Weed detection and elimination is critical at WA grain growing operations.
But how can farmers overcome the pesky undesirable plants?
Max Hebbermann, owner-manager of Sonic Boomsprays at Narembeen, is working to effectively zero-in on weeds with a new optical spot-spraying unit.
The mighty 7030-36WI Sonic WEEDit, which boasts a 7000l main tank alongside a smaller 3000l tank, won this year’s Newdegate Machinery Field Days new release award.
Mr Hebbermann designed and manufactured the sprayer in conjunction with ag-machinery developer Croplands.
Boasting the WEEDit optical spot spraying technology, the product aims to help farmers take control of weeds plaguing paddocks.
“You can spot spray with either tank or with both tanks and you can also broadacre with the main tank — it’s not just a spot sprayer machine, it has multiple applications,” Mr Hebbermann said.
“It got released to market in the middle of this year and now it is starting to get some runs on the board.
“The idea has been there for a long time, but it was a matter of putting it together.”
WEEDit’s infrared sensors allow the boomsprayer to identity chlorophyll, the chemical which makes weeds green, and spray the plant with precision.
Mr Hebbermann said ensuring the boomsprayer maintained its stability was key to accurately identify and eliminate weeds.
“It has a rear-steering axle in it,” he said. “That helps it ride like a tandem but will steer like a single. “Stability is paramount for the sensors so they don’t go up and down too much and can focus on the plants.”
Mr Hebbermann, who also won the 2016 Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days new release award, added he was grateful to be honoured with the Newdegate new release prize. “It’s good to get recognition for what the machine is, the hard work that has been put in to it and its capabilities,” he said.