JD, USQ join forces to deliver new era in spraying technology

Grain Central, March 15, 2021

USQ Professor Craig Baillie says the collaboration between the university and John Deere has led to the development of vision-based plant detection and precision sprayer technology.

A COLLABORATION between John Deere and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has led to the development of vision-based precision spray technology for use on fallow ground that will reduce input costs and minimise environmental impact in farming businesses across the globe.

See & SprayTM Select uses integrated camera technology to rapidly detect green plants within fallow ground and automatically triggers an application of herbicide.

It’s available on new 400 and 600 Series Sprayers from John Deere, making it the industry’s first factory-installed targeted-spray solution.

As weed pressure increases across a field, the sprayer operator can switch from an effective targeted-spray solution to a highly productive traditional broadcast machine without leaving the sprayer cab, giving farmers two time-saving sprayers in one.

Typical herbicide savings delivered through the technology average 77 per cent.

Global testing

USQ provided the experimental technology underlying See & Spray Select three years ago, which John Deere further developed and tested the technology across farms in the United States, Canada, and Australia before releasing See & Spray Select globally last week as part of its largest launch of new products in a decade.

John Deere Australia/New Zealand managing director, Luke Chandler, said partnerships such as this were a powerful pathway to helping farmers around the world unlock the value of targeted and applied agricultural technology.

“We are delighted to have collaborated with the University of Southern Queensland to develop industry-leading innovation here in Australia that has potential to deliver positive and impactful changes for farmers globally,” Mr Chandler said.

“The path to greater efficiency, profitability and sustainability begins in the paddock. It is through these types of partnerships that we can create practical, simple-to-use tools and technologies that save time and input costs, and reduce impact on the natural environment, for a higher performing farm sector.”

Australian innovation

The initial experimental work to develop the vision-based plant detection technology in See & Spray Select was funded through a combination of industry research projects from Sugar Research Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Hort Innovation, and USQ.

USQ Centre for Agricultural Engineering Director, Professor Craig Baillie, said the technology was an excellent example of Australian research and innovation having global application, and wouldl enable Australian farmers to be at the forefront of transformative AgTech.

“The University of Southern Queensland has a long history of focusing research on local farming issues that have relevance to Australian farmers and connecting this with large overseas markets,” Professor Baillie said.

“We work with industry and focus on solving problems through engineering solutions that will change farming practices. Our research is outcome-driven. This is the heart of what our team does.

“This collaboration also highlights the importance of industry partnerships to sustain the development of future technologies and products that will transform agricultural industries over the years to come.”

Source: USQ




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