30 June 1995

Patch work is closer

CONTROLLED patch-spraying of weeds becomes a little closer after the introduction of RDS Technologys latest development.

Basically an extension of the companys combine-mounted "Hermes" yield mapping unit, a new program enables the unit to be used to record weed type and populations in a field as it is harvested.

The combine driver passing over, say, a patch of couch grass, presses a predesignated "couch" key on the unit, the key being re-pressed when the patch is passed. Other weed types are allocated their own key.

The result, once the information is down-loaded into the office computer, is a weed map of the field with all the different weed species marked out.

RDS also has the Apollo 3 sprayer control unit which, once loaded up with the information collated by the Hermes unit, can be used to activate chemical application.

at the point in the field where the weeds are present.

Positioning of the sprayer is derived, as with all current field mapping systems, from a satellite global positioning system. Price of the Apollo 3 is £2000 installed. The Hermes messenger unit is £1250 and RDS Jupiter GPS system is £6750.