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Professors at WSU Tri-Cities develop spray to prevent frost damage in tree fruits

Researchers at WSU Tri-Cities have developed a spray to help farmers save their crops. It is being described as ‘ground-breaking nanotechnology’. It’s designed to protect cherries, apples and other tree fruits during harsh weather.

“We tested the longevity of this material and it lasts not only 24 hours but so far after 72 hours it’s still effective,” says Changki Mo, WSU Tri-Cities associate professor of mechanical engineering. This spring the team of researchers took their spray out to local cherry and apple farmers for a field trial to see first-hand if it works. Professor Mo says the results are very promising at this time.

The spray is a plant based nanocrystal solution used to coat and protect fruit buds during cold snaps. The professors say farmers now use wind turbines and heaters to prevent frost which aren’t only expensive but also create a lot of pollution. But this new nanotechnology solution is environmentally friendly and cheaper than the other options.

The team is made up of professors across several different departments at WSU all who provide expertise in their specific fields which they say is crucial to the project’s success.

According to¸ the research team will continue trials over the next few years. Their goal is to not only benefit the agricultural industry here locally, but globally as well.

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