Mechanical Weeding LIVE

A one day event where farmers saw mechanical weeding in action.

The Royal Agricultural University and Innovative Farmers teamed up to bring you Mechanical Weeding LIVE which took place in early May.

A range of mechanical weeders were put into action, and the results were given from a comprehensive trial carried out at the University’s Innovation Centre. The farm walk, undertaken whilst watching the machinery, was a great opportunity to discuss pros and cons with the manufacturers and learn more about the trial.

In the press

Mechanical Weeding Live was a sell-out event and has been written up in both Food and Farming Futures and Farmers Weekly. See the links below for their articles:

Food and Farming Futures

Farmers Weekly

 

Presentations from the day

Click here

 

The kit

The following manufacturers brought machinery to the event:

  • OPICO 
  • TRP will bring the Carre Rotanet Machine
  • Combcut
  • Spearhead 
  • Garford with their Robocrop

During the field walk, farmers saw the neighbouring spring wheat receiving the same weeder treatments as those previously conducted on the winter wheat. The impact of different weeders on weed control, and the number of passes in the proposed field trial was discussed.

At Mechanical Weeding LIVE farmers carried out:

  • Assessment of the level of weed control managed with different weeding machines
  • Determination of the impact of one or two passes with different weeding machines
  • Evaluation of the changes in weed populations with different weed treatments
  • Measurement of the impact of different weeding treatments on wheat grain yield

The research

The University is carrying out the weeding comparison at its Harnhill Manor Farm, near Cirencester. The weeding treatments will run the full length of the field (approx. 180m long), with assessments taking place in the middle 100m to avoid potentially compacted headlands.

The experiment will be a randomised block design with split plot arrangements replicated in two blocks. The main plot treatments each received one of the weeder treatments when conditions were appropriate in early and mid April. The main weeder plots were then randomly split with half receiving a subsequent weeding treatment by the same machine approximately three or four weeks after.

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