Mo Tougas, Tougas Family Farm

e-mail responses to questions posed by Jon Clements, December, 2013

1.) Is the TeeJet controller fully installed?

Yes controller has been installed for 3 (maybe 4?) seasons now on 400 gallon Rears tower sprayer.

2.) If yes on 1., have you actually set it up and used it?

Yes, have been using for three growing seasons.

3.) If yes on 2., how many growing seasons have you used it? has it helped you make adjustments to your application rate(s) on a block-by-block basis?

Yes, we are now able to spray 50 gpa, regardless of tree size. We are able to spray alternate row on smaller trees resulting in a reliable 25 gpa when we feel appropriate, cutting per acre rate of material in half in those cases with good results.

4.) Problems? Is the unit still installed?

Lots of problems. Not a "user friendly" controller. Needed to upgrade speed sensor to gps based. Need to be able to adapt to the problems, for example, controller would become confused at row ends when turning and go into "error" mode often. We were able to direct materials to sections of trees more accurately, i.e., top third of tree, etc. Problems with valves, sensors, etc. require replacement of expensive parts. Still installed and was working well at end of season. Was a frustrating experience using the controller, but we will continue since it seems to be worthwhile.

5.) Any other comments? Where do we go from here? What is needed?

I may install another on our 200 gallon sprayer. While I'm tempted to use another manufacturer, I'm also tempted to stay with TeeJet as we've probably worked around the systems problems. I would have preferred a unit which could produce block by block reports. I think we are on the right track, but equipment needs to be more intuitive, user friendly and robust if we are to expect general acceptance. It simply takes too much time to get up and running properly and is not terribly reliable.