National University of the Northeast and Ministry of Production of Corrientes (Argentina): Experimenting with drones in weed control in rice to lower costs and decrease environmental impact
The distribution of weeds is not homogeneous in rice fields: it usually appears in the form of patches, which suggests that pesticide applications is inefficient, since the application of herbicides in this type of crop is done uniformly, to full coverage. This brings with it consequences related to increases in production costs and the possible deterioration of the environment.
For this reason, researchers worked on an alternative consisting of the preparation of "prescription maps", which aim to delimit the sites where the application is necessary. The technique is known as "weed management by specific site."
"We seek to detect the presence and distribution of weeds in extensive crops by means of multispectral images," explained Dr. Gabriela López, director of the Weed Center, who was assisted in the project by Gabriela Gómez, a student at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences which also works in the Ministry of Production of Corrientes