High-tunnel bed and trellised crops sprayer

2015 Annual Report for FNE14-798

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2014: $14,906.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Andrew Fellenz
Fellenz Family Farm

High-tunnel bed and trellised crops sprayer


2015 Experience with Sprayer

The prototype sprayer was completed and tested.  A trial using a vertical boom for trellised tomatoes was done with analysis of foliage penetration by Andrew Landers from Cornell.  Field trials with a horizontal boom were also completed in beds of summer squash.  The sprayer performed reasonably well in both trials in terms of spray coverage and was substantially faster than either a backpack sprayer or single nozzle garden sprayer (spray caddy).  Andrew Landers has provided nozzle recommendations based on his analysis of the tomato trial. 

Improvements are still needed on the sprayer, especially with the battery.  Two batteries have failed after just a few charging cycles.  A battery more suitable for rapid, deep discharge is needed.  The sprayer has proven itself to be much better in the field than the backpack sprayers and spray caddy it has replaced.

A project extension was approved to allow for more testing and scheduling of a field day in 2016.  Short presentations regarding the sprayer will be part of 2 workshops at the 2016 NOFA-NY Winter Conference on January 22, 2016.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The original project schedule called for substantial testing in 2014 with additional testing in 2015 and a field day in 2015 and final project results being presented at the NOFA NY 2016 Winter Conference.  The revised schedule after encountering some delays in 2014 was for testing in 2015 with outreach in 2016.


In 2015 the prototype sprayer was completed and field tested. 

The horizontal boom configuration was tested on summer squash and it worked very well.  The vertical boom configuration was tested on trellised tomatoes and worked well also.  The time to spray a 30X96 tunnel with the vertical was about 20 minutes compared to over an hour when a single nozzle hand wand sprayer was used.  Andrew Landers’ report on the work he did to support the project and the trial results with a comparison of three nozzle designs is attached. 

In the tomato trial, the twin cap flat fan (Turbo Drop) nozzles were the best performers in terms of canopy penetration and leaf wetting.  Performance of the hollow cone nozzles was acceptable.  The flat fan nozzles were significantly less effective than the other designs. 

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

More work is required in terms of battery selection and some tweaks to the sprayer design to make the sprayer easier to clean and to simplify swapping from the vertical to horizontal boom but even with these limitations, it is significantly faster to spray with this sprayer than with either the backpack or caddy sprayer with single nozzle hand wands.


Dr. Andrew Landers

[email protected]
Pesticide application technology specialist
312 Barton Lab
Geneva, NY 14456
Office Phone: 3157872429
Website: http://web.entomology.cornell.edu/landers/pestapp/ajlanders.htm