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By Rhonda Brooks, The Scoop magazine

The system includes two tanks and two sets of spray nozzles, offering farmers increased efficiency for product applications. (BASF and Bosch)
A new weed-control system is upping the ante on broadleaf weeds and grasses that plague corn and soybean crops, protecting farmers' potential profits in the process.

Called the Smart Spraying solution, the technology uses a sophisticated set of software and hardware to identify weeds, signal a set of nozzles to spray product and record the data in real time for farmers to review later at their convenience - all in milliseconds.

The system is the offspring of a joint venture between BASF and Bosch, according to Matt Leininger, managing director of North America Bosch BASF Smart Farming. The companies have been working together to develop the system since 2016.

"Bosch is known for their cutting-edge hardware, connectivity capabilities and work with OEMs (original equipment manufacturer), while BASF provides the weed-control know how and machine learning capabilities," Leininger says. "The partnership is helping us deliver an exciting solution to weed control neither company could develop on its own."

How It Works

graphic illustration of sprayer systemIn simple terms, the Smart Spraying solution works by photographing weeds - more than 1,000 per second - with cameras that cover the entire operating range of the sprayer. The cameras are positioned about every meter, Leininger says. Lighting units are also in place to eliminate any shadows.

Classic, deep-learning algorithms for computer vision are then used to recognize the different plants and distinguish between weeds and crops. Finally, the software automatically selects the type of herbicide to spray and signals the sprayer where to work.

To view the complete report, click here.

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