Cereals 2020: Sprayer app helps keep spray on the right target

Almost 250 sprayer operators are using a new app, only two weeks after its launch, to help them choose the best time to spray with which nozzles and settings to limit any damaging and wasteful spray drift.

The Syngenta Spray Assist app, which is free to download, was unveiled in January but has now been refined to cover 16 crops and more than 600 nozzle types.

Harry Fordham, the group’s application specialist, said the app looked to advise operators on the best time to spray to give the best combination of efficacy, work rate and drift limitation.

“We are looking to ensure what is best for the environment by trying to reduce drift,” he said at a briefing at Cereals LIVE 2020.

See also: Cereals 2020: The winter wheat varieties that can cut costs

Five-day window

The app will give operators the best times to spray over a five-day window, timely alerts if the weather forecast changes, and advice on the best nozzle, pressure, volume and speed combinations.

It covers a wide range of crops from cereals to lettuce, and links to local weather data to analyse the potential risk of spray drift from wind, rain or even frost.

To get the advice the spray operator simply plugs in the crop type, target of the spray, product chosen, crop stage, sprayer type, nozzles available, and weather alert preferences.

Mr Fordham added that even small tweaks in a sprayer set-up could make big differences in results, with advice on spraying applications including different fungicide timings, weed control, insecticide use and desiccation.

The app was first shown off at a “soft launch” at the Lamma machinery show in January, but then took on grower feedback to improve it. “We expanded its scope and made it easier to use,” said Mr Fordham.

Spray Assist is free to download from the App Store or Google Play. Registered users will receive free app updates as they are developed and released.