Reiter Brothers was looking to improve sprayer efficiency in blueberries when the Oxnard, California, farm purchased an On Target electrostatic sprayer in 2012.
“We were trying to find ways to become more efficient in our control of spotted wing drosophila,” said Edgar Macias, a junior product manager for the farm.
Improved sprayer efficiency is exactly what the farm got, Macias said.
“I would say this sprayer is between three and five times more efficient,” Macias said. “In the time it takes other sprayers to do one acre, this sprayer can do three acres.”
Macias attributes most of the improved efficiency to a reduction in down-time, or time spent refilling spray tanks.
“With our air-blast sprayers we were using 33 to 50 gallons of water per acre,” he said. “With the electrostatic, we’re using 14 to 15 gallons per acre.”
As for coverage, that, too, has improved since the farm switched from its air-blast sprayers to the On Target electrostatic, Macias said.
“There is no question we’re getting better coverage,” he said.
On Target sprayers are, as Macias put it, “a little more high-tech” than conventional sprayers, and can require more upkeep.
“The maintenance is a little more,” Macias said. “But I don’t see that as a deal breaker.
“Since we’ve had it up and going, we haven’t had any issues. Everything has been running smooth with it,” Macias said.
“If you’re looking for efficiencies and better spray coverage,” Macias said, “I don’t see what could work out better than an On Target electrostatic sprayer.”