Give green weeds a spray

See & Spray Ultimate is John Deere’s green-on-green solution, while See & Spray Select detects green-on-brown.

John Deere has unveiled the next iteration of spraying technology to enable targeted treatment of non-residual herbicide on weeds.

In 2021, John Deere released See & Spray Select, a targeted spray solution for weeds in fallow ground. The latest release of See & Spray Ultimate takes this to the next level by targeting green weeds in green crop.

Suited, at this time, to use in cotton, corn and soybean crops, See & Spray Ultimate’s targeted spray innovation was designed by Blue River Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Deere.

John Deere’s Ben Kelly said See & Spray technologies, like autonomous machinery, would grow to become a keystone within the suite of precision agriculture tools available to farmers, to optimise performance and sustainability.

“This is an exciting advancement that is part of a spraying journey that has, over time, moved from broadcast spraying to ... now targeting individual plants using artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Mr Kelly said.

Like See & Spray Select, See & Spray Ultimate has cameras and processors mounted on the boom.

There is one camera mounted every one metre across the width of the boom, which equates to 36 cameras on a 36-metre boom scanning more than 195 square metres at once.

Operating at up to 19 km/h, See & Spray Ultimate’s targeted spray technology can help farmers reduce non-residual herbicide use in season by more than two thirds, while maintaining a hit rate comparable to traditional spraying.

This decreased herbicide use can significantly lower input costs and reduce the number of refills, helping to cover more hectares per day.

“While the initial results being seen in the US are extremely impressive and we understand that in-crop weed control is a priority for Australian farmers, it is going to take time to iterate and scale this technology into local regions,” Mr Kelly said.

“For Australian farmers, the exciting news is that the first of the See & Spray Select equipped sprayers are arriving right now.

“These were launched in limited quantities last year but will be widely available to order in mid-2022.”

He said using See & Spray Select, farmers could apply more expensive and complex tank mixes more efficiently, and easily switch from targeted to broadcast spraying without leaving the cab.

For more information about See & Spray Select, visit the John Deere website or speak to your local John Deere dealer.

See & Spray Select allows farmers to efficiently apply more complex tank mixes and to switch from targeted to broadcast spraying without leaving the cab. Photo by Dan Videtich