Uruguay pilots GPS-guided agrochemical spraying


The tracking system being tested in Uruguay provides real-time monitoring of aerial as well as ground-based agrochemical spraying. (Photos by MGAP)

Aiming to reduce environmental-health risks from large-scale farming, Uruguay’s government is testing a pioneering system that provides real-time satellite monitoring and guidance to keep agrochemical spraying the legally required distance from communities and watercourses. A government-run pilot involving the use of 33 tracking devices, which were developed by private-sector companies, has been underway since October 2018 in the southwest department of Soriano. The project has involved the voluntary participation of 23 pesticide businesses, 19 of which do ground-based spraying and four of which conduct aerial spraying, and three chemical treatments of some 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) each. Officials says that while a system used in Germany tracks spraying for subsequent “black-box” analysis if problems occur, the Uruguayan system is the world’s first to provide real-time guidance for those spraying as well as monitoring for officials in charge of enforcement. Broad acceptance... [Log in to read more]

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