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Environment and farmers to win from more accurate use of pesticides

A new scientific partnership focused on spraying- and precision techniques in agriculture aims to reduce pesticide consumption and thereby lower agricultural pesticide costs as well as the impact on environment and bettering general health.

Both environment and the farmer’s economy can benefit from a lower use of pesticides in the soil. One option is to improve the precision when spraying – and that is exactly what the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark is giving an extra boost to now.
One of the ways the agriculture industry can reduce the consumption of pesticides significantly is by figuring out, how to affect a shooting weed plant with a targeted drop of herbicide or a diseased crop with a precisely measured dose of fungicide. That requires for all different types of modern precision and spray technology, such as cameras, computers, sensors, satellites, smartphones, drones, algorithms and web platforms to work together.

Collaboration between universities and companies

There is a lot of applied research and development in this area, but to support further development, the ministry has established a broad professional partnership for the spray- and precision technology. The new Partnership for Precision- and Spray Technology will contribute to a reduction of pesticide consumption, and thereby reducing agricultural pesticide costs and the impact of environment and general health. The partnership, launching at a kick off meeting on April 4th, 2018 at AU Foulum, has a secretariat at the DCA – Danish Center for Food and Agriculture at Aarhus University.

“If the weed plants are for instance only found in some parts of the field, we must utilize the new technology to only spray where there is a need and where the pesticides have an actual effect. As new technology is refined and made cheaper, the farmers will be able to save a significant amount of money by using the technology as they will not need as much pesticides. At the same time, fewer pesticides have lower impact on the environment and general health, which makes it even more sensible to get moving on the development in this area”, says Minister for Environment & Food, Esben Lunde Larsen in a press release from the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark.

The partnership, which will run for the next four years, is part of the Pesticide Strategy 2017-2021, which a broad majority in the government is backing. “We need the good ideas brought into the daylight and have them tested and out and used in the field. The partnership should contribute to a innovative development of ideas as well as collaboration between companies, researchers and other stakeholders to promote the development and growth of the technology industry”, says Esben Lunde Larsen.

Would you like to know more about precision agriculture? Click here to see more.
Source: DCA – Danish Center for Food and Agriculture (in Danish)