Imaging improves accuracy of weed control, hears Onion & Carrot Conference

Visual guidance offers greater accuracy in automated weed control, Garford export sales manager Chris Lunn said at the Onion & Carrot Conference.

"Universities are also developing automated systems but by using GPS they are 2.5-5cm out. You want to hit the centre of the weed, whether that's with a chemical, heat or a laser."

The company took the conference's innovation award for its new Robocrop spot sprayer. Mounted on the front of a tractor, it uses visual imaging to target weeds in young crops. The machine was developed by Tillett & Hague Technology of Silsoe, Bedfordshire.

"It uses a minimal amount of chemical compared with conventional spraying, but the exact amount will depend on the level of weed infestation," Lunn explained.

"It's getting them out into the real world that's the difficult bit. There are lots of ways we can save farmers money on chemicals but they have to invest. We are also on the cusp of legislative changes."

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