Development of a Low Cost Vertical Patternator

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2010: $5,818.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
R. Martin Keen
Landey Vineyards

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Pest Management: chemical control
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    The use of an agricultural airblast sprayer with improperly positioned or defective nozzles results in spray drift, poor pest control and inaccurate application. It has been estimated that only 55% of a pesticide spray may hit the target. The use of a vertical spray patternator reveals exactly where the spray is deposited and allows the farmer to adjust the sprayer to its maximum efficiency. A patternator can help increase the amount of spray that hits the target plant, thereby increasing efficiency and efficacy. Use of a patternator can reduce spray drift by up to 90% and reduce pesticide use up to 20%. The goal of this project is to design an inexpensive, efficient patternator that is easily constructed and performs better than a Cornell patternator and is substantially lower in cost. The use of a patternator can reduce costs and increase productivity from reduced pesticide use and better application. Results will be presented at a field day, grape grower meetings, in printed materials, through extension and a website.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This will be an engineering project unlike a field test of a new method that would allow the use of plots and blocks with replicates and the resulting statistical analysis. I will attempt to develop two different versions of a vertical spray patternator. An engineer will be consulted on the patternator designs and offer ideas for improvement or modification. The goal will be to develop a patternator that has $100 or less in newly purchased material costs. Patternators will be built and then tested for their ability to quantify the spray pattern. A Cornell patternator will also be built to allow comparisons between the various designs. Spray patterns will be tested before any modifications are done to the sprayer and then tested again after the sprayer has been modified based on the previous spray patterns generated by the patternators. I will also test the use of the patternators with new versus older used nozzles.

    The spray generated by the sprayer will be collected by the various panels of the patternator and measured in milliliters. One test will measure the amount recovered by the patternator as compared to the total ouput of the sprayer. First the total spray output of the sprayer in a given amount of time will be measured. Then the amount of spray captured by the patternator in the same amount of time willb e measured and compared to the total output of the sprayer. Three replicates willb e done for each test. This will show the percentage of spray recovered by the patternators. The percentage o fpray recovery willb e compared to the recovery percentage of the Cornell patternator. The vertical patters generated by the patternators willb e compared and illustrated in graphs. Three replicates will be done for each vertical pattern. The results for the patternators developed in thsi project will be compared to the Cornell patternator to show the improvements in design and cost. Three replicates of spray patterns for old versus new spray noxx;es will also be done for each patternator.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.