Getting into the Weeds: AI, Computer Vision, and the Future of Non-Chemical Weeding

Weeds are a very expensive problem. According to one 2016 study, if weeds were left to grow unchecked in agricultural fields across just the US and Canada, the cost in lost productivity would total over $43 billion. And challenges are mounting. Though the last century has been ruled by crop protection chemistries that have kept weeds at bay– crafty wild plants have quickly adapted and the existing tools are under pressure from regulators and consumers. As farmers try to turn elsewhere, agtech is stepping into the void, expanding the weed-fighting toolkit with everything from water and heat, to lasers and robots. 

To understand this challenge better, and to learn more about one of the emerging tools in the market, Tenacious’ Matthew Pryor joins Liam Hescock, Founder and CEO of Azaneo, an electric weeding company (and recent add to the Tenacious portfolio), and Guy Coleman, weed researcher extraordinaire. 

Together these three tackle: 

  • The key challenges in the weed detection and removal space
  • How companies and researchers have tried (and often failed) to control weeds in the past
  • Which technical challenges persist even as new tools for finding and killing weeds come online


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The information in this post is not investment advice or a recommendation to invest. It is general information only and does not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making an investment decision you should read the information memorandum and seek financial advice from a professional financial adviser. Whilst we believe Information is correct, no warranty of accuracy, reliability or completeness.

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Key takeaways

  • [00:10:34] Challenges of chemical spray drift
  • [00:14:55] The evolution AI-based weed detection
  • [00:27:16] The vital role of speed and efficacy

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