also largely determined using the right kind of sprayer and the correct selection and calibration of nozzle settings. Another key tool in the WinField United South Africa arsenal is DropSight, a revolutionary way to quantify whether the active ingredient reached its target. Compared to DropSight, water-sensitive papers are the fax machines of deposition quantification technology. Where water-sensitive papers try to mimic the leaf’s surface and showcase the deposition of water droplets, with DropSight, you look at the leaf itself with its complex form, surface, different positions, and orientations on the tree and measure the coverage of active ingredient instead of water. By using the DropSight app, you can determine the percentage coverage to make it easier to compare when you, for example, change your nozzles or add an adjuvant.
WinField United South Africa is championing change with its weather station and DropSight technology, allowing producers to take their farms into the 21st century. Not only does it lead to informed decisions and a chance to maximise crop yields, but it is a logical answer as it minimises the environmental impact.
For more information on Metos SA weather stations or DropSight, contact Carina Olivier – 083 805 9335/