Greeneye Technology / NuWay K&H Cooperative
Diversification, innovation and delivering exceptional value to NuWay K&H Cooperative patrons is at the core of every decision we make. We recognize how innovation and technology have transformed the agriculture industry throughout the past century, and how it will continue to do so for centuries to come. For this reason we are excited to introduce you to Greeneye, an innovative “selective spraying” service we will be offering in the spring of 2023.
Q: Can you briefly explain how the system works?
Our Hagie STS1600 has been retrofitted with a Greeneye selective spraying system which transformed it from a standard, broadcast sprayer into a smart sprayer that will use camera vision, artificial intelligence, and deep learning to revolutionize weed control practices. Twenty-four cameras mounted along the boom capture high-resolution images of the field, which are then fed back to the system’s twelve graphics processing units (GPUs). Utilizing Greeneye’s proprietary dataset and algorithms, the GPUs calculate the exact amount of herbicide required and signal to the appropriate nozzles to open, spraying only the weeds. This entire process takes just 150 milliseconds to execute. Spraying with Greeneye can be carried out at the same travel speed as broadcast spraying – 15 mph – ensuring no reduction in productivity for growers. The outcome could result in the reduction of contact herbicide use by up to 80%, improved weed control efficacy, increased plant health and crop productivity.
We feel it is our responsibility to explore, test and share our findings related to innovative technology such as Greeneye with our patrons. Through the cooperative business model, we are able to utilize our network of resources and offer this technology as a custom spray service for all to benefit from. That is the cooperative way.
Q: How can I be sure the Greeneye system will work for me?
The Greeneye system creates opportunity for cost savings; growers can invest in more complex tank mixes that were not affordable when applied on a broadcast basis, enabling them to manage weeds much more effectively, while also tackling resistance. Added to this, the unique dual-line/tank system means precision application of non-residual herbicides and broadcast spraying of residual herbicides can be carried out simultaneously, providing unrivalled weed control.
Greeneye continuously tests and validates the performance of the technology, both internally and using independent third parties to assure growers with total confidence that the system will work. Most recently, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) undertook independent field tests to benchmark the performance of the Greeneye system against broadcast application of herbicides. The results showed a 94% reduction in burndown herbicide use during pre-emergence spraying and an 87% reduction in non-residual herbicide use during post-emergence spraying – equating to more than a 60% reduction in total herbicide costs. This mirrored the findings of Greeneye’s own rigorous testing program, as well as the results enjoyed by Greeneye’s early adopter growers in the Midwest earlier this year.
Q: What crops can the Greeneye system be used on?
The Greeneye system is currently engineered for use with soybean and corn. However, it is customizable for any row crop.
Q: Is it effective on all weed types?
Greeneye has built an extensive dataset of images which means their system is able to detect and classify over 200 types of broadleaf weeds and grasses, both by species type and level of maturity. As they expand availability of the system to new states, they will continue to build the dataset to include the weed species that are native to those regions.
The UNL field trial referenced previously evaluated the effectiveness of the Greeneye system on both broadleaf weeds and grasses. It found that using only a fraction of the input volume required for broadcast application, Greeneye achieved the same weed control efficacy for broadleaf – 96.3%. While for grasses, accuracy was only slightly better with the broadcast method – 93% compared to 89.6% with Greeneye.
Q: Do I need to have a good internet coverage in the field to use the Greeneye system?
No, in fact no internet connection is required at all. All analysis is carried out in real time by the system’s GPUs. That means it is not necessary to share data over the internet.
Q: Are there any other benefits beyond cost savings and improved efficacy I should know about?
Improved productivity is another important benefit of the Greeneye system. As the dual-line/tank configuration enables precision and broadcast spraying to be carried out simultaneously, growers only need to make one pass of the field, instead of at least two.
Greeneye anticipates the system will reduce the time sprayer operators spend in the field by 20% – that is a game changer! Effectively utilizing the workforce is always important, but right now it’s critical due to the labor shortages many farmers are experiencing.
The Greeneye precision line is designed to spray ultra-coarse droplets at a high GPA, reducing drift of inputs such as Dicamba and 2,4-D by an average of 95%. In addition to helping growers to deal with regulations, it means they can also almost entirely eliminate the risk of crop damage, improving their yields season after season.
With 72 lights positioned along the boom, the Greeneye system also makes it possible for growers to carry out spraying around the clock, bringing further productivity gains. This was especially useful earlier this year when harsh weather conditions in states such as Nebraska meant growers had to be ready to take advantage of any break in the weather to spray their fields – with many having no choice but to do so during the night.
Q: I am interested in trying Greeneye in 2023, how should I move forward?
We are developing options for you to choose from to easily match the right approach for your operational goals. Contact your NuWay K&H agronomy account manager to discuss your options.
Special thank you to Nahar and the Greeneye Technology team for providing us with the above information. To learn more about Greeneye visit: https://greeneye.ag/.