A new proof of concept collaboration agreement has been entered into by AGCO, alongside Robert Bosch GmbH, BASF Digital Farming and Raven Industries Inc. (NASDAQ:RAVN), with the objective of evaluating targeted spraying technology to make the application of crop protection products more effective and efficient.
To support the reduction in herbicide application, the targeted spraying concept 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 enable the precise placement of product at an individual plant level.
The initial concept is being evaluated on a Fendt Rogator sprayer in Europe, with plans to extend into 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. 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,” said Seth Crawford, senior vice president and general manager, Precision Ag and Digital for AGCO.
Alongside AGCO’s application equipment, Bosch brings its hardware, machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as digital service Xarvia Digital Farming Solutions to provide an automated, real-time agronomic decision-making engine for weed management. Raven Applied Technology is also working on sprayer and operational efficiencies to enable precision control of sprayer functions.
“Raven is excited about this collaboration. The expertise of each organization will undoubtedly provide industry-changing solutions for some of agriculture’s greatest challenges,” said Dominic Walkes, Raven Applied Technology director of strategic initiatives. “This smart spraying proof of concept is the first of many that will aid in advancing solutions for a more sustainable future.”