On Target ‘The Best That I’ve Seen’
Bryan Wallingford of Mesa Vineyard Management in Templeton, Calif., can’t get enough of the benefits of On Target Spray Systems.
“The technology is great,” Wallingford said. “We’re promoting it throughout our company.”
Wallingford said he has convinced five wine grape growers to purchase electrostatic sprayers from On Target Spray Systems. And he’s expecting more to follow suit.
The systems cost more than conventional air-blast sprayers, Wallingford said, but his customers save in labor, fuel and, in some cases, chemical costs. He estimates that in a perfect situation, the technology pays for itself in as little as two years.
Wallingford discovered the benefits of On Target after a mite outbreak damaged wine grapes on the Central California Coast.
“In 2005, we had a big Pacific mite outbreak, and with the sprayer that I was using, I wasn’t able to get the coverage I needed,” Wallingford said.
Wallingford subsequently brought in an On Target sprayer. The result: “I was able to successfully reduce the population while going from five sprays down to three sprays, and then down to one,” he said.
“Now, because of the coverage that I am getting throughout the year, I don’t have to worry about spraying for them at all,” he said.
On Target Spray Systems, based in Mount Angel, Oregon, utilizes the law of attraction. With tiny electrostatic charges, the system atomizes, or positively charges, droplets 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 onto the ground. 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 system is similar to the technology used by car manufacturers to powder-coat cars with paint.
Wallingford said On Target Spray Systems use far less water than traditional air-blast sprayers. As a result, he said, growers spend less time filling tanks and more time treating crops.
The On Target Spray System also has enabled Wallingford to stretch treatment intervals and still obtain excellent powdery mildew control.
A significant percentage of the 10,000 acres that Mesa Vineyard Management oversees are now treated with On Target Spray Systems, Wallingford said. He expects that percentage to increase in the future.
“I am sold on electrostatic technology in general,” Wallingford said, “and On Target is the best on the market that I’ve seen.”