By Justin Seward
Farmers got the low down on the latest technology in the agriculture world during the annual Farming Smarter Cypress County Field Day on July 12 at the county’s Highway 41A testing site.
The most current information included crops and soil diseases, pests,agronomic practices and novel crops.
“We like to be out on the leading edge and bring people information that their not going to get in other places,” said Claudette Lacombe, communications coordinator for Farming Smarter.
“The reason we do a field day as opposed to just a conference is because they can get right in there. We actually dug up some pea plants and showed roots and the inoculation on the roots … it’s a real hands-on experience and we find that’s very helpful for people to retain information as opposed to watching a video.”
Farming Smarter general manager Ken Coles said the technology does not see dramatic changes every year and the information presented is what people may have not got before.
“While it may seem new in 2018, it’s being worked on continuously,” said Coles.
“The challenge is that we always have to cycle back and get the information out to people and get their feedback and adapt the research and technology development as we go.”
“I think one of the exciting ones is that WeedIt technology and it’s a sensor based sprayer attachment, using a camera to see weeds and target spray them. It’s a good example of how we marry technology and what we’re doing. There’s big conservation story there too because you can cut back on chemical use and do a good job controlling weeds.”
Farmers were able to see a glimpse of the Netherlands-based Weedit technology through Schuler’s Travis Albrecht of Albrecht Green Acre , who was the first agriculturist to bring the weed spraying system back to Canada.
He found the system last year on Facebook pages of farms he followed, which saved a great amount of money on round-up during post harvest and post seeding.
Cost savings was the main focus of purchasing the equipment but also for soil health on the farm for the purposes of not spraying round up on the soil anymore, he said.
The company was contacted by Albrecht and he was able to purchase a system and found out how to attach to a SP sprayer.
“When you go in the field, basically what you do when we set up your sprayers, you just run your pump on manual at 40 Ibs., That’s all the control you need off your sprayer,” he said.
“When we tie the Weedit computer in and you turn that on, the light sensors come on. Everything else is controlled by the Weedit computer based on if your still spot spraying.”
“It controls your pressure. After that its a PWM (pulse width modulation mode).”
Preseed and Post Harvest are focus of the system where there is a burn off in the spring and fall.
The Green Albrecht Acre saved 89 per cent in chemical savings last fall on a burnout and in the spring a 52 per cent savings, he said.
Albrecht used a normal blanket through the John Deere and auto rate controller where a litre an acre of round up on every acre with a full right aim.
He has sold four other systems in Alberta and Saskatchewan.