When starting her position as general manager of what was then the J&L Farms San Lucas Ranch in Southern Monterey County, California, Brenda Wolgamott didn’t think much of the On Target sprayers that were being used.
“When I got here, there was a lot of mildew,” she said. “I came in July, and the ranch had a real bad mildew problem.”
Although the sprayers were in her opinion “antiquated,” Wolgamott decided to give them a second chance.
“After some research, I thought maybe the sprayers weren’t properly charging or weren’t being cleaned properly,” she said. “So we made sure the systems were in perfect running order, and the following year things were mildew free. It was good. It was real good.”
Today, six years later, Wolgamott is still general manager on the ranch, which is now operated by The Wine Group, and is a big advocate of On Target, even convincing The Wine Group, to invest in a new On Target sprayer.
The machines take a little more maintenance than conventional sprayers, she said, but are well worth the extra work.
“The last five years now, we’ve had an excellent, solid program and no mildew issues,” she said. “And we’re getting huge savings in fuel, water and labor.”
On Target Spray Systems utilize the law of attraction to deliver improved performance in an economical fashion. The system atomizes spray droplets with electrostatic charges that are attracted to the negatively-charged, or grounded, surface of a plant.
Wolgamott characterized spray from an On Target sprayer as a fog that hovers momentarily around plants before adhering to them. “You can just see the fog and how it is atomized,” she said. “It is just amazing coverage.”
The electrostatic system’s minimal water requirements enable applicators to maximize their time in the field and minimize the time shutting down to fill spray tanks.
From two weeks before bloom through the end of the spray season, Wolgamott runs the On Target sprayers on 18 gallons of water to the acre.
“It’s amazing what we can get done with 18 gallons,” she said.
“We are getting big savings in fuel, because we are not having to go back and fill up our tanks as often,” Wolgamott said. “And there is huge savings in labor in reduced tractor hours.”
The bottom line, she said, is the On Target performance has converted her from a skeptic to a believer.
“My first impression was maybe this wasn’t the best machinery,” she said. “But after that first year’s use with properly maintained and operated equipment, the change on the ranch was like night and day.
“I went from thinking that maybe the system wasn’t really working to where I really liked the system,” Wolgamott said. “And now we’re even investing in another On Target sprayer.”