New weed technology on agenda at Dubbo grains forum

Author: | Date: 11 Feb 2019

image of Guillame Jourdain
Guillaume Jourdain, the co-founder and chief executive officer of French technology start-up company Bilberry will be talking about green-on-green weed search and destroy technology at the Grains Research Update at Dubbo RSL. Photo Supplied.

Artificial intelligence could provide the ‘game changing’ weapon being sought by Australian grain growers in their battle against costly weeds within their farming systems.

Breakthrough ‘green on green’ weed search and destroy technology that has been developed in France has the potential to reduce herbicide usage by 80 per cent, according to the company behind the technology.

New South Wales grain growers, their advisers and other grains industry personnel will be given a first-hand account of the technology’s potential at the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Grains Research Update in Dubbo on February 26-27.

Guillaume Jourdain, the co-founder and chief executive officer of French technology start-up company Bilberry is one of the speakers on Day 2 of the Grains Research Update at the Dubbo RSL.

Mr Jourdain, who trained as an engineer, will explain his company’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based weed management tool, which combines an array of cameras with in-crop weed recognition, real-time spot spraying and weed mapping software.

Thanks to specially developed artificial intelligence algorithms, Bilberry technology has the potential to recognise weeds at field speeds with in agricultural crops during both the day and night.

At the Grains Research Update, Mr Jourdain will focus on this capability and review the results that Bilberry achieved with the technology’s first users.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – North, Susan McDonnell said the Grains Research Updates were a premier event on the northern grains calendar and offer growers and advisers an invaluable opportunity to hear the latest findings from the GRDC’s broad portfolio of investments in research and development.

“The GRDC invest in research on behalf of growers that is designed to deliver real gains to farm profitability and assist in overcoming constraints and positioning the industry well for the future,” she said.

“Communicating outcomes from this research, along with innovative developments in agricultural technology and topical issues like climate change implications is a critical part of our role and responsibility to growers, advisers and industry stakeholders.

“Update topics are selected by local planning committees and include regionally relevant, rigorously-tested research that is farm-ready and has the potential to bolster growers’ bottom lines.”

Keynote speakers at the Dubbo Update include Mark Howden from the Australian National University who will discuss the climate change impact on northern farming systems and how much change has already occurred and what is forecast for the future; Harm van Rees, of Crop Facts Pty Ltd, who will delve into opportunities for bridging the ‘yield gap’ as highlighted through the National Paddock Survey; and Greg Rebetzke from CSIRO, who will share the latest research data into cereal breeding for a changing climate.

Day one topics include farming systems research focused on gross margins and returns per millimetre of rainfall; the impact of subsoil constraints specifically sodium, chlorides and magnesium; using EM38 to identify subsoil issues; wheat varietal tolerance to sodicity; feathertop Rhodes grass ecology and management; grower experiences with chaff lining; new barley varieties and their potential for early sowing; profit and risk optimisation in canola; and dual purpose wheat varieties for Central NSW.

Day two topics include the latest chickpea harvest and desiccation timing; timing fungicide spray relative to inoculation; data sources to manage variability what is out; using real time paddock measurements with an infield spectrometer or NIR on your mobile phone; the helicoverpa resistance management strategy; strategies to ensure seed quality for good crop establishment; and strategies for management of Russian wheat aphid.

With the theme of ‘Driving profit through research’, the Update will be attended by hundreds of agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel. For more information contact or 02 9482 4930.

The 2019 GRDC Grains Research Updates in New South Wales are being held at:

  • Wagga Wagga – February 19 and 20
  • Corowa – February 21
  • Dubbo - February 26 and 27
  • Coolah – February 28
  • Spring Plains – March 1

For a full program of each Update, or to register, please visit

Contact Details


Toni Somes, GRDC
0436 622 645

GRDC Project code: ICN00021