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Development of a Robotic Solution to Detect and Fight Slugs

Gödeke, Jobst, Wegener, Jens Karl, von Hörsten, Dieter, Höing, Christian
Gesunde Pflanzen 2019 v.71 no.Supplement 1 pp. 73-78
Brassica napus, catch crops, climate change, crop rotation, land cover, pellets, robots, slugs, snails, sowing
Slugs are an increasing problem in arable farming. Climate change, an almost all-year land cover by the cultivation of catch crops, as well as a simplification of crop rotation, with a clear dominance of wintering, lead to an improvement of the living conditions of field snails. As a consequence of the mass propagation of snails, the application of slug pellets is often carried out as a preventive “routine measure”, for example after the sowing of winter rape. This intervention measure results in slug pellets often also being applied in slug-free areas. With the aim of developing an alternative robotic solution for slug control, a research association has been formed consisting of the University of Kassel, the Julius Kühn Institute and KommTek GmbH. Within the framework of the project, a vehicle concept will be developed which autonomously navigates over a field, recognizes snails via sensors and makes them harmless with a mechanical tool.