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Robotti to reduce herbicide usage in sugar beets

Using a Robotti tool carrier a 70% reduction in herbicide usage in sugar beets was achieved in Denmark.

The Danish Nordic Beet Research will invest in the autonomous working tool carrier Robotti from AgroIntelli. After promising tests in 2019, the research institute wants to further investigate to what extent the robot can help reduce use of herbicides in sugar beets while simultaneously reducing the amount of labour.

Robotti for sowing and spraying

The Robotti – with extremely precise RTK GPS – is equipped with a seed drill, hoes or a row sprayer. Last year’s exploratory tests were carried out on a 2-hectare section within a larger beet plot.

The self-propelled implement carrier has sown, sprayed herbicides three times between the rows and weed twice in the row. The remaining part of the plot was conventionally sown and only sprayed three times against weeds.

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The Robotti, equipped with a beet planter, was used for both sowing and spraying. - Photo: Lycke Kommunikation
The Robotti, equipped with a beet planter, was used for both sowing and spraying. - Photo: Lycke Kommunikation

70% less usage of herbicides

The Robotti part of the beet field was kept weed free with 70% less usage of herbicides than on the part around it. Only some thistles survived the row spraying, but they were later mechanically removed.

The capacity was 2 hectares per hour for sowing and row cleaning. Band spraying was carried out at 5 kilometers per hour with a 15-centimeter band over the crop, with 35 centimeters between the rows that had not been sprayed.

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Reducing labor needs

In the coming period, Nordic Beet Research also wants to find out in detail the extent to which the robot contributes to reducing labor needs. It is also being investigated to what extent the Robotti can stimulate the cultivation of organic sugar beet.

Also read: Self-learning sprayer not yet fully practice-ready

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