Herbicides... Precision weeding on your farm
Good record-keeping is the first and most effective line of defence against weeds
Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30
The precision farming concept has gained more and more interest in the last couple of years.
When I think about precision farming I think of a high-tech machine and an equally skilled farmer using the latest software that can communicate with satellites to ensure the positioning of the machine on the ground is correct to the last centimetre.
This is combined with software interacting with the machine to vary the rate of the product applied according to a pre-determined formula. Are any of these precision farming solutions useful when trying to control weeds on the farm?
There are machines which are equipped with technology that can spot the difference between weeds and the target crop.
Not just in the case of inter-row crops such as beet or vegetables, but there are also sprayers fitted with cameras that are capable of turning on and off each nozzle to deliver a selective herbicide to target individual weeds while travelling at speed.
There are plenty of farmers that would relish the prospect of a new toy like this hitting the local dealership, but the realities of the current grain price and the low margins generally clears this starry vision quite quickly. However, watch this space as technology in the near future has the potential to carry out weed mapping on certain weeds while combining or spraying.
Is there a way precision farming can be deployed for every farmer in the fight against weeds? Of course there is, but this is a low-tech precision farming solution that is affordable and doesn't need a computer degree to get it to work.
Furthermore, this precision solution can be customised to your needs but it will require intermittent attention and reviewing periodically.