Technology is changing the agricultural sector at a fast pace, increasing productivity, efficiency and sustainability. A tool that is rapidly gaining traction is advanced spraying equipment, particularly the Direct Injection Spraying systems. These not only improve the effectiveness & precision of pesticide and fertilizer but also promote sustainable agricultural practices by reducing waste and environmental harm.
As we saw in a previous article, modern agricultural sprayers have come a long way from the simple manual pump-action devices to devices tailored to suit specific farm requirements, such as terrain, crop type, and farming methods. Their size ranges from smaller, handheld, to larger, tractor-mounted or even aerial drone sprayers.
This evolution has been fueled by the need for precision farming – a strategy which, with the help of digital technologies, enables farmers to manage crops and apply farm inputs more efficiently. This allows for targeted use of pesticides, fertilizers as well as water, while minimizing waste and environmental impact.
What differentiates Direct Injection Sprayers from traditional sprayers?
In traditional sprayers, the water and chemicals are pre-mixed in a tank before being sprayed. However, this approach poses several challenges, such as
Direct Injection Spraying is capable of addressing these challenges. In this system, the water and the chemicals are stored separately and only mixed at the point of spraying. This approach provides several significant benefits:
DIS in Smart Droplets Smart Droplets introduces critical hardware and electronic components that minimize latencies and dosing inconsistencies during the DIS functioning. More importantly, hydraulic circuits will be integrated for efficient chemical injection in the outlet section and chemical dosing mechanisms in each compartment will be configured for accurate delivery of solid and liquid state compounds, considering different viscosities.
The selection of chemicals that DIS will be optimised on, will be driven by the frequency, environmental impact and total amount applied in each spraying application in the demo sites and fields that the project’s solution will be tested and demonstrated, which are no other than Spain (in orchards with apples) and Lithuania (in wheatfields). The true novelty of the Smart Droplets solution is achieved by linking sprayers with the intelligence stack, that is leveraging Digital Twins and AI models. Field awareness before the tractor and sprayer deployment, can allow a probabilistic planning of the spraying and chemical selection based on AI models and the Digital Twin information, therefore diminishing application gaps, latencies and off-target spraying. Cameras mounted on the sprayer will validate Digital Twin’s prediction and fine-tune the dosage recommendations in real time.
The Future of Spraying
Looking ahead, the use of Direct Injection Spraying technology is likely to increase, spurred by the push towards precision agriculture and sustainable farming. As more farmers understand the benefits, we could see wider acceptance and adoption across the sector. Furthermore, the integration of advanced technologies like GPS, remote sensing, and machine learning can further enhance the precision and efficiency of Direct Injection Sprayers.
Stay tuned for more…