Self-propelled crop sprayers, with booms over 24m wide, are ubiquitous tools in agriculture, with a global market worth $1.6bn.
However, boom levelling and height control during crop spraying is extremely challenging. Existing systems are slow to react, with inadequate ‘after the event’ correcting mechanisms. This can lead to inefficient application and spray drift, resulting in both poor pesticide performance and environmental contamination.
This Ceres project is developing a first-in-class, highly accurate boom controller that can quickly adapt to uneven crops and changes in terrain. Benefits to farmers include improved pesticide application and operational efficiency. Wider benefits include reduced risks of environmental pollution and pest and disease resistance.