Solinftec’s Solix Ag Robotis machine is working at Stone Farms in Saskatchewan
By Diego Flammini
A precision ag robot that’s been used in the U.S. and South America has arrived in Canada.
Solinftec (Solution Information Technology) has deployed its Solix Ag Robotics platform on Stone Farms in Davidson, Sask.
The trials taking place in Saskatchewan are focused on weed and crop identification, said Leo Carvalho, Solinftec’s operational director lead in Canada.
“We understand in the Canadian market, the main problem farmers have is looking for weeds,” he told Farms.com. “That’s why we’re starting with weeds. In Brazil the biggest problem farmers have is insects, so our trials there are designed to help farmers with insects.”
Using the company’s ALCE AI platform, which can receive more than 10 billion pieces of information per day, the robot autonomously travels through and scans fields for kochia and volunteer canola. The robot can also identify pests and diseases.
The robot then provides pertinent information to the farmer about areas of the fields with heavy weed presence.
“It analyzes the field and figures out where there’s a concentration of weeds and can create a recommendation for a prescription,” he said.
Future generations of the robot will have the ability to apply products to problem areas as well, Carvalho added.
The trials on Stone Farms have been a success thus far.
Solinftec’s team is collecting field data and compared it to what agronomists on the ground have been seeing.
“It’s taking pictures of kochia and volunteer canola and basically going head-to-head with my agronomist,” said Rob Stone, owner of Stone Farms. “It’s not actionable information at this point
Stone grows wheat, canola and lentils on his farm.
The robot is currently working in his wheat field.
“I’d say the results are comparable at this point,” he said. “The basics of the platform are starting to develop, and I think that’s the main point of the trials right now is proof of concept.”
Technology is here to stay in ag, Stone says.
He started his personal career in 2001 when precision equipment wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today.
“I started seeding with a Bourgault 5710 and away we went,” he said. “We didn’t think we’d get much better but then you get variable rate, sectional control, electronics and other changes that happen. These tools have helped us become a better operation and I think we all benefit if we as farmers take the time to learn about these new tools and technologies.”