Helping farmers to treat their crops better, by limiting the quantity of herbicides to reduce the bill and better respect the environment, these are questions that constantly agitate agricultural manufacturers. The companies BASF, its subsidiary Xarvio and Amazone, presented the Smart Spraying Solution, a brand new 36-meter spray boom which will be marketed in 2024. According to the tests carried out, it would save up to 70% of herbicides.
“We are lucky to have in France, here in Courbes, one of the four devices present in Europe, developed by BASF with the integration of artificial intelligence from Xarvio and the know-how of Amazon, in the construction of agricultural equipment »explains Jérôme Clair, manager Xarvio Digital Farming Solutions.
If these firms, all of German origin, have decided to present one of these devices in France, an already very successful prototype, it is because the French market is very important. For Amazon, for example, the turnover of the company, – almost perfect namesake of the e-commerce giant but which has existed since 1883 – amounted to 655 million euros in 2021, including 100 made in France. The solution developed will also initially adapt to sugar beet and corn crops, both of which are very common in Hauts-de-France and Aisne.
The equipment presented incorporates state-of-the-art technology: high-resolution multi-spectral cameras to identify living plants in the plot, artificial intelligence to recognize weeds or weeds, processors to generate 500 images per camera and per hectare and to scan each plot. All this allows a camera/spray reaction time of 65 milliseconds when treating at a speed of 12 km/h.
Xarvio also provides the farmer with a complete digital tool allowing him to create one task per plot, select the herbicide program and the appropriate products, all of which is transferred to the machine. Once the treatment has been carried out, the data for it are then available on the farmer’s smartphone, who will be able to view the quantity of herbicides applied, plot by plot, also allowing him to know thanks to maps generated by the program. , where it was necessary to apply the most products.
Initially, the solution can be applied pre-sowing for all crops generating herbicide savings of 90% as well as post-emergence on soybean, corn and beet crops, generating up to -70% herbicides.
Subsequently, it will be possible to apply the Smart Spraying Solution to cotton, sunflower, wheat, leguminous and rapeseed crops. “The technology can also be developed in the future for new uses such as fungicides, growth regulators, liquid fertilizers”assures Céline Rathuéville, communication manager at Amazone France.
To buy the solution, you will have to count on a double price compared to conventional sprayers. BASF intends to attract large farms, groups of farmers or companies that provide agricultural services. The company that sells phytosanitary products itself accepts the paradox that there may be developing products aimed at reducing the use of these products at the same time.
“Both French and European regulations are leading to an ever greater reduction in inputs, including phytosanitary products, and to a reduction in the carbon footprint in general. So we are taking the side of supporting the farmers engaged in this third agricultural revolution which will be based on the robotization and digitalization of production tools »emphasizes Jérôme Clair of Xarvio, a subsidiary of BASF.
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Curves: the Smart Spraying Solution reduces the consumption of herbicides in the fields | Picardy the Gazette
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