Spot-specific treatments offers a lot of benefits. Farmers can greatly reduce their chemical usage. It’s also better for the crop and has less impact on the environment as well. You don’t harm the crop, you only kill the weeds.
Task maps or zone maps are then needed. Input can come from maps reflecting soil types, topography, or pest maps made by drones.
With individually-controlled close-spaced nozzles, a Condor additionally equipped with Agrifac’s DynamicDosePlus technology can deliver variable rates from each nozzle in a minimum width of 25cm (10in) under the control of a prescription map.
As well as this, new sensors have allowed sprayers to basically leapfrog this approach and treat each plant uniquely. These sensors identify plants directly and create an immediate treatment response.
One of these techniques is the Intelligent Spot Spraying System from Bilberry. Agrifac developed AiCPlus, for Condor self-propelled sprayers. Agrifac has RGB colour cameras mounted on the boom, recognising weeds and crops based on shape, structure and contrast. They detect certain weeds and will only apply chemical where the weed is. That way you use less chemicals and you only kill the weeds, so it’s better for the crop and has less impact on the environment as well.
First trials already saw enormous savings.
Tim Rethus, Rethus Broadacre, Horsham Australia
“We can now do green on brown spraying quite effectively which has saved us several thousands of litres in chemicals. The opportunity to save costs on certain spraying jobs has been fantastic and now we have got the in-crop stuff sorted, we can start looking at spraying weed in crop and save chemicals in that way too, avoiding off-target spraying.”