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GPS Technology in Weed Control

Extension Education

Rachel Bearden
CEA - Agriculture
UofA Division of Agriculture Research & Extension


Many producers look for opportunities to decrease input costs, while still getting effective control. While many producers are using herbicide, not many have invested in precision technology. The Extension office frequently gets asked for options on GPS technology and if the technology is worth the investment. A small acreage hay field was used that had a large brush pile near the center and easy to visualize fence rows. Jason Keller drove his tractor across half the field spraying on sight, using landmarks in the field, with the GPS monitor covered where he could not see it. For the remaining half of the field, he used the GPS guidance system. Guidance systems (GPS Units) can help reduce cost through minimizing excessive skipping and overlapping of inputs. Often this savings is between 10-30% of total input costs. Purchase of a new unit is recommended when a break even can be achieved. In this case, annual input cost of $1,500 and misapplication of 25% results in a potential savings of $375/acre. In 3 years, that would be $1,125/acre. In 5 years, that would be $1,875/acre. If this producer was spraying at least 4 acres, the GPS Unit would achieve break even.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Rachel Bearden, Jason Davis
  1. Bearden, R. CEA - Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Arkansas, 72104
  2. Davis, J. Application Technologist, University of Arkansas, Arkansas, 72501