GREAT FALLS – Spraying for weeds is an essential part of most farming operations but the sprays can be expensive and harmful if over used.
For most farmers weed control means broadcast spraying but now Agritech America — and farmer Dave Chinadle want that to change.
“What WEEDit is, is a selective spraying system that instead of broadcast spraying like we normally do with our chem fallow as you’re going over the ground all it does is spray the vegetation that is goes over,” said Chinadle who’s a salesman at Big Equipment Company, LLC.
WEEDit uses powerful sensors to detect chlorophyll and apply spray only where weeds appear.
“Our treadmill is our ground moving underneath the sprayer and we have some weeds taped down to this treadmill to represent the weed we’re trying to spray in the field,” Chinadle explained.
As the weeds pass the sensor, spry nozzles are activated represented by the lights.
The technology is nothing new as farmers in Australia have used it for about 10 years, but as the first farmer in Montana to buy the Weed It system, Chinadle says he has seen the benefits first hand.
“There’s an ecological value because of course if you’re putting less chemicals on the ground you’re going to be doing less harm to the ground,” he told MTN News.
“And of course, financially it’s a substantial savings. Chemical wise we can save up to 95% on what chemical we have to use to get the same job done,” Chinadle added.
The system is usually installed on an existing sprayer and while Chinadle says it can be expensive, the system will pay for its self in about 20,000 acres of use.
-Joe Huisinga reporting for MTN News