Product overview

DAT has developed a system for real-time patch spraying consisting of:

  1. A patented camera and control unit for attachment to the spraying boom
  2. Software for instant detection and classification of weeds, and the status of immature crops
  3. Expertise on optimal thresholds for spraying

Background for patch spraying

Substantial parts of agricultural fields do not need herbicide treatment due to low concentration of weeds

  • Herbicides kill or reduce the growth of weeds, but spraying may also cause damage to the crop plants
  • Herbicide residues may be left in crop plants, soil, air and water
  • The distribution of weeds in a field is often concentrated in limited areas, thus large quantities of herbicides are unnecessarily sprayed in areas with few weed plants
  • Less use of herbicides reduces the risk of developing resistant weeds

Site specific weed management

The main obstacle for patch spraying is the lack of automated detection and classification of weeds

  • An increased focus on herbicide reduction has led to a large number of research projects focused on patch spraying and robotic weeding over the last decade
  • Several trials in Europe have shown a great potential for reducing the use of herbicides
  • Patch spraying is a method to adjust the application of herbicide to match localised conditions and account for in-field variability
  • Real-time applications demands much faster algorithms and equipment, but saves a lot of time and costs for the farmer
  • Weed mapping prior to spraying is easier, but involves an extra pass and the making of spraying maps

The camera

A patented camera to photograph quality pictures for detection and classification of weeds

  • Pictures are taken with short shutter times to avoid the blurring caused by the rapid movement across the field
  • The camera uses a small aperture and picture chip to achieve sufficient depth of field, as the distance from the camera to the field varies
  • Artificial lighting is used to increase the quantity of light and to fill shadowed spots
  • A generated air flow around the lens prevents dust and spray mist from adhering to the lens

The adjustable arm