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Deere's Farm Version of Facial Recognition Coming to Fields in 2021


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A yield monitor in a Deere & Co. combine, in use while harvesting corn at a farm in Union Springs, NY.

Agricultural equipment giant Deere & Co. next summer will debut in farm fields a solution that combines machine vision and machine learning, to distinguish weeds from plants.

Credit: Paul Frangipane/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Agriculture giant Deere & Co. plans to roll out a system next summer that combines machine vision and machine learning to improve the identification of individual plants and weeds.

Deere's Jahmy Hindman said neural network models could be trained to only spray weeds in crop fields, killing everything except genetically modified plants designed to survive chemical applications.

Said Hindman, "We are interested in being able to manage each plant over the course of its life, minimizing inputs and maximizing productivity."

The technology would take pictures of plants, and a machine cruising the field would make the decision to spray in just seconds.

Jeffries' Stephen Volkmann said, "See-and-spray is one of several advanced farming technologies that seem to be moving closer to an inflection point," but commercialization of full plant recognition technology is still a few years away.


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