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Smart robot will help farmers protect our Reef

We’re improving water quality on our Great Barrier Reef by helping sugarcane farmers cut their use of herbicides by at least 80%.

Together with our partners at James Cook University, AutoWeed and Sugar Research Australia, we’re creating a new smart weed detection and spraying system for sugarcane growers. 

The technology uses a type of artificial intelligence called ‘deep learning’ to detect and spray weeds without hitting crops, saving farmers money by reducing waste.   

A Queensland start-up, AutoWeed has collected hundreds of thousands of images of sugarcane, using them to train the system to detect weeds. 

The next phase of the project will involve on-ground trials on sugarcane farms in the Burdekin region.  

This is just one of more than 100 Reef-saving projects we’re delivering right now. Find out what else we’re doing to improve water quality on our Reef.