Fighting weeds in sugarbeet cultivation intelligently and precisely with the laser

Vision of a weed control system that combines hoeing technology with laser technology for environmentally compatible sugarbeet cultivation. (Graphic: K.U.L.T. Kress Umweltschonende Landtechnik GmbH)
08 November 2021
Press releases

--- Joint press release of the project partners ---

Sugarbeet has a hard time asserting itself against weeds in the field. That's why various partners have joined forces in a project to develop a method for controlling weeds using hoes and lasers.

To create good growth opportunities for sugarbeet plants, farmers need to remove weeds near the crops as they compete for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Whether conventional or organic farming is used, there is a need to further develop agricultural technology solutions for effective and cost-efficient weed management in sugarbeet cultivation. In the LUM joint project, the partners pursue a laser-based approach as an alternative. In combination with hoeing machines, this should enable full-area, chemical-free weed control in the field in the future.

A combined system withimage recognition, laser, and hoeing technology
The project aims to research and develop an efficient and powerful system combination to enable the largest possible area to be cultivated, even when time windows are small due to weather conditions. This will include image capture and intelligent data processing that can precisely distinguish and locate sugarbeet plants from weeds in real-time. This data is used to precisely control lasers as well as hoeing tools. The combination brings together the advantages of both methods. First, the laser is used to kill weeds that have already emerged near the sugarbeet. Then, with sufficient distance to the crop, the remaining field area is freed from weeds by mechanical control measures, or growing weeds that have not yet emerged are literally nipped in the bud.

With this new approach, the partners from research and application aim to create environmentally friendly, chemical-free, sustainable, precise, intelligent, and automated weed control in sugarbeet cultivation.

About LUM
The joint project LUM "Photonic weed control in sugar beet cultivation - laser-based weed management" is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In addition to K.U.L.T. Kress Umweltschonende Landtechnik GmbH, the project involves Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Escarda Technologies GmbH, Novanta Europe GmbH, Lumics GmbH and Dachverband Norddeutscher Zuckerr├╝benanbauer e.V. Associated partners are Nordzucker AG, and GRIMME Landmaschinenfabrik.