Continuing with the precision agriculture topic (also known as digital agriculture) that my colleagues have mentioned during the past few weeks, I concur that it offers new possibilities to advance sustainability and efficiency in agriculture. However, in my opinion, each of the different technologies mentioned (the use of drones, unmanned vehicles (robots), precision flamers, lasers, etc.) could have particular cropping systems (situations) where they fit better to save costs while improving weed control.
One precision technology, that has not been mentioned so far and that can be beneficial for some of the cropping systems in the region, and particularly for the winter wheat – fallow rotation, is real-time precision spraying systems that do not require a weed map for the spot application. These systems are designed to differentiate weeds from soil with optical sensors that turn individual spray nozzles on and off to minimize coverage of weed-free soil. Two optical spot spraying systems that are currently available to farmers in the region and have the potential of reducing herbicide costs are WEED-IT® and WeedSeeker®.