Non-tillage weed control with small robots explored in Swiss project

Small and lightweight semi-autonomous field robots that can perform non-tillage weed control can potentially contribute to a significant increase in crop production efficiency while reducing soil pressure impact, - Photo: Twan Wiermans
Small and lightweight semi-autonomous field robots - like this Dutch Bullseye - that can perform non-tillage weed control can potentially contribute to a significant increase in crop production efficiency while reducing soil pressure impact, - Photo: Twan Wiermans

The AGCO Agriculture Foundation launches a three-year project with the Bern University of Applied Sciences that seeks to promote the application of non-tillage weed control methods using lightweight field robots.

The project will focus on non-tillage weed control methods in combination with small robots to help increase the sustainability of crop production, prevent soil compaction and minimize weed emergence.

The project work will be completed within the framework of University students’ engagement to complete master’s and bachelor’s theses on the project’s focus and other related sustainability issues. According to AGCO, emerging knowledge findings and innovations from the project will be transferred to farmers and key stakeholders to enhance sustainable crop production and on-farm operation efficiency.

Problems posed by weeds intensify

AGCO states supporting farmers to boost farm productivity becomes more important as changing climatic conditions have intensified the problems posed by weeds and continue to affect global food production. In addition, farm solutions like small and lightweight semi-autonomous field robots that can perform non-tillage weed control can potentially contribute to a significant increase in crop production efficiency while reducing soil pressure impact.

Together with the Bern University of Applied Sciences (School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences) and technical support from the AGCO Swiss Future Farm, the project will promote the use of precision-planted arable crops in rows as a substitute, making more areas available.

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming



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