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John Deere See & Spray Select uses 80% less herbicide

Growers could reduce consumption of pre-emergence herbicides by more than 80% using targeted spraying rather than blanket application judging by comparative trials with John Deere’s new See & Spray Select system.

The potential for herbicide savings emerged from comparisons of before and after tank-level sensor readings taken on John Deere sprayers operating with and without the new weed-spotting technology.

The figures were gathered across more than 30,000ha (75,000 acres) of fallow ground with a typical population of 7,400 weeds per hectare (3,000 per acre) across the United States, the Canadian Plains and Australian farms.

Camera technology locates green weeds

See & Spray Select uses camera technology to detect colour differentiation in the field to locate green weeds against the brown-to-black background of the field surface.

A squirt of dilute herbicide is triggered from individual nozzles across the boom using Deere’s ExactApply system, with the duration of each discharge adjustable to suit the sprayer’s ground speed, boom height and nozzle pressure.

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See & Spray Select uses cameras to detect green weeds against the soil’s brown-to-black background, which triggers a squirt of herbicide. - Photo: John Deere
See & Spray Select uses cameras to detect green weeds against the soil’s brown-to-black background, which triggers a squirt of herbicide. - Photo: John Deere

77% less herbicide

According to 56 agronomic studies, the system achieved a similar hit rate to broadcast spraying in terms of weeds sprayed but using 77% less herbicide on average.

Apart from the significant input cost saving, productivity gains from not having to refill the spray tank so often, and the reduced potential impact of herbicides on the soil, the technology makes measures to combat resistance more affordable.

“Farmers battling herbicide resistance in their fields can now utilise more expensive and complex tank mixes and achieve a more effective weed kill at a lower cost,” says Joel Basinger, marketing manager at John Deere.

“Research has shown that weeds sprayed with complex tank mixes with more than two modes of action are 83 times less likely to develop herbicide resistance.”

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Adjustable spray duration accounts for boom height, nozzle pressure and working speed. - Photo: John Deere
Adjustable spray duration accounts for boom height, nozzle pressure and working speed. - Photo: John Deere

Available on new John Deere 400- and 600-series self-propelled sprayers

The See & Spray Select system is currently available in North America and Australia on new John Deere 400- and 600-series self-propelled sprayers equipped with ExactApply, the four-nozzle body that provides individual or multiple nozzle selection to suit different application requirements and optimum nozzle settings across a range of working speeds.

“Fallow ground spot-spraying is only the beginning of the John Deere See & Spray journey,” says Joel Basinger. “John Deere continues working on future solutions that will provide value for both pre- and post-emerge applications in crops such as corn, soybeans and cotton.”

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