Development of a 'patch spraying' system to control weeds in winter wheat


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 February 1993 - 31 January 1997
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£124,747 From HGCA (Project no. 0065/1/91)
Project leader:
P J W Lutman1, L J Rew1, G W Cussans1, P C H Miller2, M E R Paice2 and J E Stafford2 1IACR Rothamsted, Harpenden, Herts AL5 2JQ 2Silsoe Research Institutre, Silsoe, Beds MK45 4HS



About this project


The work carried out over the last four years has clearly identified the potential of this technology for the treatment of weeds. Using computer and satellite location technologies it­ is possible to map weeds at certain times of the year to an accuracy of 2-4 m. This information can then be used to control the application of the herbicides. The requirement for a sprayer with a definable and rapid on/off response time has been met by the work at Silsoe Research Institute, based on an injection metering control system. The simplified analysis of the economics of patch spraying shows substantial benefits but further work is required to assess the economic benefits more fully. Thus, this project has progressed the patch spraying of weeds from a theoretical concept to a reality. There are still a number of unanswered questions but the basic information to develop commercial, practical, spatially selective weed control systems is now in place. The commercial development of the system is the next phase of the project and the collaborative work between Micron Sprayers and Silsoe Research Institute is already laying the groundwork for such progress.