UK- Bosch has teamed up BASF Digital Farming and Chafer Machinery to develop a long-lasting solution to the recurring issue of Black-grass in UK farms.
Black grass is a weed that inhibits the growth of wheat crops, reducing their yield and therefore damaging the productivity of farms.
It is one of the largest problems facing UK farmers today and is endangering the long-term viability of the country’s cereal industry.
Experts from Bosch and its partners will rely on precision farming technology and artificial intelligence to help reduce the persistent problem of Black-grass in UK farms.
Renowned academic experts on Black-grass from Rothamsted Research will advise and support them as they work together.
Bosch, one of the top providers of sensor and software technologies, will oversee the project in partnership with BASF Digital Farming, a leader in digital farming, and Chafer Machinery, a developer of sprayers.
Together they have been awarded a grant of £1,452,614 (US$1.39m) from DEFRA and Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, under the Farming Innovation Programme – Small R&D Partnership Projects.
Chafer will create cutting-edge boom sprayers using the Bosch Smart Spraying camera technology and software to find, identify, and map Blackgrass in cereal crops at various growth stages across a farm.
Commercial farms selected from the Rothamsted Black-Grass Research Initiative will test the smart sprayer technology (BGRI).
The photos will be labeled by agronomists from Rothamsted, who will also help Bosch train its algorithms to identify black grass in cereal crops.
BASF Digital Farming will process and analyzes the data before delivering it to its advanced Xarvio Digital Farming Solutions crop optimization platform.
To facilitate the creation of integrated weed management plans for targeted Black-grass control, the data will be used in the platform to map in field populations.
Up to 800,000 tons of wheat are thought to be lost annually due to the weed, resulting in economic losses of about £400 m (US$383m).
With this project, the severity of the ongoing Black-grass issue should decrease, and improved sustainable Black-grass management programs are the goal with improved mapping.
Along with better Black-grass management, the research might also lead to lower in-field pesticide spraying volumes.
By doing so, the possibility of unwanted direct effects on other organisms and leakage into other susceptible habitats, including streams, would be minimized.
Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro-industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE