Table of contents
About this book
This book shifts the paradigm that weeds can only be controlled using broadcast applications of chemical and mechanical techniques in distinct spatiotemporal scales, also referred to as integrated weed management. In fact, true integrated weed management is more than just diversification of techniques and for the first time could be achieved using advanced technologies. Automated weed control is not the proverbial ‘silver bullet’, but an entirely new approach in cropping systems where multiple weed control strategies are available for use at the same time.
In an automated system, sensor and computer technologies onboard a robot would first categorize each and every plant in a farmer’s field as either weed or crop, and then go on to identify the species of weed. Once those identifications were made, multiple weed fighting strategies located on a single platform could be applied to individual plants based on their biology. If the system identified a weed that’s resistant to Roundup™, for example, it could be spritzed with a different herbicide. Or an onboard cutting or flaming micro-tool could be used to kill the plant instead.
The production of a book that addresses weed control of the future will have profound impacts on current and future cropping systems across the globe. To date, no other resource exists on this important and rapidly advancing topic of automated weed control in cropping systems. In the near future, a new approach will be needed for managing weeds, especially with the challenges of weed resistance to herbicides, off-site movement of soil, fertilizers, and chemicals, an increasingly non-agrarian public, labor shortages, economies in recession, and the continued rural to suburban land use conversion. Automation is part of the solution.