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Montana Ag Network: New way to spray weeds

Posted: 11:21 AM, Jan 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-21 13:26:05-05

Spraying for weeds is an essential part of most farming operations, but spray can be expensive and harmful if overused.

For most farmers, weed control means broadcast spraying, but now AgriTech America and farmer Dave Chinadle want that to change with the WEEDit spot spraying system.

“Instead of broadcast spraying like we normally do with our chem fallow, as you’re going over the ground all it does is spray the vegetation that is goes over,” explained Chinadle, who is a salesman for the WEEDit system.

WEEDit uses powerful sensors to detect chlorophyll and apply spray only where weeds appear and avoids wasting spray on the bare ground.

The technology is nothing new. Farmers in Australia have used it for about 10 years, but as the first farmer in Montana to buy the WEEDit system, Chinadle said he has seen the benefits firsthand.

“There’s an ecological value because of course if you’re putting less chemicals on the ground you’re going to be doing less harm to the ground and, of course, financially it’s a substantial savings,” said Chinadle. “Chemical wise we can save up to 95 percent on what chemical we have to use to get the same job done.”

The use of less spray also allows producers to use a higher rate to ensure resistant weeds are stopped in their tracks.

The system is usually installed on an existing spryer. Chinadle said it can be expensive, but the system will pay for its self in about 20,000 acres of use.

-Reported by Joe Huisinga/MTN News