Product Focus: Croplands Weed-It Quadro

By: Andrew Hobbs

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Blue light points the way to weeds for Croplands’ new precision sprayer

Product Focus: Croplands Weed-It Quadro
Croplands portfolio manager Steve Norton and Croplands general manager Sean Mulvaney with a Croplands 7000 Weed-It trailed sprayer.

 

A new precision spraying system developed in Australia and designed and manufactured in the Netherlands is set to be launched at this year’s AgQuip Field Days, outside Gunnedah in New South Wales.

The Weed-It Quadro, distributed in Australia by Croplands Equipment, can be built onto any type and brand of ground glider and trailed sprayer – including quads, orchard sprayers, toolbars, self-propelled sprayers and even autonomous sprayers with working widths of up to 36m.

The system uses optical spot spray technology developed by Dutch precision spraying specialists Rometron, and uses advanced sensors to detect chlorophyll in the leaves of weeds in fallow paddocks.

When detected, the Weed-It Quadro sprays herbicide targeted to the weed, with Croplands saying that the Weed-It system is the only one on the market that calibrates and corrects automatically for different soil and background conditions.

The sensors use a blue LED light source to detect the weeds, which Croplands says is less sensitive to background noise than the red LED lighting that was previously used.


Check out this story on Croplands' Weed-It Trailed Sprayer from 2018


Quadro sensors are installed at one metre intervals across the boom and control four nozzles individually on 25cm spacings – with the sensors feeding information back to a new dual core processor that Croplands says has delivers fast communication and high sampling frequency.

Croplands had previously led the charge in bringing the Weed-It to market in Australia, having sold more than 10,000 of the cameras so far to date in Australia, and having also recently won the right to distribute in Canada.

Company equipment portfolio manager Steve Norton worked closely with the manufacturers to test and calibrate the Quadro sensor before bringing it to the local market.

"Initial testing was undertaken in Australia in January 2018 and since then the Quadro sensor has undergone substantial changes to both the hardware and software," he says.

"In March 2019, a team of three engineers from Rometron spent four weeks in Australia conducting extensive field trials in the Mallee region of South Australia and Queensland. These field trials were crucial in validating the functionalities and finer settings of the new sensor to ensure maximum effectiveness in our varied Australian conditions."

Aside from its display at AgQuip, the Weed-It Quadro will also be on display at the Croplands sites at the Dowerin Field Days, Yorke Peninsula Field Days and Henty Machinery Field Days.

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