Plant protection activities, like the application of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides, are most important practices during crop production in agriculture. Conventional agricultural spraying techniques have made the inconsistency between economic growth and environmental protection in agricultural production.
From this point of view, Robs4Crops works on the advancement in agriculture sprayer in order to help farmers in reducing the labour costs and making positive impact in environmental protection.
Our team in Spain achieved some great results during the first season. In order to properly tackle the plant protection activities, they started with testing the automatic sprayer by Teyme in different leaf density fields, specifically, how the cameras are influenced.
What they were able to see is that in young fields (with less leaf density) the cameras had some problems to detect the leaf density. Because of this, the nozzles were open and closed in wrong moments. Why was this happening? Well, our team discovered that the cameras were actually mostly influenced by the sunlight. This is a problem because in young fields, where the leaf density decreases, the quantity per hectare that should be applied to the trees most likely will not be the correct one.
Robs4Crops team in Spain learned that it is very important to test everything that is involved in the control of the sprayer in different kinds of fields, because the data you don’t think you need might just be the most important data you never knew you needed.
With great results from 2022, the team is ready to confront next year, when they will test the collaborative work of the retrofitted tractor and smart sprayer. We can genuinely say that our aim to reduce the time of a farmer being in the contact with chemical products during the spraying season, and to reduce the quantity of product applied to apple trees, is going really well.
Wageningen University & Research
Department of Agrosystems Research
PO Box 16
6700 AA Wageningen
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101016807.
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