Bilberry’s new AI and camera system for identifying weeds, was recently tested in western Canada.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image via Bilberry
Trimble Inc., a Sunnyvale, California-based software, hardware, and services technology company supporting agriculture and other industries, is purchasing Bilberry, a Paris, France-based manufacturer of selective weed spraying systems.
Founded in 2016, Bilberry has designed the Intelligent Spot Spraying System—an AI (artificial intelligence) and camera system—to identify weeds in real-time, which the company said will allow “certain sprayers” to be retrofitted with technology to target weeds in a growing crop, via “green-on-green” spraying technology.
Bilberry said that its Intelligent Spot Spraying System reduces the usage of herbicide by more than 80 percent while protecting the environment and lowering the costs for farmers. The system can work at all crop stages and has provided Australian farmers with up to 97.5 percent in chemical savings.
Although this green-on-green technology has already seen commercial deployment in Australia, Bilberry had been looking to bring it to the North American market, which is why earlier this year it was testing it on farms in western Canada.
It was there that the system targeted broadleaf weeds in cereal crops, grassy weeds in canola, and broadleaf and grassy weeds in corn.
Trimble already has a weed spraying system—WeedSeeker—capable of identifying plants on bare soil before a crop peeks out of the soil (aka green-on-brown spraying), the company believes the Bilberry acquisition will complement its lineup perfectly.
“Our planned acquisition of Bilberry builds out Trimble’s crop protection portfolio by adding green-on-green selective spraying capabilities and supports our development of autonomous solutions,” stated Jim Chambers, the Vice President of Trimble Agriculture.
He continued: “The Bilberry solution is brand agnostic and compatible with a broad range of spraying equipment manufacturers, which is ideal for mixed fleet operations. This capability, together with existing Trimble competencies, will enable us to expand our role in the growing market for precision agriculture solutions that can reduce input costs, create efficiencies for our customers and drive sustainability in farming.”
For more information on Trimble, visit https://agriculture.trimble.com/.