One of the latest offerings on display at the John Deere Sustainability Day in Oschersleben, Germany, was the use of drones to help farmers to be more sustainable in their pesticide use.

Agriland travelled to Germany to get a first-hand look at sustainable technologies being developed by John Deere to aid farmers.

John Deere has developed what it calls ‘site-specific farming’, which allows farmers to avoid overdosing fields with pesticides by using drones.

Through this technology, a drone is used to scan the fields and this is then uploaded to the John Deere Operations Centre.

The scan of the field shows where the weeds are located and individual nozzle controls on the sprayer allow for only these areas to be sprayed.

This cuts down on pesticide use as the system is able to determine the stand density and disease pressure.

The use of drones could result in huge savings for farmers as the system applies the necessary amount of pesticide without any wastage.

John Deere has also made strides with the development of its AutoPath guidance system.

According to John Deere, due to exploding mineral fertiliser prices, liquid manure fertilisation is “experiencing a renaissance”.

John Mishler, precision ag marketing manager for John Deere said:

“Traditional guidance-line setup can be a challenge for some customers during the season.

“When using AutoPath, guidance lines are automatically created from a map of crop row lines for each field.

“These mapped row lines are used to automatically create guidance lines for the entire field for all other in-field passes, such as spraying, nutrient application or harvesting operations, later in the year.

“Using this solution, operators know which rows to start on and can precisely follow the auto-generated guidance lines, regardless of the field application or machine width.

“This increases operator confidence in being on the right row and the efficiency of field operations throughout the growing season and harvest.”

John Deere stated that now, more than ever, is important to apply manure precisely and with lower losses in order to save the mineral fertiliser account.

The manufacturer added that the most important factors for spreading are the right timing and optimum application of the organic nutrients.

John Deere said that a particularly efficient and low-emission method for spreading is the stripp-till application to corn.

With this method, immediately before sowing, the slurry is applied in bands about 10-12cm deep into the soil. The application can be made directly into the unworked oil, e.g. after harvesting whole-crop silage. This saves an additional tillage pass.

Corn is then sown using a precision drill, which places the kernels precisely in the slurry belts.

Placement is about 7cm above the slurry to avoid emergence damage.

Precise placement is a prerequisite for John Deere’s AutoPath system.

It records the position of the slurry belts during slurry application and stores it in the Operations Center.

During subsequent seeding, the GPS data is used to control the drill.

Stay tuned to Agriland for more coverage from the John Deere Sustainability Day.