Artificial Intelligence is in a path to reduce herbicide use by 90%

October 09, 2020

New technologies help farmers manage costs through precision applications of crop protection.

Artificial intelligence is making waves across industries and sectors, contributing to both substantial revenue increases as well as declined business costs. Agricultural machinery systems that use artificial intelligence for precise agricultural functions such as fertilizer application or more efficient crop cultivation have numerous benefits for farmers. 

Precision agriculture not only improves farm productivity, it helps farmers mitigate risk by lowering operational costs and improving profitability, conserving land and water resources for longer term sustainability, and helping farmers remain competitive during unpredictable agricultural business cycles.

Artificial intelligence will also play a critical role in mitigating climate change. Nitrogen in fertilizer and manure can be a source of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. When managed properly and used in precision agriculture systems, over-application can be avoided, runoff reduced, and emissions minimized.

That’s precisely what John Deere and subsidiary technology company Blue River Technology are working on with an automated machine called “See & Spray” that utilizes artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data in conjunction with sophisticated sensors and cameras.

See & Spray differentiates between a plant and a weed with the potential to reduce herbicide use by up to 90%, optimizing environmental sustainability and significantly reducing costs for producers. Deploying precise agricultural machines with artificial intelligence will help farmers successfully control the rise of herbicide-tolerant weeds by precisely spraying herbicides only where needed.

The precision equipment leverages computer vision and machine learning technologies to resolve numerous, instantaneous, and customized decisions, increasing a farmer’s overall productivity and allowing for more precise action at a greater scale than before.

Combined, these benefits fortify farms against agriculture’s inherent and cyclical risks, while sustainably producing food for the growing global population.

Blue River Technology is based in Sunnyvale, California. (Source: Blue River Technology)
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