US: Trimble has announced that its next-generation WeedSeeker® 2 spot spray system. Building on more than 25 years of experience in agriculture, Trimble’s new sensor solution and system provides growers up to 90 percent savings in input costs when targeting and treating herbicide-resistant weeds.
Spot spray systems bring a variety of improvements over traditional agricultural spraying. By sensing individual weeds in the field and targeting them with a localized dose of herbicide, farmers can greatly reduce their usage of herbicide. Spot spraying is especially useful for fighting herbicide-resistant weeds. There are a variety of weed-killing chemicals to choose from, with more expensive chemicals typically used on herbicide-resistant weeds. By targeting resistant weeds individually, spot spray systems allow cost-effective elimination of troublesome weeds by significantly reducing the amount of higher-cost herbicides used. With reduced chemicals applied, there is also a major benefit for the environment, further promoting sustainability and stewardship on the farm.
WeedSeeker 2 brings next-generation improvements to the spot spraying market. New intelligent sensors save time in the field by eliminating the need for system resets. After a quick calibration upon powering on, WeedSeeker 2 automatically adjusts on the run to changing temperatures, ambient light, and shifting backgrounds like soil or stubble, assuring sensor accuracy in all conditions. These smart sensors also know the speed and their position on the sprayer boom. That means they won’t spray sections of the field that have already been covered, and will automatically adjust spray timing when making a turn to ensure a weed is covered.
Knowing where weeds concentrate in fields gives farmers the power to better attack them year over year. The WeedSeeker 2 system now logs every weed sprayed, so users can see in real time where there are problem areas and review detailed maps from records before the next spray. WeedSeeker 2 is lighter and more agile on the largest sprayer booms and the sensors now provide expanded coverage areas. The new spot spray system sensors improve efficiency by eliminating the need for nozzle reconfigurations while simultaneously reducing the number of sensors needed.
“Selective spraying is a great tool for weed control, especially against those that show tolerance or resistance to the most common herbicides,” said Daniel Rodriguez, WeedSeeker product manager for Trimble Agriculture. “By applying herbicide only on targeted weeds, you can save up to 90 percent on chemical costs. This makes it possible to use products with different modes of attack that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. The WeedSeeker 2 detection system allows you to use it not only on fallow fields, but also after planting, which extends the usage window of the equipment and improves field recovery.”
As a Trimble solution, the new system is fully compatible with Trimble displays, positioning services and Autopilot™ vehicle guidance. The GFX-750™ display system can quickly transition between the run screens for guidance and spot spraying while simultaneously controlling both, allowing a cleaner tractor cab and eliminating the need for multiple displays for guidance and sprayer control.
While WeedSeeker 2 is ideal for use with Trimble displays and auto-guidance, these are not required. Any ISOBUS compatible display with universal terminal capability can be used to monitor and control the new spot spray system. With an intuitive interface, the system is simple and easy to use, providing growers optimal flexibility in their farming operation.
The new universal mount allows easy installation on more sprayer boom configurations than ever before, requiring no need for custom mounting brackets. With the easy installation, farmers can get back to work in the field sooner.
The WeedSeeker 2 features a redesigned housing that is easier to clean and maintain. Channels built into the sensor housing allow liquid to drain no matter the boom position. This greatly reduces the need to clean the system due to unexpected rain or other environmental impacts.
In addition, the WeedSeeker 2’s upgraded processing power allows sprayer operating speeds of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour. Faster operating speeds allow farmers to cover more acres in a day while achieving optimal accuracy, making this a more cost effective system.
“The new WeedSeeker 2 spot spray system marks an important enhancement to our trusted precision ag portfolio,” said Abe Hughes, general manager for Trimble Agriculture. “It is a vital piece in our Trimble Connected Farm suite of precision solutions. By reducing input costs, herbicide use, run time and maintenance requirements, this system also enables producers and farmers to operate more sustainably with fewer inputs applied to the field, allowing for significant savings in costly weed resistant chemical applications. Our latest technology is a winning solution for farmers.”