- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State University researchers are seeking to improve the way fruit farmers apply pesticides and nutrients in their orchards.

They’re part of a team that’s been awarded nearly $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Matthew Grieshop, an entomologist and organic pest management expert at the East Lansing school, says the current work is focused on engineering to develop prototypes for growers. An earlier grant supported their work to study the so-called canopy system.

The system has been tested in apple orchards. Small sprayers mounted on wires are spread across an orchard and a mobile pumping station is used. The researchers say that the system keeps people away from the spraying area and has other benefits.

Grieshop says they hope to make the system more efficient and cost-effective.

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