BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A new application technology that enables targeted spraying of weeds without herbicide residue will be introduced on a limited basis in model year 2023 in certain regions, including central Illinois.
The John Deere See and Spray Ultimate, a factory installed application system, was unveiled at the Midwest Ag Industries Exposition.
“See and Spray Ultimate combines computer vision, machine learning technology with a new boom and dual product solution system to provide our customers with a truly effective, targeted in-season spray application,” said Franklin Peitz, John Deere sprayer marketing manager.
See and Spray Ultimate’s targeted spray technology was developed by Blue River Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Deere.
weed in the eye
Cameras and processors mounted on John Deere’s new carbon fiber truss boom use the combined power of computer vision and machine learning to detect weeds on crops.
One camera is mounted every meter across the width of the boom, which equates to 36 cameras scanning more than 2,100 square feet at a time.
Target spray accuracy is enhanced with BoomTrac Ultimate, John Deere’s new boom height control system.
“These cameras are the eyes of this system. The processors are the brains. The eyes look down to determine what a weed is, what a crop is, and the processors then send a signal down the nozzle to turn the nozzle on exactly where the weed is,” Peitz said.
“The process from scanning to identification to spraying takes about 0.2 seconds, or the blink of an eye, and that’s up to 12 miles per hour. This system can be used in corn, soybeans and cotton.
“When you are in a soybean field, simply tell the system that you are planting soybeans. It will identify each individual soybean plant and spray everything that isn’t soybean. This could be a weed or broadleaf corn.
“See and Spray Ultimate’s targeted spray technology can help farmers reduce their use of non-residual herbicides by more than two-thirds and maintain a hit rate comparable to traditional spraying. For farmers, this reduced herbicide use can significantly reduce herbicide costs, reduce tender freezes, and help them cover more hectares per day.”
Another key component of See and Spray Ultimate is the split tank with dual product capability that helps growers better control weeds and combat herbicide resistance.
“With this two product solution system you basically have two sprayers in one. We have independent piping going to our nozzle body in two different ports so there is no contamination. If you want to apply a fungicide and at the same time see and spray a non-residue herbicide just to get rid of weeds that are left in the field, you can do that too,” Peitz said.
“We’re basically getting two passes in one, reducing compaction and covering more acres efficiently.”
Two tank options are available, 1,200 and 1,000 gallons. The 1,200 gallon option is split into a 450 gallon tank for targeted spraying and a 750 gallon tank for spread spraying.
The 1,000 gallon option is split into a 350 gallon tank for targeted spraying and a 650 gallon tank for spread spraying.
2023 model year John Deere sprayers come factory equipped with JDLink connectivity as well as a new integrated StarFire 7000 GPS receiver and Generation 4 CommandCenter display.
The StarFire 7000 receiver builds on the success of its predecessors and brings a new type of RTK signal, SF-RTK, to the market. SF-RTK is the easiest to use RTK solution that relies solely on satellite communication.
These combined technologies allow the operator to reduce overlap and maximize input, all with less stress.
As See and Spray Ultimate drives across the field, the Gen 4 display allows a farmer to analyze savings by seeing how much ground has been covered versus the amount that was sprayed.
After a pass has been performed, a map showing the weed pressure in each field is available in the John Deere Operations Center. This allows a farmer to compare the weed map to his yield map and make decisions about his weed control program.
Peitz said these analytics tools provide insights to make more informed field service management decisions year after year.
“From a sustainability standpoint, See and Spray Ultimate can help farmers use less herbicides and reduce drift opportunities, and that’s better for everyone,” Peitz said.