Will glyphosate’s legal troubles pave the way for greater use of robots in agriculture?

| | August 30, 2018
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Following a major blow in Californian courts recently, widely-used herbicide glyphosate has continued to take a battering, as industry professionals continue to argue that its downfall sets the scene for robotics that will target pesticides much more precisely and sparingly.

Recently, a US court held Monsanto’s glyphosate responsible for causing cancer in a ground keeper, eventually awarding $289M of damages, a critical verdict in that some say demonstrates that glyphosate is on shaky ground.

Discussing the link between this verdict and agricultural robotics, research director at UK-based company IDTechEx, Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh has …. argued that agricultural robots are the long-term future of the agrochemical business, and that this verdict [demonstrates] that agrochemical businesses need to urgently start reinventing themselves as being in the business of controlling weeds, and not just agrochemical supplies.

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Dr Ghaffarzadeh explained: “Precision agriculture has been around for decades. That has now all changed thanks to developments in other industries such as consumer electronics. For several years now, companies have demonstrated robotics equipped with deep learning based advance vision technologies that can rapidly distinguish between crops and weeds and to rapidly take site specific action to eliminate the weed.

Read full, original article: Monsanto case reaffirms that robotics will shape the future of agrochemicals

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