New sprayer technology uses blue lights to spot spray

Technology and innovations in agriculture are continuously changing and evolving, but over the past while, there has been a bit of a surge in sprayer technology.

Due in part to herbicide resistance, cost of chemicals rising, and a need for efficiency, sprayer technology is ever-changing.

Tom Wolf, of Agrimetrix and Sprayers 101.com, was at Ag in Motion this year, showcasing one of the innovations at the show — the WEEDit sprayer.

“The WEEDit sprayer is an innovation that had it’s origins in the Netherlands, and it senses green, leafy material on a non-green background,” he explains. “Basically it’s a spot sprayer. So you would go into a field with pre-seed burnoff with say a glyphosate tank mix and you would spray just the weeds, and you would save around 75 per cent on average of the chemical.”

(Wolf shows off some of the fun the programmers have had with the system in the clip below)

According to Wolf, the blue-light emitting sprayer has been marketed in Australia by Croplands (owned by Nufarm) for eight to 10 years, and it has been announced as of 2019 that Croplands is also the distributor for Canada.

“It measures that reflected light off of that blue light. So it’s a specific wavelength, and anything that contains chlorophyll reflects a slightly different wavelength. (The unit) picks that up, and says, ‘hey, that has to be a plant; therefore I’m going to spray it.’ And that whole decision takes a few milliseconds.”

To learn more about the WEEDit system, watch the video filmed at Ag In Motion in Saskatchewan, below:

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