I got the opportunity today to demo the next greatest thing in chemical application and environmental protection. What I am talking about is the Star Command Spray System from Smithco. A couple of weeks ago I saw an advertisement on TurfNet for it and thought it was too good to be true, but it's not. Jeff Wells with Ladd's brought the sprayer by today and I have not seen anything this promising in a long time. If you haven't seen the new Star Command Spray System video then you need to watch it.
After watching the unit spraying and seeing the nozzles turn on and off individually and without having to control any particular nozzle I can easily see how this technology would save on chemical and fertilizer costs, save time, and insure the proper amount of product, at the proper rate, is being applied.
The magic is in the GPS controlled Star Command module which allows the operator to spray at different speeds and different carrier volumes without having to change nozzles. All settings are controlled from the command module which tracks the application area showing sprayed areas in one color and non-sprayed or "missed" areas in another. Once the perimeter is logged into the computer the operator doesn't have to worry about turning nozzles on or off; it's done automatically. Readouts can be sent to your computer or downloaded for time and product records and the drift control allows the operator to adjust the water volume on the fly to maintain an accurate spray pattern. The GPS can turn nozzles on and off within one inch of the area and the program can save your different areas from application to application.
One of the best features of this technology is that it can be outfitted on any brand of sprayer which makes it even that much more appealing. I'm not speaking about this unit to try to help sell any sprayers but rather how much safer it would be for the environment and the resources it could save. If you get a chance, look at this new technology. I think it could pay for itself in product and time savings very quickly. Going to have to get one of these.