Bayer launches Zone Spray to Canadian growers, helping canola farmers improve their fungicide investment
Mar. 6, 2018
Zone Spray uses satellite imagery to assess field biomass, which is one of the risk factors for diseases like sclerotinia. Assessed fields are then categorized into zones, which farmers are able to review and control where they want to apply a fungicide. By targeting higher biomass field zones, Zone Spray gives farmers the ability to use inputs more sustainably by applying the fungicide exactly when and where it is needed.
“Zone Spray is able to deliver field-specific information in order to spark quick and intelligent action,” said Warren Bills, Business Development, Digital Farming at Bayer. “By optimizing application, farmers are able to protect more yield on more acres with less inputs.”
Local, data-driven insights have already improved on-farm decision-making and execution by helping farmers anticipate what is coming and to be better prepared. In 2017, Bayer tested Zone Spray on approximately 275,000 enrolled acres across the Prairies to ensure accuracy and to learn from farmers if it had good value. Of the growers who participated, 99 per cent said they would use Zone Spray again the next season.
“The initial results are that we saved at least 20 per cent on our fungicide program. We covered more acres with less product, and the quality of canola is better. It’s a very efficient way of applying fungicides,” said James Jackson, Cedar Brook Farms Ltd., Jarvie, Alberta.
One of the challenges with many precision farming technologies is complexity. Zone Spray delivers a simple interface and is designed to integrate with precision agriculture equipment already available in cabs. The system allows growers to maintain control on where fungicide is applied, alleviating the guesswork in determining where a fungicide should be applied, and increasing confidence in the final decision.
“The Zone Spray system makes it an easier decision to spray all of the acres because we know it’s being applied properly,” added Jackson.
The Bayer Digital Farming group is paving the way for a new agriculture revolution that makes farming quicker, more precise, efficient, and sustainable. For more information on Zone Spray, growers, agronomists, and agri-businesses are encouraged to visit www.digitalfarming.ca.