Sep 27, 2022
GUSS Automation debuts driverless orchard herbicide sprayers at John Deere dealers

GUSS Automation has introduced an autonomous herbicide orchard sprayer – Herbicide GUSS, available at select John Deere dealers.

This high-tech herbicide sprayer removes the driver from the vehicle to eliminate exposure to the chemical being sprayed. A single operator can monitor any combination of up to eight GUSS, mini GUSS or Herbicide GUSS sprayers on a laptop computer from the safety of their vehicle.

With growers looking to improve productivity, increase precision and efficiency, reduce operational and overhead costs and enhance worker safety, Herbicide GUSS is the solution to meet and exceed these needs. Herbicide GUSS uses LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging, a remote sensing method) technology to stay in the row. Nine sensors on the sprayer detect, target and spot spray weeds on the orchard floor, which reduces material usage and drift during application. Reducing the amount of material being sprayed increases safety for the operator, environment and food produced.

“The GUSS team has years and depth of experience in the high-value crop spraying business,” Greg Christensen, John Deere marketing manager for 5 Series Tractors and High Value Crops, said in a news release. “They were their own first customers, so they are able to solve true customer needs very quickly. Orchard and vineyard customers in the high-value crop space face many labor, safety and sustainability challenges.”

Herbicide GUSS is 23.5 feet long, 6.5 feet tall and ranges from 8.3-19 feet wide depending on the boom extension. The hydraulic-controlled, height-adjustable booms accommodate 18- to 22-foot row spacing and tilt for varying berm sizes. The breakaway booms prevent damage to trees and crops.

“Growers have been asking for an autonomous herbicide machine,” Gary Thompson, chief operating officer at GUSS Automation, said in the release. “We took that concept to the next level by implementing weed detection technology to give the grower a machine that provides immense value. Lower chemical usage helps the grower reduce costs and is a benefit to the environment.”

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