Jan 30, 2023
Smart sprayer gets smarter, tougher

Heading into 2023, specialty crop growers are looking for any advantage they can to improve operational costs, satisfy mandates on chemical and water use, meet sustainability goals and increase healthy harvests.

Ag tech company Smart Apply Inc. has released its Generation 2 (Gen2) Intelligent Spray Control System that upgrades operational toughness in the field and greatly expands precision data functionality.

Launched in 2019, Smart Apply’s Intelligent Spray Control System combines LiDAR-enabled precision spraying with the ability to automatically collect and store data to the cloud during each spray event. To date, specialty growers of tree fruits, nuts, grapes, hops, and nursery items have been drawn to the Smart Apply System’s ability to reduce chemical and water use by an average of 50% while decreasing chemical runoff by up to 97% and airborne drift up to 83%.

Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Smart Apply’s Gen2 exponentially improves the system by making it more impervious to the rigors of the field as well as easier to install and maintain. Among the biggest changes are a more sophisticated yet simple to use electrical system with 50% fewer electrical connectors, a single power harness with a circuit breaker to protect the battery and eliminate fuses, and a common ground that reduces the number of wires to the solenoids.

Software allows Smart Apply users to map chemical use on different fields. Photo: Smart Apply.

The control board has been expanded to support 40 spray nozzles, a significant improvement for larger air blast sprayers. Additionally, the system’s new junction box is sealed for improved weather protection and wire and component management. It comes with a more robust Android tablet with improved data connections.

Gen2 upgrades

The Smart Apply System Gen2’s expanded data capabilities support growers’ efforts to reduce and digitally document chemical use as well as meet demands from brands and consumers for sustainably raised produce. Highlights of Smart Apply Gen2 data functionality upgrades include expanded data collection of chemical application rates, tractor speeds, chemical volumes applied and savings, and operator performance.

Additional job management capabilities enable the grower to program – and thus automate – the day’s spray schedule, assign multiple boundaries and operators, designate start and end dates, set application rates and adjust calibration settings. The grower can also document the chemicals used during each spray session.

More intuitive operating screens have been added for ease of use, including a choice of languages.

Increased cloud storage archives current and historical spray data.

Users have the option to integrate with the Deere Precision Ag Operations Center.

Commenting on the Smart Apply System G2, CEO Jerry Johnson says the enhancements proactively address the immediate and long-term needs of specialty crops growers.

“Today’s growers face rising costs, mandates on chemical and water use, verification requirements from government agencies, export partners and brands, and their own desire to be better stewards of the land,” Smart Apply CEO Jerry Johnson said in a news release. “

“Smart Apply Gen2 is a transformational tool that enables corporate to privately owned growers alike to meet these challenges head on while making their operations simpler, more profitable and sustainable,” he said in the release. “The ability to integrate with Deere’s Operations Center is another benefit that distinguishes Smart Apply from other sprayer systems.”

The Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System is sold as a kit that can be retrofitted to virtually any air blast sprayer. The company continues to expand its authorized dealer network and currently is available at more than 350 retail locations in the U.S., Canada, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. A complete dealer list is available here.

The Smart Apply System is the winner of the 2021 World Ag Expo Top 10 Award, 2021 SIMA Paris Gold Award and 2020 ASABE AE50 Outstanding Innovation Award. Visit the website to see the Smart Apply System in action.

Current Issue

Fruit Growers News May 2024 cover

Advancing research in biocontrols

Inflation, farm input costs shape farm market prices

Farm market pricing guide

Great Bear Vineyards’ organic journey

Organic Grower: Field Watch

A win for farmers

Business: Improve the odds

Farm Market & Agritourism: markups vs. margins

see all current issue »

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower