At the Sima 2022 trade fair, spot spraying technology was on display at the stand of every sprayer manufacturer.
A trend of recent years that was overwhelmingly confirmed at Sima 2022 is site-specific and plant-by-plant spraying. At previous trade fairs, mainly specialist field sprayer manufacturers showed the technology needed for this – cameras and sensors for plant recognition and pulsating nozzles (PWM). During this edition, spot spraying technology and PWM was on display at every field sprayer manufacturer’s stand.
They are clearly anticipating European plans to reduce the use of crop protection products. Significant was the news that John Deere will also supply its fairly recently proposed See & Spray spot spray technology from next spring in Europe and on the sprayers it manufactures in the Netherlands.
US manufacturer Trimble recently acquired French company Bilberry, which was one of the first manufacturers with a camera system for weed and plant recognition. Trimble now supplies both WeedSeeker technology for weed recognition on cropland (often called green-on-brown) and Bilberry for weed recognition in crops (often called green-on-green).
Another French startup, Carbon Bee, uses hyperspectral cameras for this purpose. The now much smaller cameras could be seen at Kuhn as I-Spray and at the Exel group. Depending on the brand of sprayer, the Exel group also supplies Bilberry, WEED-IT and (soon) the in-house developed 3S Spot Spray Sensor that should later also be able to apply fertilisers, fungicides and insecticides per plant.
A spray boom with PWM technology from Raven was on display at Horsch and Horsch says it is doing field tests for green-on-brown and green-on-green applications with several camera manufacturers.