If you’re looking for the future of precision herbicide use, check out the cotton fields of southeastern Texas, near College Station. There, you might spot a drone hovering over flowering waterhemp plants, blasting the troublesome weed escapes with herbicides, one at a time.
And far below the drone, you’ll find Texas A&M graduate student Ubaldo Torres, manning their controls.
Torres works under Texas A&M weed scientist Muthu Bagavathiannan on a research project that aims to learn how applicators and farmers can use drones and mapping tools to target late-season weeds and shrink the weed seedbank, all with more precision and fewer herbicides than ever before.
For details on how drone spot spraying works – and a view of the drones in action – watch this video where Torres explains and demonstrates his research.
Video by Claudio Rubione, GROW; Article by Emily Unglesbee, GROW