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Patch spraying of weeds in spring cereals: Simulated influences of threshold level and spraying resolution on spraying errors and potential herbicide reduction

Patch spraying of weeds in spring cereals: Simulated influences of threshold level and spraying resolution on spraying errors and potential herbicide reduction

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B Soil and Plant Science 57(3): 212-221

A major obstacle to patch spraying of broad-leaved weeds in cereals is a cost-effective method to assess within-field heterogeneity of the weed population. One method could be a camera mounted in front of the spraying vehicle, online image analysis, and field sprayer shifting between 'on' and 'off' as the predefined weed damage threshold level is reached. Because such a camera will capture a very limited area (<1 m(2)) compared to the sprayer width (several m), success of this method requires that spraying decisions vary little within boom width, thereby causing few spraying errors. This approach was evaluated by simulations for varying boom widths and three levels of a weed damage threshold model. Potential herbicide reductions compared to blanket application were also simulated. The average potential herbicide reductions estimated as proportions of fields below the threshold, were 60%, 64% and 53% for the original, 25% increased and 25% reduced threshold levels, respectively. The simulated herbicide reductions were not influenced by boom width, but varied significantly between fields, and between threshold levels. As evaluated by spraying errors, the suitability of the suggested approach will increase by decreasing boom width, vary between fields, and in some fields vary between the threshold levels. For boom widths of 15 m and 24 m, the spraying errors were about 10% and 15%, respectively, where omission of spraying areas above the threshold constituted 5% and 8%, respectively.

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Accession: 016611823

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DOI: 10.1080/09064710600914202

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