Accessing the potential of soybean variable rate desiccation with WEED-IT

For the second year in a row, Rometron, the manufacturers of WEED-IT precision spraying technology, are involved in an international project for the development and implementation of technologies and know-how for smart soybean production.

Fluorescence WEED IT

The project, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and headed by Wageningen University & Research (WUR), is to deliver results on four main smart farming topics related to soybean production, weed management, pest and disease control and past and in-season data. Multiple partners from both Brazil and the Netherlands including Bioscope, Hiber, Embrapa, Hiber, Stara, Syngenta and the Federal University of Santa Maria are involved in the project that runs until 31 January 2025.

Variable rate desiccation

For 2022, tests are planned to test the potential of variable rate desiccation of soybean crops with Reglone depending on the amount of soybean biomass to be desiccated. The study aims at using WEED-IT sensors to detect the amount of biomass on the ground at the end of the season and use this information to vary the amount of end-of-season desiccant on-the-go. Soybean in test plots will be monitored using both remote sensing and chlorophyll fluorescence. The experiments will take place in the fields of the Universidad federal de Santa Maria (Brazil).

Also successful in potatoes

In 2021 an experiment was conducted in the Netherlands on a potato crop to test the possibility of establishing a relationship between biomass on the ground. The correlation between the fluorescence signal of the WEED-IT sensors and the amount of biomass measured on the ground was good suggesting the possibility of using the sensor to apply variable rate desiccant.

The first results of the project have been presented at the 22nd Brazilian Expodireto Cotrijal fair in Não-Me-Toque from 7 - 11 March. Expodireto Cotrijal is one of the largest international agribusiness fairs attracting over 256,000 visitors in 2020.

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