Practical Examination of Intelligent Hoeing Technology in Arable and Special Crop Cultivation

In the spring of 2024, the research project “NextGen:CropCare” of the FH OÖ Research and Development GmbH in the field of Agricultural Management and Innovations will begin. The goal of this project is to research and evaluate the practicability of autonomous hoeing robots in Austrian agriculture. In light of growing demands from society and politics for a reduction of pesticides and the promotion of integrated plant protection, modern cultural care techniques are gaining ever greater importance.

Precise hoeing technology is becoming particularly relevant in the field of arable and special crop cultivation. Start-ups worldwide are relying on autonomous hoeing robots as a comprehensive solution for mechanical weed control.

As part of this research project, a field trial for automated mechanical weed control in organic sugar beets and various other special crops will be carried out. The innovative hoeing robot “Farming GT” from the company Farming Revolution GmbH will be used for this purpose. Various parameters will be analyzed by a detailed comparison with conventional, modern hoeing technology.

The main goal of this project is to evaluate the practicability of autonomous field robots as compared to conventional hoeing technology. In doing so, specific parameters will be identified that have a direct influence on the amount of work, the yield potential, and economic success. The insights gained enable a comprehensive evaluation of the different systems.

The experimental design takes into account the different developmental stages of the crop plants and weeds. The simultaneous execution of all variations ensures comparable experimental conditions.

The results of this research project offer a detailed representation regarding the profitability, effectiveness, and efficiency of the examined systems. These insights support farmers in making informed decisions and strategically using the different technologies under optimal conditions.

“NextGen:CropCare” has the clear goal of demonstrating the practical applicability of different technologies for mechanical weed control and defining optimal conditions of use. The results of this research make a significant contribution to the sustainable further development of Austrian agriculture.


FH-Prof. MMag. Dr. Michael Schmidthaler
Wehrgrabengasse 1-3
4400 Steyr – Austria

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