Every year we need to apply post-emergence herbicide in our maize fields. To do this, we had to signal in each field, those where the pre-emergence herbicide hadn’t prevented the weeds from grassing.
However, due to the large extent of the fields (+ 500 ha), it could lead to mistakes in evaluating the need for application and many times we ended up applying an extremely expensive herbicide throughout the field, sometimes even in areas where there were no weeds at all, with a great impact on the health of our crop.
Thus, it was necessary to know exactly the extent of the presence of weeds and the economic level of attack, which would justify the application of herbicide.
A new remote weed detection technology was born.
Recently, we’ve introduced drones in our operations, a tool that is quite simple and low cost. Using software (Drone Deploy) we can now create a flight plan that follows a matrix covering the entire field, taking photographs along the way.
After the flight, we get about 300 photographs for a field of approximately 20 ha, which are then processed in the cloud and rendered in a single high-resolution image (up to 1cm /pixel). The software can then identify the concentration of weeds and almost automatically define an application prescription to the areas where the concentration of weeds is justified.
This prescription is then sent to a tablet in the cabin of the tractor with the sprayer which can be manually operated to only apply herbicide in the georeferenced areas with weeds avoiding the other areas.
Thanks to this tool, we’ve been able to reduce application times and usage of herbicide by around 80% with enormous economic and environmental benefits and with the certainty of only be applying this product where it’s essential for the development of our crop.
Have a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INtbXBWl72U&t=19s