2019 Weed and Feed Competition

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019

Watch teams of agricultural innovators from universities, high schools and industry showcase autonomous robots that manage crops! These agBOTS navigate rows of corn, identify plants, deliver fertilizer, eradicate weeds and provide real-time observation.


The Weed and Feed Competition challenges teams to create an autonomous machine capable of navigating a corn field to identify the corn crop and weeds. Upon identification of the corn plant, the machine should determine if the plant is healthy or in distress that requires fertilizer be applied by the machine. Upon identification of a weed, the machine should eradicate the weed chemically and/or mechanically. Teams may use a variety of solutions, combine elements of solutions in different markets and/or create innovative solutions designed for their machine.

Contact agbotchallenge@gmail.com for details on submitting a proposal to compete.

Site Conditions

  • Silty clay loam with conventional tillage (sod if too wet for tilled soil)
  • Corn height 6-12 inches, weed height 6-12 inches
  • 30-inch rows, turn radius at end 60 feet


Produce an unmanned, autonomous machine that will achieve the following goals. Teams will be scored in Mechanics, Software, Innovative Solution, and Execution.


  • Autonomously maneuver two or four 150-ft rows at a time and autonomously turn at each end. The agBOT shall make two 150-ft passes.
  • Autonomously observe crop plants to assess health of the corn plant.
  • Autonomously deliver fertilizer to distressed corn plants.
  • Autonomously identify three common weeds within and between rows: giant ragweed, cocklebur, and foxtail.
  • Arrange for weed to be destroyed either chemically or mechanically as the agBOT moves through the field.
  • Provide real-time observation methods of movement, plant identification, fertilization, and/or treatment of plants back to the base station.
    *More details To Be Announced (TBA)


  • Teams may choose to compete in one or both competitions.
  • Applicants may begin submitting proposals October 30, 2018. When team roster is at capacity for both competitions, proposals will no longer be accepted. All proposals will be accepted, denied or wait-listed within 10 days of receipt.
  • Devices must have a functional “kill switch” in case of emergency.
  • Teams must be present for NextGen Expo May 16, 2019.
  • $2,500 entry fee; $1,000 deposit to be returned upon physical attendance to competition.
  • Teams are not required to be associated with an organization and/or university. There is no limit on age or number of team members.
  • At least one member of the team is required to attend the event and present results with or without a machine.
  • Teams may use a variety of solutions in any market and/or innovative solutions created by the team.
  • Teams are required to have a one-on-one virtual project-review session with agBOT producers during Checkpoints. Teams may schedule directly with Rachel Gerrish for a time slot during the Checkpoint days.

*Rules may be modified by the agBOT organizers at any time. Cash prizes and judges to be announced by April 15, 2019.


For more details or to sign your team up email agbotchallenge@gmail.com