The ground-breaking project called SEWIA (selective electrochemical weeding in agriculture) will develop new tools, enabling farmers to use modern methods for selective weeding in vegetable cultures, such as lettuce and other high-value specialty crops. The continuously decreasing number of herbicides approved in agriculture and horticulture and the limited applicability of suitable mechanical methods shows the need to develop economically viable alternatives for farmers, helping to protect a sustainable supply chain.
Furthermore, a reduction in herbicide use is in line with consumer demand, environment policies, and socio-economic framework guidelines. As an example, the EU Farm to Fork Strategy aims at reducing the use of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030 – only a short 10 years away.
The technologies will be used in the area between the plants and applied to individual weeds in a row. Therefore, it is particularly suitable for sensitive vegetable crops such as iceberg lettuce, cauliflower, and celery.
crop.zone and MASCOR bring together unique expertise such as AI machine vision, autonomous agriculture robotics, and a new mode of action for sustainable crop protection.
The SEWIA project is sponsored by “Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank” and is set up for two years.
Dirk Vandenhirtz (CEO crop.zone GmbH):
“The strong relationship with the University of Aachen enables crop.zone to use the latest research and development in robotics and AI machine vision to extend our product further.
We aim to help farmers in a fast-changing world to adapt to new challenges in crop protection. The MASCOR team is a perfect fit for us and a long-term strategic alliance partner.”