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AMAZONE spot spraying technology takes to the field

Published on 02 June 2021

LEADING European farm machinery manufacturer, AMAZONE, will commence testing its high-tech UX 5201 SmartSprayer trailed spot-spraying unit this spring.

Developed in collaboration with Bosch and BASF Digital Farming, the technology is capable of spot-spraying individual plants with pinpoint accuracy at working speeds of up to 12 km/h and all light conditions.

AMAZONE’s ContourControl active boom guidance and SwingStop active vibration damping systems further enhance accuracy and operational efficiency.

CLAAS Harvest Centre General Manager – Product, Tim Needham, says the SmartSprayer system incorporates Bosch infrared sensors mounted every metre along the 36 metre boom. “Bosch’s image recognition system detects any weeds, even at a very early growth stage, in milliseconds,” he says. “The sensors detect chlorophyll, which is the ‘signature’ of green plants. Each sensor monitors a 100 cm wide band divided into four sectors.”

BASF’s xarvio agronomic decision-making platform then considers a number of parameters, including crop, weed spectrum and weather conditions, to determine the appropriate treatment, nozzle and application rate. Pulse width frequency modulation (PWFM) valves then activate selected Agrotop Spot Fan nozzles, which are mounted at 25 cm intervals, to apply the herbicide exactly at the desired position.

“These valves can be opened or closed – or the application rate adjusted from 30 to 100 percent – in two milliseconds whilst maintaining the desired spray pressure and droplet size.”

Specially-developed LED lighting technology provides support in difficult ambient conditions or at night. Full-area application from an additional tank is also possible on the same pass with a twin line system.

Tim says spot-spraying technology can significantly reduce spraying costs and the amount of chemical entering the environment. “Spot spraying can slash input costs by up to 90 percent compared to full-field treatment, depending on the weed pressure and field conditions,” he says.

“This technology ensures that the right herbicide is applied to the right place and at the right application rate. “It can also significantly reduce spraying costs by reducing the number of refills required and thus increasing in the number of hectares that can be treated each day.” He expects AMAZONE SmartSprayer technology will become commercially available in Australia and New Zealand in the coming years.

  • AMAZONE’s UX SmartSprayer trailed sprayer could significantly reduce spraying costs.
  • The camera and lighting systems are optimally integrated into the spray boom.
  • The specially-developed LED lighting technology ensure reliable operation, even at night.
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