To improve pesticide spray application efficiency in citrus production and reduce general pesticide use in the San Joaquin region of California. Specifically, we intend to cut use frequency by ensuring effective pest control and reduced need for repeat applications through the adoption of an expert system (ES) that guides growers and applicators in correct calibration, suitable application timing, and proper adaptation of application techniques in different situations.
The project is aimed at reducing pesticide application frequency or quantity in citrus by increasing efficiency using an expert system (ES) that leads the user to best practices of pesticide application. An ES is a computer program that simulates the judgment of an individual or organization possessing expert knowledge and experience in a particular field. The existing ES (CitrusSprayEX) was designed to provide decision support for spray applicators who use air-carrier sprayers (specifically airblast sprayers) to apply pesticides to citrus canopies.
In this project, we will expand its capabilities to use it: i) as a planning and evaluation tool for applicators and their supervisors; ii) as a training tool for pesticide training meetings; and iii) as an educational tool for agricultural students at the high school and college level. This effort is intended to raise general awareness of the need for efficient spray application and provide an active and specific guidance on how to achieve it in complex field situations.