The rapid change in crop protection technology was one of the topics presented at the Farm Forum Event in Calgary.

On Wednesday, December 5, Warren Bills with Xarvio Digital Farming Solutions shared his thoughts on the future of agriculture technology during the panel discussion titled, “Advances in Agronomy- Digital Information, Bio Products, and Disease”.

According to Bills crop protection is one of the areas farmers are most open-minded about adopting new technology.

“Not one gets up in the morning and is excited necessarily to spend a whole bunch more dollars on crop protection, and a whole bunch more time in the sprayer. The more we can help them manage that risk, and make better decisions using this tech and this data, the better. Farmers in Western Canada are not behind in this category, we just need to keep pushing them as quickly as the technology is pushing us.” 

He says these innovations include autonomous machines.

“The opportunity to create autonomous machines that are able to pass through our fields without seats and without cabs, and make decisions on how to apply a product to control a weed species or disease species, is here today, we’re seeing it in action.”

In his presentation, Bills talked about technology where sprayer boom sections are controlled by biomass satellite imagery when spraying fungicides.

The boom sections turn on, or off, so the product is only applied where the crop is thick enough to require treatment.

He notes the point of these advances in crop protection technology is to create more consistency in application.

He predicts we’ll see autonomous machines in fields across Western Canada within the next five years.

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