Agricultural Research Division of IANR


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Published in Weed Research 52:2 (April 2012), pp. 107–111; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3180.2012.00903.x Copyright © 2012 Stephen L. Young. Published by European Weed Research Society and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Used by permission.


Using the simplest of definitions, integrated weed management has been described as “putting components [of weed control] together, not taking them apart.” Yet, weed science has stopped at the “field edge” in assembling the components into a truly integrated approach. What is keeping weed scientists from developing real integrated weed control regardless of space and time? The answer to this question lies with our colleagues in the engineering and computer science fields, who have made significant advances in developing automated machinery for real-time detection and control of weeds in cropping systems. By using the latest technologies that can quickly identify weeds and react with precisely targeted applications, conceptually, weed control tools could be integrated for use at anytime and at any point in a field. This paper provides justification for using a single platform in the field that can instantaneously assess individual weeds and determine the most appropriate control method, simultaneously. In addition, I have modified an existing concept design to show the potential for a highly responsive weed management system that can transcend spatiotemporal restrictions and within-field variability.

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