AGCO in targeted spraying collaboration
By Mike Brezonick28 May 2021
AGCO announced it has entered into a proof of concept (PoC) collaboration agreement with Robert Bosch GmbH, BASF Digital Farming and Raven Industries Inc. to evaluate targeted spraying technology. Targeted spraying has the potential to make the application of crop protection products more effective and efficient by reducing crop input costs while driving farm and environmental sustainability.
To support the reduction in herbicide application, the targeted spraying PoC will focus on real-time sensing technology to make crop protection decisions. By detecting weeds in growing crops as well as on fallow ground, day or night, this technology will execute precise targeted product placement down to the individual plant level.
In addition to the environmental benefits, AGCO said targeted spraying can help enhance farmer profitability by only spraying the herbicide where needed. This makes the use of more efficient herbicides affordable allowing for much better weed control. Where optimal herbicides are already used, the smart sprayer provides a volume and cost reduction, the company said.
Being tested on sprayer in Europe
The initial concept is being evaluated on a Fendt RoGator sprayer in Europe with plans to extend to North America in 2022.
“Farmers have long been searching for innovative ways to minimize chemical usage and reduce passes through the field to achieve their crop protection goals,” said Seth Crawford, senior vice president and general manager, Precision Ag and Digital for AGCO. “Combined with the potential for further regulatory pressure, we believe this collaborative spraying effort advances our farmer-first focus and is further evidence that we will work with the best-in-class partners to serve farmers’ needs.
“This effort is aimed at validating targeted spraying solutions, delivering a reduction in product use to achieve the same results as broadcast spraying in both pre- and post-emergence with the flexibility of spraying day or night.”
A range of expertise
Coupled with AGCO’s application equipment expertise, Bosch brings capabilities in hardware, machine learning and artificial intelligence as well as digital services. Xarvio Digital Farming Solutions, a brand of BASF Digital Farming GmbH, provides an automated, real-time, in field agronomic decision-making engine for weed management and crop optimization. Raven Applied Technology is committed to sprayer efficacy and operational efficiencies that further enable precision control of chemicals for targeted spraying applications.
“Raven is excited for this collaboration,” said Dominic Walkes, Raven Applied Technology director of Strategic Initiatives. “The expertise of each organization will undoubtedly provide industry changing solutions for some of agriculture’s greatest challenges. This smart spraying proof of concept is the first of many that will aid in advancing solutions for a more sustainable future.”