A Goondiwindi startup Ag-Tech business has secured a $100,000 Government grant to advance its targeted weed eradication technology.
InFarm received the “Ignite Ideas” funding to further develop its ‘drone-to-tractor’ precision weed targeting system to market much sooner.
Using a USB, the farmer uploads the file into their tractor, essentially turning their standard variable rate sprayer into a spot sprayer.
InFarm Director Jerome Leray says the startup has been developing and testing the prototype mainly around Goondiwindi in south-west Queensland, but wheat farmers in Western Australia were also lining up.
He says they currently had interest to fly over and process data for more than 100,000 hectares of fallow land.
“InFarm’s drone-to-tractor weeding system significantly reduces the use of herbicides on fallow paddocks, saving time, adding a new layer of environmental sensitivity is better for human health, and saves money.”
Mr Leray says InFarm’s software defines the zones containing weeds and eliminates the current practice of spraying the entire paddock.
“By targeting spraying zones, InFarm can save wheat, cotton and other broadacre crop farmers up to 80 per cent on herbicide bills.”
It will be the first of its kind once commercialized.
Mr Leray says InFarm can currently fly and process 60 hectares of fallow land a day, but the company aims to increase this to 500 hectares a day to go commercial and meet farmers’ weed spraying requirements.
“Our aim is to develop partnerships with agronomists, local machinery dealers and established agricultural service businesses. They will fly our drones and obtain the data, thereby increasing the services they offer clients, then bring the drone data back to town for processing, which eliminates any on-farm internet connectivity issues.”