Texas Scientists Use Drone Spot Sprayers to Fight Weeds

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