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Development of Commercial Prototype Variable Rate Sprayer for Spot- Application of Agrochemicals in Wild Blueberry

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011  1111134.(doi:10.13031/2013.37747)
Authors:   Qamar U Zaman, Travis J Esau, Young K Chang, Arnold W Schumann, David C Percival, Aitazaz A Farooque
Keywords:   Controllers, precision agriculture, digital camera, weeds, image processing

Wild blueberry growers apply agrochemicals uniformly to control weeds within fields. The repeated and excessive use of agrochemicals in bare spots that exist within fields and on plants has resulted in increased cost of production and polluted environment. A commercial prototype variable rate (VR) sprayer was developed for spot-application of agrochemicals in a specific section of the 12.2 m sprayer boom where the weeds have been detected. The boom was divided into 16 sections (97 cm each section). VR control system consisted of eight digital color cameras mounted on a separate boom in front of the tractor, 20-channel MidTech Legacy 6000 controller and two 8-channel VR controllers interfaced to a Pocket PC using wireless Bluetooth radio. Cameras were attached using USB serial cables to the computer. Custom software was capable of processing the images to detect weeds in real-time, and weed triggering signals were sent to the VRC to spray in the specific boom section where the weeds have been detected.

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