Mark Parlee, Parlee Farms

Phone interview by Jon Clements on 12/27/2013

Mark received his TeeJet 844-AB spray controller in early 2011, however, the unit was not installed until he made a new tractor/sprayer purchase in 2012. The sprayer is a Rears 400 gallon Pul-Tank Power Blast Tower Sprayer. 844-AB controller and plumbing was installed by OESCO on purchase of sprayer.

Mark used the controller only briefly in 2012. It was not until the 2013 growing season that Mark used the controller for a full growing season. Mark explains the controller is not particularly user-friendly, and having the manual on-hand while using/setting up is mandatory. He also needed the help of Russel Peck, OESCO, Inc. to set up and explain operation/features.

Mark has used the 844-AB only in Manual mode, however, he says it is very useful because it gives the rate (gallons) per acre on the digital readout. Thus, he can monitor application rate and make adjustments (pressure, speed) as he sees fit depending on tree size, pesticide, pest pressure, etc. He says in fact he has been able to reduce his spray volume per acre on account of the output information the controller gives him and the tunnel sprayer which has allowed him to spray alternate rows with confidence.

Mark says he will consider programming the sprayer with different orchards in mind and/or use the Automatic mode as he becomes more comfortable with it's operation. For now though, he is very happy with the new setup, particularly because it saves time, has reduced application rate, and provides spray output information in real-time.

Pictures of installation (May 16, 2012)

Andre Tougas, Mark Parlee, James Krupa (UMass). Win Cowgill (Rutgers), and Russ Peck (OESCO) inspect the new Rears Pul-Tank Power Blast tower sprayer set up at Parlee Farms.

Win Cowgill (Rutgers), Russ Peck (OESCO), James Krupa (UMass), Mark Parlee, and Andre Tougas close-inspect some of the features of the new Rears Pul-Tank Power Blast tower sprayer at Parlee Farms

Electronic solenoid shut-off valves on manifold feeds (red hose) that are controlled by TeeJet 1044-AB. Note that each side manifold is split into an upper 1/3 and lower 2/3 sections, that can be on/off independent of each other and electronically controlled by operator using 1044-AB in tractor cab

Pesticide concentrate hopper/dispenser on bottom of tank allows for easier/safer loading/mixing of pesticides by handler

TeeJet 844-AB electronic spray controller installed by OESCO, Inc. on Parlee Farms tractor. On top of controller is GPS speed sensor. On 844-AB, clockwise from top center: digital display (not on) of speed, gallons per acre, current program mode; +/- adjusts pressure on the fly; 4-bank toggle switch individual control (on/off) of sprayer manifold sections (left/right, top/bottom); green button changes row spacing/program; large toggle switch all nozzles on/off; auto/man arrow switches between auto and manual modes; Pro button for programming controller (with manual in hand!)