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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #442310

Research Project: Building resilient organic weed management systems with precision smart sprayer technologies

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-167-061-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2026

Objective:
The overall goal of this project is to automate weed management with smart technologies that are driven by robots and tractor platforms. Specifically: regionalize weed detection, identification, and mapping functionality for autonomous robots; quantify optimal combinations of robot mounted mechanical weed management implements in organic corn, soybeans, and cotton across diverse soil and climate conditions; quantify effects of targeted weed control on economics, crop yield loss, and subsequent weed seed bank dynamics and species shifts; and facilitate knowledge exchange about alternative weed control tactics using robotics among farmers, researchers, and educators.

Approach:
The collaborative team will build a digital library for identifying weeds from crop. Machine learning will be used to develop algorithms for differentiating weeds from crops. These algorithms will be used to inform an autonomous robot that has mechanical weed control implements connected to it. The economics and efficacy of the robotic weed control platform will be evaluated.