Enter smarter farming tools that can tell you exactly which weeds are growing in a field and where (think high-res satellite cameras, roving drones, and sensor-loaded, GPS-enabled tractors). Then you can use automated systems (including self-steering tractors) to deliver just the right amount of pesticide to each area. Engineers are developing incredibly precise Smart Spraying technology that will identify specific weeds, determine the optimum method of treatment, and then apply the right herbicides to those weeds, leaving weed-free areas untouched. And it will do it all in fractions of a second, as the herbicide sprayer makes a single pass over the field. This, of course, presents new challenges like what to do with all the time and money you saved, but we’re guessing you’d be okay with that.
The result? Farmers use less water, fertilizer, energy, and pesticides, improving productivity and sustainability.