Agricultural Chemicals


Will weed-zapping AI robots disrupt market for herbicides and GMO seeds? Genetic Literacy Project

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In a field of sugar beet in Switzerland, a solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels scans the rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds and zaps them with jets of blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. Undergoing final tests before the liquid is replaced with weedkiller, the Swiss robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them. Dominated by companies such as Bayer, DowDuPont, BASF and Syngenta, the industry is bracing for the impact of digital agricultural technology and some firms are already adapting their business models. Herbicide sales are worth $26 billion a year and account for 46 percent of pesticides revenue overall while 90 percent of GM seeds have some herbicide tolerance built in, according to market researcher Phillips McDougall. The company said it is close to signing a financing round with investors and is due to go on the market by early 2019.


Robots fight weeds in challenge to agrochemical giants

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YVERDON-LES-BAINS, Switzerland/CHICAGO (Reuters) - In a field of sugar beet in Switzerland, a solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels scans the rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds and zaps them with jets of blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. Undergoing final tests before the liquid is replaced with weedkiller, the Swiss robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them. Dominated by companies such as Bayer, DowDuPont, BASF and Syngenta, the industry is bracing for the impact of digital agricultural technology and some firms are already adapting their business models. Herbicide sales are worth $26 billion a year and account for 46 percent of pesticides revenue overall while 90 percent of GM seeds have some herbicide tolerance built in, according to market researcher Phillips McDougall. "Some of the profit pools that are now in the hands of the big agrochemical companies will shift, partly to the farmer and partly to the equipment manufacturers," said Cedric Lecamp, who runs the $1 billion Pictet-Nutrition fund that invests in companies along the food supply chain.


Weed-killing robots are threatening giant chemical companies' business models

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AI-powered weed hunters could soon reduce the need for herbicides and genetically modified crops. How it's done now: Current farming methods involve spraying large amounts of indiscriminate weed killer over fields full of crops that have been genetically tweaked (usually by the same company that makes the weed killer) to resist the chemicals. The pesticide and seed industry is enormous, worth $100 billion globally. Of that, herbicide sales alone account for $26 billion. The future: Robots like the one created by ecoRobotix (shown above) will be able to roll through fields, using computer vision to target and spray individual weeds as they go.


The robot killer than can take out weeds with a single jet blast of chemical

Daily Mail

In a field of sugar beet in Switzerland, a solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels scans the rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds and zaps them with jets of blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. Undergoing final tests before the liquid is replaced with weedkiller, the Swiss robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them. Dominated by companies such as Bayer, DowDuPont, BASF and Syngenta, the industry is bracing for the impact of digital agricultural technology and some firms are already adapting their business models. Herbicide sales are worth $26billion a year and account for 46 percent of pesticides revenue overall while 90 percent of GM seeds have some herbicide tolerance built in, according to market researcher Phillips McDougall. 'Some of the profit pools that are now in the hands of the big agrochemical companies will shift, partly to the farmer and partly to the equipment manufacturers,' said Cedric Lecamp, who runs the $1billion Pictet-Nutrition fund that invests in companies along the food supply chain.


Insight: Robots fight weeds in challenge to agrochemical giants

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YVERDON-LES-BAINS, Switzerland/CHICAGO: In a field of sugar beet in Switzerland, a solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels scans the rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds and zaps them with jets of blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. Undergoing final tests before the liquid is replaced with weedkiller, the Swiss robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the US$100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them. Dominated by companies such as Bayer, DowDuPont, BASF and Syngenta, the industry is bracing for the impact of digital agricultural technology and some firms are already adapting their business models. Herbicide sales are worth US$26 billion a year and account for 46 percent of pesticides revenue overall while 90 percent of GM seeds have some herbicide tolerance built in, according to market researcher Phillips McDougall. "Some of the profit pools that are now in the hands of the big agrochemical companies will shift, partly to the farmer and partly to the equipment manufacturers," said Cedric Lecamp, who runs the US$1 billion Pictet-Nutrition fund that invests in companies along the food supply chain.


Use Of Drones & Robotics In Agriculture – DEEP AERO DRONES – Medium

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Bees are getting extinct due to variety of issues such as: pollution, pesticides, fungicides, climate change, etc. Lately Walmart applied for patent with the U.S. Patent Office for drone pollinators designed to fly from plant to plant, collecting pollen from one and transferring to other. Robotics is already being implemented in strawberry harvesting, fresh-fruit picking, data mapping and seeding. The autonomous tractors might also capture a commonplace. Recently, an interactive presentation at Colorado State University, shared the overview of future of farming by the presenters Raj Khosla and Tom McKinnon. Khosla discussed the 5 R's of precision agriculture: "at the right time, in the right amount, at the right place, use of the right input, in the right manner."


How artificial intelligence is making our world a better place

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Google, Facebook and others fill their pockets with billions using our data. But artificial intelligence can do much more – for example ending world hunger. During my studies in artificial intelligence I didn't learn that much about how powerful computers are. Most of all, I learned that many things humans do are less complex than we think they are. Here you can find our introductory text on artificial intelligence by the physicist and neuroscientist David Hofmann (German) Artificial Intelligence – even though the term triggers associations such as Do we want that robots take care of us in the future, wonders Dirk Walbrühl here (German) humanoid robots, world supremacy and apocalypse, very often it means »no more« than data analysis. This might sound less exciting, but it is a powerful tool indeed – not only to understand what we click and buy, but also to find answers to questions that might improve the lives of many people.


Digging Deep: Harnessing the Power of Soil Microbes for More Sustainable Farming

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This farm in Arkansas may soon be the most scientifically advanced farm in the world. There's a farm in Arkansas growing soybeans, corn, and rice that is aiming to be the most scientifically advanced farm in the world. Soil samples are run through powerful machines to have their microbes genetically sequenced, drones are flying overhead taking hyperspectral images of the crops, and soon supercomputers will be crunching the massive volumes of data collected. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), working with the University of Arkansas and Glennoe Farms, hope this project, which brings together molecular biology, biogeochemistry, environmental sensing technologies, and machine learning, will revolutionize agriculture and create sustainable farming practices that benefit both the environment and farms. If successful, they envision being able to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and enhance soil carbon uptake, thus improving the long-term viability of the land, while at the same time increasing crop yields.


Indoor vertical farming in Asia and beyond: Digging deep in data - Asia News Center

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And through all those millennia, farmers have literally battled the elements. They have read the seasons and bred new crop types largely through trial and error. By the late 20th century we had increased food production with mechanization, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, irrigation and a lot more. Today, humankind is growing more food than ever. But, here's a crucial question: How long can we keep farming like this?


5 Ways Drones Are Changing the World

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Those who dream of getting an Amazon package, a prescription drug, or even a beer delivered to their doorsteps via drone might have their wishes fulfilled sooner than expected.