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David Sparks Ph.d WEEDit
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 23, 2018

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Talk about space-age technology, holy cow. I saw an article saying that Derek Schaefer, a farmer in Eastern Washington saved $70,000 off his herbicide bill in one year using a technology provided by a company called WEEDit and saw they had a video on YouTube so I took a look. In the video you see a John Deere tractor outfitted with a huge spray boom and right under the boom you see what looks like a red laser light. The entire rig-up is traveling at about 15 mph and Weedit claims that because of the relatively high speed, the cost of the herbicide it is delivering is reduced by 90%. There are sensors on the boom about every 3 feet and approximately 40 inches above the ground in order to overcome shading of weeds behind stubble. Each sensor is divided into five strips about 8 inches apart. At every strip 8 inches apart there is a solenoid to spray only where it is needed. This makes the Weedit save as much chemical as possible.The light is an LED source enabling it to detect the smallest weeds. The LED detects the speed that the boom is traveling and adjusts the spray accordingly so the super fast acting solenoids make the spray targeted at the weed at precisely the correct time, every time. With the new pulse width modulation technology the chemical rate of the spray is the same all the time regardless of the speed the machine is traveling. WEEDit doesn’t require any background calibration. It’s calibration is all automatic which means you can have optimal performance across the entire field. It operates in the dark as well as day so you can spray at the time that suits you best. In the words of the Australian video man, “Save chemicals, increase efficiency and use world leading sprayer technology with WEEDit spot on spraying.” Saving money and reducing chemicals. That’s spot on.

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