drone pic

The use of drones for both weed identification and spraying small areas will be shown during the Big Iron field demos.

Always one of the top highlights of each year’s Big Iron Farm Show, the field demo is always something farmers want to take in. This year’s field demo will cover precision spraying.

Precision weed management is a practice more farmers are turning to in an effort to get a handle on some of their challenging weed problems, according to John Nowatzki, Extension ag machinery specialist in NDSU’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, as well as coordinator of the field demonstration program at Big Iron.

The field demo this year will feature three areas in relation to precision spraying, according to Nowatzki.

“We will start each day of the demonstrations in a classroom setting with a discussion on what some of the experts at NDSU are doing in terms of weed identification – trying to use imagery to identify specific weeds,” he said. “We have eight different common weeds we are able to identify at this point. The researchers have completed the greenhouse portion and now have moved the project outside to the NDSU plots in Prosper, N.D.”

Drones are flying over the weed plots a couple times a week and are using various forms of imagery in the detection work, not just color and infrared imagery.

In the field

The rest of the field demo time will be spent in the field area. The first segment will allow each of the companies displaying their product describe the precision spraying capabilities of their particular machine.

Each company will then have five minutes to actually demonstrate how they are able to apply spray to specific areas of the field using on-the-go boom sections and individual nozzle controls to apply a spray solution in an isolated area of the field. This will be accomplished by using marker flags within the field area.

The final part of the precision spraying program will take to the air and show how UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) technology can be used in chemical application. This will show how drones can be used in many ways, whether that’s flying on chemicals or controlling specific weed problems in limited areas of a field.

There will also be a short discussion on how drones can be used to apply such things as an insecticide to a herd of cattle. This was tried earlier this summer at the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center in Streeter, N.D., with their cattle herd and showed promising results.

The Big Iron Field Demonstrations are sponsored again this year by the Farm & Ranch Guide, and have always been a popular and informative way to introduce new technology to ag producers throughout the region.

Final details of this year’s field demos will be available in our Big Iron Farm Show Special Edition on Aug. 30, including the names of the sprayer manufactures who will be demonstrating the precision aspects of their particular sprayer.

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