Laser versus weeds: LZH shows Farming 4.0 at the Agritechnica

Vision of an agriculture of the future, by means of autonomously driving or flying systems, weeds can be removed from the field in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. (Graphic: LZH)

With a laser beam, the growth center of weeds can be damaged, thus giving the crop plants growing right next to it the decisive growth advantage - without any herbicides and resistance formation. (Photo: LZH)

Lasers instead of pesticides - the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showing this Farming 4.0 vision for the first time during the AGRITECHNICA in Hannover from November 10th to 16th, 2019, at the Pavilion of the state of Niedersachsen (hall 21, stand A05).

The new approach of the LZH is based on the non-contact, optical interaction of light with biological material: cameras can be used to distinguish weeds from crops. This is the basis for using laser radiation to precisely damage weeds and thus help crops to gain a decisive growth advantage.

The use of herbicides can be drastically reduced with such a process. Since laser radiation acts purely physically, no resistances are formed, the soil can be preserved and beneficials are protected. In addition, the laser-based approach can easily be integrated in Digital Farming.

Removing weeds from carrots, sugar beets and onions
The first application areas are crops with a high added value in organic farming, such as carrots, sugar beet and onions.

The operation of such a laser-based system is possible on different platforms: autonomous, self-driving, front-mounted or rear-mounted.

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Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH)

As an independent, non-profit research institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development and consulting. The LZH is supported by the Niedersachsen Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation and is dedicated to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of photonics and laser technology. Founded in 1986, over 170 employees are now working for the LZH.

The focus of the LZH lies on the fields of optical components and systems, optical production technologies, and biomedical photonics. Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural scientists and mechanical engineers makes innovative approaches to challenges from the most different areas possible: from the development of components for specific laser systems to process developments for the most diverse laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Eighteen spin off companies have emerged from the LZH up to now. Thus, the LZH has created a strong transfer between fundamental science, application oriented research, and industry.