Greenhouse plant production is an important horticultural activity in Flanders, Belgium. Besides vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, lettuce,…) and fruits (strawberries,…), a lot of ornamental plants are grown in greenhouses. Traditionally, because of the great diversity in grown species and growing systems, growers almost exclusively use high pressure spray equipment (spray guns and lances). However, as more and more companies scale up, they want to automate labour-intensive activities, including crop spraying. For this reason, spray boom equipment is becoming increasingly popular amongst the growers. In spite of important advantages, e.g. the better uniformity of the spray liquid distribution, a lot of questions still exist about the optimal settings of this type of equipment.
ILVO performed several experiments to evaluate different spray application techniques in ornamentals and vegetables grown in greenhouses. The experiments involved the comparison of different spray systems (spray lances and booms with or without air support) and the use of different types and sizes of nozzles (standard, extended range, pre-orifice, air inclusion and twin air inclusion flat fan, hollow cone and disc core). Information about the results can be found in the publications or by contacting the contact persons.
Research Centre for Ornamental Plants
Dieter Foqué, David Nuyttens