Sensors 2013, 13(3), 3313-3330; doi:10.3390/s130303313
Article

Development and Evaluation of a Combined Cultivator and Band Sprayer with a Row-Centering RTK-GPS Guidance System

1,* email, 2email, 2email and 1email
Received: 24 January 2013; in revised form: 28 February 2013 / Accepted: 8 March 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Typically, low-pressure sprayers are used to uniformly apply pre- and post-emergent herbicides to control weeds in crop rows. An innovative machine for weed control in inter-row and intra-row areas, with a unique combination of inter-row cultivation tooling and intra-row band spraying for six rows and an electro-hydraulic side-shift frame controlled by a GPS system, was developed and evaluated. Two weed management strategies were tested in the field trials: broadcast spraying (the conventional method) and band spraying with mechanical weed control using RTK-GPS (the experimental method). This approach enabled the comparison between treatments from the perspective of cost savings and efficacy in weed control for a sugar beet crop. During the 2010–2011 season, the herbicide application rate (112 L ha1) of the experimental method was approximately 50% of the conventional method, and thus a significant reduction in the operating costs of weed management was achieved. A comparison of the 0.2-trimmed means of weed population post-treatment showed that the treatments achieved similar weed control rates at each weed survey date. Sugar beet yields were similar with both methods (p = 0.92). The use of the experimental equipment is cost-effective on ≥20 ha of crops. These initial results show good potential for reducing herbicide application in the Spanish beet industry.
Keywords: weed control; automation; GPS; sugar beet
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MDPI and ACS Style

Perez-Ruiz, M.; Carballido, J.; Agüera, J.; Rodríguez-Lizana, A. Development and Evaluation of a Combined Cultivator and Band Sprayer with a Row-Centering RTK-GPS Guidance System. Sensors 2013, 13, 3313-3330.

AMA Style

Perez-Ruiz M, Carballido J, Agüera J, Rodríguez-Lizana A. Development and Evaluation of a Combined Cultivator and Band Sprayer with a Row-Centering RTK-GPS Guidance System. Sensors. 2013; 13(3):3313-3330.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Perez-Ruiz, Manuel; Carballido, Jacob; Agüera, Juan; Rodríguez-Lizana, Antonio. 2013. "Development and Evaluation of a Combined Cultivator and Band Sprayer with a Row-Centering RTK-GPS Guidance System." Sensors 13, no. 3: 3313-3330.

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