Equipment companies best support farmer herbicide management

Equipment companies, not herbicide manufacturers, to better support farmers’ herbicide management

By Shane Thomas, Upstream Ag Insights

In his Upstream Ag Insights – July 24 edition, analyst Shane Thomas says that if we were ever to see products – like The Weed Seed Destroyer – become mainstream on combines, it could significantly help reduce tolerance to leaks. of weed seeds in a specific area.

In his July 24, 2022 newsletter, he highlighted two previous articles to illustrate his point.

Farm invention harnesses LED light inside combine to kill weed seeds – AgWeb

The weed seed destroyer is a bolt-on combination unit using gentle heating and intense LED rays to saturate weed seeds as they pass with the flow of husks during harvest, and the seed destroying device is ready for spring cutting trials in Tennessee wheat and Ohio barley. .

“Blue LED light is going to become a regular tool for weed control in agriculture,” says Jon Jackson, the innovator behind the Weed Seed Destroyer. This type of agricultural technology is developing faster than people think.

Keeping with the weed management theme, this is an interesting technology to help manage herbicide resistance and the weed seed bank in general. The Harrington Seed Destructor has similar abilities in that it can eliminate leaking weeds during harvest. However, instead of clearing the seed like the seed destroyer, the “weed seed destroyer”, a tube and auger system attached to the back of a combine, heats and exposes the seeds to blue LED lights making them unable to germinate.

How does it work ?

It significantly reduced the average percentage of total germination for 4 weed species, morning glory, common millet, common ragweed and pigweed. For seeds treated with directed energy for 4 seconds, average total seed germination was reduced by 97-99%.

According to Lowell, the stationary unit showed a high level of efficiency. “It killed almost 100% of the weed seeds – four different types. It seems to depend on the size of the seeds; maybe the bigger the seed, the more exposure needed.

Interesting technology. The combine harvester with tools bolted to it will be a key part of effective herbicide and weed management. When I look at a company like John Deere, they’re actually in a better position to support farmers’ management of herbicides than traditional herbicide manufacturing companies because of the ability to integrate this type of technology into their equipment and to have smart spraying capabilities that are part of their sprayer. equipment. It is interesting to reflect from this specific framework and what it means for herbicide manufacturing companies.

Carbon Robotics unveils new agricultural technology that kills weeds with a laser – Robotics and Automation

Carbon Robotics, an agricultural robotics company, has unveiled its LaserWeeder 2022 tool, an autonomous laser weeding robot that attaches seamlessly to the back of tractors.

Along with an updated version, the 2022 LaserWeeder features 30 industrial CO2 lasers, more than 3 times the lasers of Carbon Robotics’ standalone LaserWeeder, creating an average weeding capacity of two acres per hour.

Electric weeding is something we hear more and more about. Last week, Nufarm discussed some of the electric weeding capabilities of, with whom they are in partnership.

The notable aspect of Carbon Robotics for me is the current speed. They focus on higher value, low acreage vegetables and crops, but 2 acres per hour is still particularly slow. A few weeks ago I broke down Aigen activity by how fast they are, which is also relevant to consider within the limits of power weeding.

KING: Growers using Carbon Robotics tools realize up to 80% savings in weed management costs, with a payback period of 2-3 years.

It is remarkable the number of upcoming technologies for weed management:

  • electric weeding (above or
  • autonomous mechanical weeding (Aigen)
  • smart spraying (Blue River at John Deere)
  • physical destruction (eHarrington Weed Destructor)
  • LED seed display (seed destroyer referenced above)
  • drone spraying (more precise Rantizo applications)

That’s not even counting the new computational capabilities used by major herbicide manufacturers to discover new active ingredients, cover crops/intercrops (basic IPMs) or coating capabilities (like ESN for herbicides granular) or the allelopathic capacities of plant regulation via genetics. engineering.

The toolkit expands for farmers to control weeds and manage herbicide resistance. If the industry ends up losing the ability to use glyphosate, that encourages the technology being developed to hopefully fill the void.

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