Digital Technology Meets Agronomy

Pam Smith for The Progressive Farmer:  Spraying for agronomic pests is getting smarter. That was one of the messages today as journalists around the world gathered at Bayer's Future of Farming Dialogue.

Drones buzzed overhead a tractor and spray boom projected images to simulate how spray nozzles can use new technology to spray only where weeds had escaped previous controls and address only those problem areas. It's called Field Manager and it is already being tested in Brazil, said Bayer's Digital Farming Global Commercialization Manager Rosyln Chua. The company is also heavily testing the concept in Canadian canola fields and the first U.S. applications are expected to come in testing fungicide treatments in the Corn Belt, she added. The whole idea is to find ways to use crop protection chemicals, but in more economical and environmentally friendly ways.

The concept offers potential in resistance management, too. The theory is weeds could be identified, assessed and targeted with alternative active ingredients.

Earlier this month, Bayer announced a three-year research collaboration agreement with Bosch to develop "Smart Spraying" technology. Bayer will contribute the agronomic decision-making components and knowledge of pest management, formulation and application technology. Bosch, the maker of many high-end consumer goods, brings expertise in sensor technology, smart analytics and selective spray systems.  Full Article:

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