Articles and Insights
Spot spraying, sometimes called precision or selective spraying, in agriculture is the application of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers with precision and accuracy to minimise waste, reduce environmental impact, and increase efficiency.
The importance of precision spraying in Australian agriculture can not be overemphasised, as it has significant economic and environmental benefits.
What is Precision Spraying?
Precision spraying is a technique that relies on the use of advanced technologies such GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems). With the help of HARDI’s GeoSelect system, farmers can create maps of their fields with the exact location of every weed (as small as 1cm2). This information is then used by the sprayer to tailor the application of chemicals to the right areas which ensures that the chemical is sprayed only where it is needed.
Because GeoSelect only targets the weeds instead of spraying the entire paddock farmers will reduce the amount of chemicals used. As a result, farmers are able to reduce their costs while maintaining the quality of their produce.
Using HARDI’s GeoSelect can lead up to savings in chemical costs by up to 90%.
Another benefit is that using spot spraying will reduce the risk of resistance to chemicals. Herbicide resistance has been called the number one threat to conventional herbicide-based weed management. Australia alone has almost 90 herbicide resistant weeds (weedscience.org). Research by GRDC estimated that the cost of herbicide resistance to the Australian grain industry to be $1.5 billion per year. Everytime we use chemicals incorrectly, we also increase the risk of resistance to that chemical.
Precision spraying, by contrast, ensures that the chemicals are only applied where they are needed in the correct amount, reducing the risk of resistance developing. It will also allow farmers to use more effective (but often more expensive) chemicals knowing these chemicals are not being wasted.
Improved crop quality: Precision spraying ensures that crops receive the right amount of nutrients and protection from pests and diseases, which can improve crop quality and yield. This is particularly important in high-value crops where quality is paramount.
GeoSelect knows where it has sprayed. This means that if the sprayer boom moves over an area that has already been sprayed, the corresponding nozzles will switch off, reducing the risk over overspraying.
Precision spraying reduces the amount of chemicals applied to crops, which helps to
With GeoSelect, a farmer can save valuable time because he/she knows exactly how much chemicals are needed before they start to spray. Weed infestation areas can be identified and recommendations can be made as to what speed is optimal, saving time traversing light weed areas. Even better, GeoSelect will also tell when the sprayer can skip certain run lines if there are no weeds in that area. Something that is not possible using camera based spot spraying systems.
Overall, precision spraying in agriculture is essential for improving the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of modern farming practices. It provides farmers with a powerful tool for managing their crops in a way that is both environmentally responsible and economically viable.More information about HARDI’s selective spraying options