More effective and reduced pesticide use in broad acre landscapes by using optical sensing devices to detect and “spot spray” weeds”


Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) N/A
Year(s) 2014
Contributor Upper North Farming Systems
Trial location(s) Jamestown, SA
More effective and reduced pesticide use in broad acre landscapes by using optical sensing devices to detect and “spot spray” weeds” locations
  • To evaluate the suitability of "spot spray" technology to control weeds on farming land in the Upper North.
  • To monitor weed control success on "hard to control" summer weeds such as fleabane, onion weed, saltbush type weeds.
  • To record the reduction in pesticide and water use using "spot spray" technology compared to conventional spraying.
  • To raise awareness amongst the community about the potential benefits of "spot spray" technology.
Key messages
  • Summer weed control is proven to increase yield, but is becoming a major cost and some summer weeds are difficult to control.
  • Cost savings of 20-90% were achieved across 20 paddocks using the WEEDit™.
  • A major benefit of the Spot Spray Technology was the ability to use high rates of chemical to spot spray hard-to-kill weeds such as fleabane and stinkweed.
Lead research organisation Upper North Farming Systems
Host research organisation Upper North Farming Systems
Trial funding source GRDC
Related program Production and Environment Partnerships Project

Matt McCallum and Ruth Sommerville

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type None: No crop specified
Treatment type(s)
  • Herbicide: Application Method
Trial type Demonstration
Trial design Unreplicated

Jamestown 2014

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Other trial notes

A demonstration version (12m) of the WEEDit™ was hired and used to evaluate the suitability of automated "spot spray" technology to control weeds in 20 paddocks across the Upper North during the summer fallow period in 2014. The technology worked very well, and in summary; cost savings of 20-90% (average 70%) were achieved per spray application It could detect small weeds, about the size of a 20c piece. The ability to detect small plants was reduced if the we

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information
Trial source data and summary not available
Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Jamestown, SA Various
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Jamestown, SA Sodosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Jamestown SA
2014 627.3mm
2013 627.3mm
2012 650.2mm
2011 658.4mm
2010 654.0mm
2009 638.7mm
2008 610.6mm
2007 614.5mm
2006 614.9mm
2005 621.3mm
2004 580.3mm
2003 560.2mm
2002 558.8mm
2001 571.8mm
2000 513.6mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Jamestown SA

CAUTION: Trial site locality unknown; Climate data sourced from Upper North Farming Systems office location

Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial report and links

2014 trial report

Trial last modified: 26-05-2023 13:58pm AEST