Agriculture sprayers are equipment that is used for spraying herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fertilizers, and more on crops. These sprayers help to uplift the crop quality and provide better value. They offer other advantages such as being cost-effective, increased spray efficiency, safety, and less damage to the environment. Agricultural practices are vulnerable to economic cycles and environmental calamities. According to the market database, this has driven the demand for smart farm management techniques to reduce the time to market and improve crop yield.
Major applications for crops are witnessed in a variety of crops such as cereals, maize, wheat, rice, oilseeds, soybean, rapeseed, cottonseed, fruits & vegetables, and others. These types of equipment are also observed for orchard spraying and garden spraying applications. The agriculture sprayers are available in different capacities such as ultra-low volume, low-volume, medium-volume, and high-volume. The capacity of the required sprayer is heavily dependent on the size of the field which can range from small, medium, and large.
The Spectrum of Sprayers:
Market research tools indicate that the different types of agriculture sprayers include handheld, self-propelled, tractor-mounted, and aerial. The tractor-mounted type of sprayers has experienced a greater share in the market as they are efficient to use and easily accessible. The tractor-mounted sprayer type is sub-divided into three categories depending on the horsepower(hp), these include low-hp, medium-hp, and high-hp. The high-hp tractors offer the best performance and can cover large areas of the field in less amount of time. The market players have now started to launch battery-operated tractors to save the cost for the farmers without impacting the performance.
Market research tools also state that the handheld sprayer types have low capacity and require more manual labor. Such types of sprayers are found in micro and small farmlands. They are not suitable to spray a large farm field. Self-propelling agriculture sprayers are semi-automatic and make use of mechanical operations to cover a large scale of the land. Such sprayers are difficult to operate without proper expertise and come with higher maintenance costs. The aerial type includes the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These are special-purpose agriculture drones that are integrated with the spraying tanks and the nozzles. They come in different varieties and are coupled with technological advancements to drive optimization. Market intelligence platforms state that greater research activities in this type have attracted more attention and contributed towards an optimistic business outlook.
The Nozzle Architecture:
The nozzle of an agriculture sprayer has acted as a prime component in the overall equipment. Innovation in the type of nozzles coupled with the different sprayers has attracted greater investments and increased acceptance by the farmers.
According to the market database, the different types of nozzles available in the market include hydraulic nozzles, gaseous nozzles, centrifugal nozzles, and thermal nozzles. The hydraulic nozzle has experienced a greater share in the market due to the increased efficiency and convenience provided by the nozzle. The hydraulic nozzle integrates the scientific mechanical applications of liquids to spray the chemicals in form of pressurized liquids. This has allowed the hydraulic nozzle to operate with multiple nozzles which share the same reservoir. Such dynamics have allowed to capture a larger share of the cropland and reduce the time of spraying.
Market database states that gaseous nozzles are equipped with suction control ability. This allows the nozzle type to prevent leakage of chemicals once the operations have concluded. The result is achieved by mixing the air pressure at the exit point. The centrifugal nozzles are used to achieve the dual objectives of increased liquid surface area and provide freedom of direction. The nozzles are designed in the shape of spirals and provide more flexibility while spraying the crops. Thermal nozzles type is prepared to be used in situations of high pressure, velocity, and temperature. These systems offer the advantages like being erosion-resistant, accurate, and virtually maintenance-free.
The Power Source Dynamics:
According to the market database, agriculture sprayers require a significant amount of power to deliver the best results. This is the case especially for a large type of agriculture sprayers which are required to spray a large field.
Based on the power source the agricultural sprayers are segregated into different categories which include fuel-based, battery-operated, solar-powered, and manual. Secondary research performed on free-market data states that fuel-based agriculture sprayers have commanded a greater share in the market. This is due to their capacity to operate for longer hours and reduced human effort. The rise in global fuel prices has added to the overall costs for this type which has hampered the growth.
A major shift is witnessed towards adopting green energy agriculture sprayers. This is due to the Sustainable Development Targets (SDGs) set by countries across the world. Such type includes battery-operated agriculture sprayers and solar-powered types. Battery-operated types are more efficient as they can store energy and be recharged even in the absence of sunlight. They are expected to bring down the overall costs of operations significantly and contribute towards an optimistic business outlook. The overall business recovery associated with the implementation of market research tools can be studied using Global Market Database.
The availability of greater farmlands, wider adoption of precision farming, vertical farming, and demand for high efficiency in agricultural operations has propelled the growth in this market. Technological advancements in the case of the ground and aerial types have led to greater innovation as per market research reports. For instance, aerial drones are integrated with accurate Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This allows the aerial and ground equipment to be more precise in terms of operation and can operate with minimal human intervention. The advanced drones are coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities. Market analysis suggests that this has shifted the focus to greater automation and aid in precision farming operations.
According to the market database, the COVID-19 induced pandemic impacted the manufacturing of key market players in the first two quarters of the year 2020. The pent-up demand and resilience of the agricultural sector contributed towards a strong business recovery in this market. The initial costs are involved in the manufacturing process as well the advanced technologies require resources to be invested in training the farmers. The market database also suggests that this has led to greater research and development activities to address the challenges. A more automated mechanism is expected to sustain the demand in this market.
The U.S Market Perspective:
The North American region is highly advanced in terms of technological capacity and agricultural ecosystem. The region is also a base for key market players which has ignited the research capacity in this field. For instance, in June 2020, a major player in the U.S launched a giant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for agricultural purposes. According to the market database, this UAV is housed with 200 kgs carrying capacity which includes two tanks along with a 360 degrees-spraying nozzle. The UAV is electric powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Greater acceptance by the farmers to use advanced farming management techniques has contributed towards a positive business outlook for agriculture sprayers. Government initiatives have supported the developments in this market as the U.S.A recently re-entered the Paris agreement to contribute towards greener energy. This is expected to augment the growth of electric-based agriculture sprayers. In June 2016, the Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration finalized operations rule for routine commercial operation of drones for different activities. This has dropped the requirement to hold a flying license to fly the drone and instead can be used for varied applications such as agriculture spraying.