Life Smart Sprayer

Demonstration of an agronomy-integrated see & spray technology for a more sustainable use of pesticide in agriculture

OBJECTIVES

The main objective of this project is in line with the EU Green Deal goal of lowering pesticide use by 50% by 2030, which was announced by the EC in December 2019.
The LIFE SMART SPRAYER uses a “smart” Agronomic Decision Engine (ADE) developed by BASF DF to demonstrate efficiency and enable more sustainable use of herbicides (plant protection agents) by reducing usage by an average of 40% from present levels. The project’s beneficiaries will construct six full-size SMART SPRAYER prototypes on a commercial scale to conduct six field trials for different row crops including sugar beet, corn, sunflower, and soybean over the course of three years in Germany, Hungary, Romania, and France, for a total of surface of 10 200 ha.

Acronym: LIFE SMART SPRAYER

Project Reference: LIFE20 ENV/DE/000650

Start Date: 01.10.2021

End Date: 31.03.2025

Total Eligible Budget: 5,713,362 €

EU Contribution: 3,142,349 €

Disclaimer: Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

BENEFICIARIES

Name

BASF Digital
Farming GmbH

Robert Bosch
GmbH

AMAZONEN-
Werke H. Dreyer
GmbH & Co. KG

University of
Hohenheim
Institute of
Phytomedicine

Type

Coordinator

Participant

Participant

Participant

Roles in the project

Coordination; farm selection; ADE software development; trial planning and execution

The development, design, and construction of smart spraying components and related software; commissioning of the innovative device in the trial fields

Construction and servicing of the LIFE SMART SPRAYER device

Expertise in the area of weed control with computer vision systems and has a long scientific track record in development of algorithms to map and treat weeds on agricultural fields and environmental monitoring activities

The LIFE SMART SPRAYER project will be jointly performed by four beneficiaries:
The project will be solely financed by beneficiaries’ own contributions.

ACTIONS

Preparatory tasks (10.2021-02.2022)

Hardware tasks (11.2021-03.2022)
  • Production, sourcing and delivering of components (11.2021-01.2022)
  • Machinery construction (01.2022-03.2022)
Trial preparation and system software tasks (2021-2025)
  • Trial preparation (11.2022-03.2023; 11.2023-03.2024)
  • ADE development (10.2021-03.2025)
  • System software set-up (10.2021-03.2025)
Trial execution and evaluation task (2022-2024)
  • Trial execution (03.2022-07.2022; 03.2023-07.2023; 03.2024-07.2024)
  • Trial follow-up and assessment (04.2022-11.2022; 04.2023-11.2023; 04.2024-11.2024)
Ensuring the long-term sustainability, replicability and transferability (2022-2025)
  • Environmental impact monitoring (03.2022-03.2025)
  • Socio-economic and dissemination impacts monitoring (03.2022-03.2025)

Dissemination planning and execution (10.2021-03.2025)

Project management (2021-2025)

DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES

  • Creation of a project website;
  • Formation of an advisory board that involves key representatives of the project’s intended end-users in the different phases of the project;
  • Publication of articles in specialized or general press, for instance, Weed Research, Crop Protection, Pest Management Science. Other media will be assessed and addressed during the project;
  • Creation of dissemination tools i.e. brochures and flyers, posters; presentations at conferences focused on innovative process and environmental benefits;
  • Organization of meetings with stakeholders and target groups, including officials from the EC and clients;
  • Participation to conferences, fairs and exhibitions such as European Weed Research Society Meeting in Athens 2022, Agritechnica, Hannover in November 2023 SIMA (Paris), EIMA (Bologna), and etc.;
  • Organization of field visit with key stakeholders such as German Phytomedicine Society, DLG-panel Application technology, universities, scientific communities, and public authorities;
  • Organization of final seminars inviting all key stakeholders and targeted audience during the project;
  • Dissemination activities to standardization bodies with the aim of strengthening the EU directives on herbicide use (i.e. pushing to reduce herbicide consumption).
  • Issuance of a report to public upon the completion of the project.