Ariège: among farmers, technology is a solution to combat ragweed

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The Abelio company organized an overflight of an agricultural plot infested with trifid ambrosia, in Montaut, in Ariège. An experiment supported by Draaf and Fredon which aims to better locate this invasive plant.

What if technology was the solution to put an end to ambrosia? In any case, this is what Anne-Marie Ducasse-Cournac, regional facilitator for Fredon Occitanie and Joanna Damprund, drone pilot for Abelio, a company specializing in crop monitoring, hopes.

In front of about twenty farmers from Ariège and members of the Interdepartmental Directorate of South-West Roads (Dirso), curious to see the effectiveness of this technology, Joanna Damprund carried out an overview of an agricultural plot in Montaut, in the north of the department. She also and above all took the time to explain to everyone present the advantages, particularly from the point of view of the location of this invasive plant.

A technology still in development

“We are only at the beginning of the use of this technology, since it is still in experimentation, assures Anne-Marie Ducasse-Cournac. Our drone analyzes the plot and identifies the ambrosia. Then, artificial intelligence pulls out a map of the plot with the points where there are some. For the time being, we are improving the drone. We will soon have a more precise sensor, “says the drone pilot.

The flying device, which can analyze ten hectares in thirty minutes, largely challenged the farmers present, without completely convincing them. The regional facilitator of Fredon Occitanie tried to reassure them, in particular on the cost of using such technology. “This makes it possible to detect ambrosia more precisely and thus to reduce the use of products to kill this plant and to use it only accordingly.”

Abelio’s technology is therefore only in the test phase. It will certainly take time for farmers to have complete confidence, but it is certain that the help provided can only be beneficial in the fight against this invasive and very allergenic plant.

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