Development of systems that will allow lasers to carry out precision weed management in filed crops
Weeds are estimated to cause average yield losses of approximately 13% globally. However, in certain crops and in certain situations losses can be significantly higher. Management of weeds is vital if cropping systems are going to provide food security. However, weed management can be time- and energy- expensive and often relies heavily on chemical controls that can lead to development of herbicide resistance and unwanted environmental effects. One solution to this would be to design and implement site-specific weed management systems utilising in-field detection, weed mapping and targeted weed management. This four year BBSRC-funded iCASE studentship is investigating the use of low energy lasers to manage weeds, both alone and in conjunction with low doses of herbicide. The morphological, physiological and biochemical effects of laser applications on a number of key weed species (including A.myosuroides, A.fatua, C.album and G.aparine) will be determined. These observations will allow development of in-field laser systems to be used as part of integrated weed management strategies.
Harper Adams University