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  • Writer's picturePrecision Ag Reviews

Bosch BASF Smart Sprayer Partnership Promises Results

The new Bosch BASF partnership, Smart Farming, will soon introduce a new “SmartSprayer” that promises to deliver conservation results and save money for farmers in the U.S. and around the world, to the tune of up to 70 percent cost savings on herbicides.

The new spraying technology uses cameras and additional lighting sources to identify weeds in the field – both before crops are present (green on brown) and after (green on green) – and target herbicide applications only on the weed and only where needed in the fields.

A map showing herbicide applications is developed as the new sprayer technology crosses the field, giving farmers the data they need to develop longer-term tracking of herbicide applications across all their acres.

The new technology attempts to overcome the environment to deliver better results than are currently on the market. For example, where lighting and shadows from narrower rows or edge of field changes have impacted weed recognition in the past, the SmartSprayer will use its own lighting system to provide even more lighting and allow precise cameras to better weed recognition.

According to Matt Leininger, managing director for North America for the new Bosch BASF joint venture, “Our purpose is to get a better efficacy of false negatives. What I mean by false negatives is if the sprayer missed the weed. We understand that from the farmer's point of view, we have no room for error. The lighting will help keep that false-negative down to a minimum.”

The joint venture has another partner, Raven.

Interfacing with Raven has a couple of significant benefits, one of which is that the Raven system comes with a workable user interface, which means that SmartSprayer doesn’t have to come up with its own. For farmers already using a Raven system, this also limits the need to learn another new system.

Raven also works with most major sprayer brands, and the partnership will give SmartSprayer access to most farmers using most sprayers in their fields.

“Raven is present with many, many sprayer brands. When we have an integration with Raven, we can use that on different kinds of machines. Secondly, Raven control modules are a wired system into the cabbing. They have a user interface for the system. We don’t have to program a specific user interface for each machine. We can directly use the Raven control system,” said Vincent Orliange, project director for Robert Bosch.

Although the SmartSprayer technology isn’t commercially available yet, it is out on some American fields, testing and refining the technology that will make it a better weed control option that saves farmers money on herbicides and helps farmers meet conservation and environmental goals on their farms.

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