For Ben Dhiman of B&B Dhiman Blueberry Farm, using less pesticide, less water and less fuel equates to more than just saving money. It helps him farm in an environmentally conscious manner.
With an electrostatic sprayer from On Target Spray Systems, the British Columbia grower is able to meet his environmental standards, and get improved performance, to boot.
“I’m using less water and less pesticide, so I am putting less into the environment,” Ben said. “And the coverage efficacy is a lot better with the On Target electrostatic charge than with conventional sprayers.
“There is no question in my mind that I am getting complete coverage when I am using the On Target sprayer,” he added. “I’ve actually tested it with water-sensitive paper to prove to myself that it has that kind of penetrating power. And it does. It goes in 100 percent.”
On Target Spray Systems utilize the law of attraction to deliver improved performance in an environmentally friendly fashion. The system atomizes spray droplets with electrostatic charges that are attracted to the negatively-charged, or grounded, surface of a plant.
Also, because the droplets are positively charged, they repel one another and will not collect into large droplets that can run off plant material. Spray from an On Target sprayer emerges from the system’s patented nozzles as a mist that evenly coats the fronts, backs and undersides of plant material, forming a bond that protects plants from disease and insect pests.
The technology has minimal water requirements, enabling growers to maximize their time in the field and minimize the time they spend filling spray tanks, another benefit Ben enjoys.
“Whereas we used to fill up four times with the blast and the boom sprayers, we now are down to filling up just once,” Ben said. “It saves a lot of time, and we are handling less chemical. You’re not in contact with the chemicals as much when you don’t have to mix as much.”
Also, Ben said, “If there is some inclement weather coming, this enables you to mix your stuff, get into a field and get out in one go-round. Instead of having to come back and mix-up four times and it lasting three to four hours, now you’re in and out in an hour.”
Ben acknowledged that there is a trade-off for the benefits he receives from the On Target technology.
“The trade-off is there is extra maintenance,” he said. “Clean-up time takes a little bit longer. But if you take pride in your work and your machinery, it is not that much more work, especially when you know the kind of coverage you are getting.
“You can spray with other sprayers and have a little less maintenance, but you don’t even know if you hit the target,” Ben said. “With this, when you come out of the field, you know from previous experience that you have done a really good job of spraying the field, and you don’t mind spending a half-an-hour extra cleaning your machine and cleaning out the tank.
“When you are less stressed about your crop, you can put a little bit more energy into cleanup.”