See & SprayTM Select uses integrated camera technology to rapidly detect green plants within fallow ground and automatically triggers an application of herbicide. It’s available on new 400 and 600 Series Sprayers from John Deere, making it the industry’s first factory-installed targeted-spray solution. As weed pressure increases across a field, the sprayer operator can switch from an effective targeted-spray solution to a highly productive traditional broadcast machine without leaving the sprayer cab, giving farmers two time-saving sprayers in one. Typical herbicide savings delivered through the technology average 77%*.
The University of Southern Queensland provided the experimental technology underlying See & Spray Select three years ago, which John Deere further developed and tested the technology across farms in the United States, Canada, and Australia before releasing See & Spray Select globally last week as part of its largest launch of new products in a decade.
John Deere Australia / New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Chandler, said collaborations such as this are a powerful pathway to helping farmers around the world unlock the value of targeted and applied agricultural technology.
“We are delighted to have collaborated with the University of Southern Queensland to develop industry-leading innovation here in Australia that has potential to deliver positive and impactful changes for farmers globally,” Mr Chandler said.
“The path to greater efficiency, profitability and sustainability begins in the paddock. It is through these types of collaborations that we can create practical, simple-to-use tools and technologies that save time and input costs, and reduce impact on the natural environment, for a higher performing farm sector.”
The initial experimental work to develop the vision-based plant detection technology in See & Spray Select was funded through a combination of industry research projects from Sugar Research Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Hort Innovation, and the University of Southern Queensland.
University of Southern Queensland Centre for Agricultural Engineering Director, Professor Craig Baillie, said the technology is an excellent example of Australian research and innovation having global application, and will enable Australian farmers to be at the forefront of transformative AgTech.
“The University of Southern Queensland has a long history of focusing research on local farming issues that have relevance to Australian farmers and connecting this with large overseas markets,” Professor Baillie said.
“We work with industry and focus on solving problems through engineering solutions that will change farming practices. Our research is outcome-driven. This is the heart of what our team does.
“Industry collaborations such as this assist to sustain the development of future technologies and products which will transform agricultural industries over the years to come.”
See & Spray Select is available to purchase from mid 2021. For more information visit the John Deere website or visit your local John Deere Dealer.
*Based on tank-level sensor values taken at a steady state on John Deere sprayers equipped with and without See & Spray™ Select, before and after covering 75,000 acres of fallow ground with a typical weed pressure of 3,000 weeds per acre, using small and medium spray-length settings starting at 2.3 to 3.2 ft. (0.7 to 1 m), and average growing conditions (seasonal precipitation and temperature) across the US and Canadian Plains and Australian farms. Spray-length settings varied based on ground speed, spray pressure, and boom height. Sprayers were equipped with current hardware and software at time of study. Individual results may vary based on field and growing conditions, weed pressure, spray-length settings, and software version.
University of Southern Queensland Centre for Agricultural Engineering Director Professor Craig Baillie (USQ Photography).