March/April 2023 - 24

It's no secret that two of the biggest challenges facing
growers are labor and water, and finding solutions to
help meet those challenges will be key to the future
of ag in the United States. National Nut Grower sat
down with Willie Hartman, founder of OnTarget Spray
Systems, to talk about those issues - and solutions
available to meet those challenges.
What do growers consider their
two most problematic issues?
Willie Hartman: Growers across the board are
very concerned about water and labor. Both
are in short supply and getting worse. Water
costs per acre foot are through the roof. New
rules regarding an eight-hour workday are
driving up labor costs, and it doesn't seem that
the government is helping matters or bringing
How do growers benefit from
OnTarget's spray technology?
WH: OnTarget's technology reduces water use by
50% to 80% per acre.
It requires 50% less horsepower than air-blast,
and the diesel consumption is 50% less.
The diesel savings is usually about 3 gallons
per hour.
What are the various types of
sprayers used for tree nuts?
WH: There are only three types of sprayers for
tree nuts that I am aware of. Air-blast sprayers
were introduced right after World War II. Air-blast
sprayers consist of a trailer that holds a 400- to
600- or 1,000-gallon chemical tank, a pump, nozzles
and a large fan to blast the spray into the tree.
Helicopters are also in use for certain
applications, and commercial applicators fill
this need.
Air-assisted electrostatic sprayers, like
OnTarget, are the third type. These sprayers
consist of a trailer, tank and pump like an air
blast but do not rely on a big fan to blast the
spray. Instead, OnTarget uses a compressed
air system to atomize the drop, then give it an
electrical charge as it exits the nozzle.
The charged spray cloud envelops the tree
canopy, and the drops are electrically attracted
to all plant surfaces. There is no runoff, and
drift is minimized.
Using less water means sprayer operators don't
have to stop to mix and fill as much. Our 600-gallon
tank covers 15 to 20 acres, but a 600-gallon
air-blast sprayer covers only four to six acres.
OnTarget covers twice as many acres per day and
uses 50% less diesel and water.

March/April 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March/April 2023

March/April 2023 - 1
March/April 2023 - 2
March/April 2023 - 3
March/April 2023 - 4
March/April 2023 - 5
March/April 2023 - 6
March/April 2023 - 7
March/April 2023 - 8
March/April 2023 - 9
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