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Queensland uni helps machinery giant target new spray technology | Queensland Country Life

A collaboration between global machinery giant John Deere and the University of Southern Queensland has led to the development of vision-based precision spray technology for use on fallow ground.

See & Spray Select uses integrated camera technology to rapidly detect green plants on fallow ground and automatically triggers an application of herbicide.

It’s available on Deere’s 400 and 600 Series sprayers, making it the industry’s first factory-installed targeted-spray technology.

If weed density increases in a field, the sprayer operator can switch from targeted-spray mode to traditional blanket coverage without leaving the sprayer cab.

Typical herbicide savings delivered through the technology have been estimated to average around 77 per cent.

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) provided the experimental technology underlying See & Spray Select three years ago which John Deere further developed and tested across farms in the US, Canada and Australia.

The global machinery giant released See & Spray Select earlier this month as part of its largest launch of new products in a decade.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand managing director Luke Chandler said collaborations with universities like USQ helped farmers around the world unlock the value of targeted and applied agricultural technology.

“We are delighted to have collaborated with the USQ to develop industry-leading innovation here in Australia that has potential to deliver positive changes for farmers globally,” Mr Chandler said.

“The path to greater efficiency, profitability and sustainability begins in the paddock. It is through these types of collaborations that we can create practical, simple-to-use tools and technologies that save time and input costs, and reduce impact on the natural environment, for a higher performing farm sector.”

The initial experimental work to develop the vision-based plant detection technology in See & Spray Select was funded through a combination of industry research projects from Sugar Research Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Hort Innovation and the USQ.

USQ Centre for Agricultural Engineering director Professor Craig Baillie said the technology was an excellent example of Australian research and innovation having global application and would enable Australian farmers to be at the forefront of transformative agtech.

“The USQ has a long history of focusing research on local farming issues that have relevance to Australian farmers and connecting this with large overseas markets,” Professor Baillie said.

“We work with industry and focus on solving problems through engineering solutions that will change farming practices. Our research is outcome-driven. This is the heart of what our team does.

“Industry collaborations such as this assist to sustain the development of future technologies and products which will transform agricultural industries over the years to come.”

See & Spray Select technology will be available to purchase from mid-2021.

The story Queensland uni plays big role in new John Deere sprayer technology first appeared on Farm Online.