Agritech pioneer, Greeneye Technology, has announced the commercial launch of its unique AI-enabled precision spraying technology. Marking a major milestone in its mission to significantly reduce chemical usage in agriculture and increase productivity and profitability for farmers, the company has secured its first commercial sale with one of the largest farming operations in Israel.
Significantly, this news represents the first stage in Greeneye’s global roll-out, which will continue in early 2022 with its launch in North America, where it will initially work with corn and soybean farmers in the Midwest, before increasing availability to other states in 2023. Reflecting the growing demand from farmers for a commercially-viable precision spraying solution, Greeneye’s early adopter program in North America was oversubscribed within days of its announcement, and the company already has a long waiting list of customers for 2023.
Backed by leading global agrochemical manufacturer, Syngenta, Israeli-based Greeneye Technology has developed a proprietary precision spraying technology that is proven to cut herbicide use by 78% and reduce herbicide costs by more than 50%1 (average figures) while also improving weed control efficacy compared to traditional broadcast spraying (see video). This breakthrough is achieved with the use of AI technology that can detect and spray weeds amongst crops (green on green) with 95.7% accuracy. Crucially, the system is designed to integrate seamlessly into any brand or size of commercial sprayer, removing the need for farmers to invest in new machines. It also ensures that precision spraying can be carried out at the same travel speed as broadcast spraying – 20 km/h – ensuring no reduction in productivity for farmers.
Nadav Bocher, CEO, Greeneye Technology, comments: “Weeds represent one of the greatest threats to global crop production – in the US alone, they are estimated to cost farmers more than $33b in lost production annually. Today, farmers address this challenge by spraying herbicides across the entire field – even though weed infestation may be as low as 10%. As a result, not only are farmers spending far more money on herbicides than they need to, but millions of gallons of herbicides are being needlessly sprayed each year, which is contributing to the mounting challenges posed by herbicide-resistant weeds, chemical drift, and soil and water contamination.
“Despite a concerted effort by the agriculture industry to develop precision spraying technologies, so far very few of these projects have moved beyond the trial phase. This is because the technology either fails to deliver the necessary level of accuracy and efficacy, or it requires farmers to invest in new spraying machines, making it prohibitively expensive. Uniquely, Greeneye’s solution overcomes both of these challenges, offering farmers what we believe is the most advanced commercially-viable precision spraying technology on the market.”
Greeneye’s solution uses a combination of hardware and deep machine learning to enable intelligent, real-time weed management decisions in the field. Cameras mounted directly onto spraying machines capture images at a rate of 40 frames per second, enabling rapid detection and classification of weeds down to the species level. Utilizing Greeneye’s proprietary dataset and algorithms, the system instantly calculates the amount of herbicide required and sprays it directly onto the weeds, leaving nearby crops unaffected.
Another important advantage of Greeneye’s technology is its unique dual-spraying function which enables farmers to apply residual herbicides on a broadcast basis while applying non-residual herbicides precisely on weeds. Currently, farmers mix together residual and non-residual herbicides and spray them from the same nozzle, meaning they use far more non-residual herbicide than is needed. The dual-spraying system overcomes this challenge by enabling farmers to spray only the herbicide that is required.
“We are incredibly proud to announce the commercial launch of our precision spraying technology, but reducing herbicide use is just the beginning. The next generation of our technology, which is already in development, will also be capable of precisely spraying chemicals such as fungicides and micronutrients, increasing savings to farmers beyond herbicides,” says Bocher.
“At the same time, our unique AI capabilities enable us to collect ultra-high resolution data from the entire field, providing valuable insights to farmers and enabling them to treat their field at the plant level. With this information at our fingertips, Greeneye is uniquely positioned to guide the global agriculture industry towards a more sustainable – and profitable – future.”