Spray-on technology in focus

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The French entrepreneur who wowed crowds at the Grains Research Development Corporation’s grains research updates in February will head back to WA this month to help an Australian company launch its own green-on-brown spray technology.

Guillaume Jourdain, pictured, the co-founder of French technology start-up Bilberry, will speak at an Agrifac event in Pingrup on May 20, where the company plans to launch its new camera spray technology.

Agrifac has signed a deal to this year incorporate Bilberry’s weed recognition technology into its crop sprayers, in what is believed to be the first commercial application of the technology.

Bilberry co-founder Guillaume Jourdaine.
Camera IconBilberry co-founder Guillaume Jourdaine. Credit: Silvere Leprovost

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Coined AiCPlus, the new technology sprays unwanted plants, using an array of cameras at 3m intervals along the boom.

It uses artificial intelligence to recognise weed species, while algorithms factor in the distance from the camera to the weed, forward speed of the sprayer, and the boom height, before calculating exactly which nozzles to open and when.

The result is a small spray swath contained within 500mm of the offending weed.

So far, the technology has been tested in a green-on-brown situation, spraying green weeds in stubble, fallow fields and bare soil.

Agrifac national sales manager Mark Bastian said the event, at the Tapscott’s farm at Pingrup, was one of two in Australia, with the second pegged to be held just days later at Moree.

“It will give them a chance to see AiCPlus in action, learn how it works, and talk to Agrifac’s local and Dutch representatives about the breakthrough technology,” he said.

“Trials have revealed huge savings of water, chemical, time and money... as well as significant productivity gains.”

Mr Jourdain had crowds enthralled at the grains research updates, where he spoke about new technology designed to save farmers time and money by determining in real time where they need to spray. Bilberry plans to set up an Australian office to support its technology roll-out.

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