Mechanical Weeding LIVE

A one day event where you can see mechanical weeding in action.


The Royal Agricultural University and Innovative Farmers have teamed up to bring you Mechanical Weeding LIVE on Tuesday 9 May.

The event is a chance to see a range of mechanical weeders in action, plus hear the results from a comprehensive trial carried out at the University’s Innovation Centre. There will be a farm walk, an opportunity to meet the machinery manufacturers and a chance to hear about the details of the trial.




10.00    Registration and refreshments

10.30    Welcome to Innovative Farmers

Liz Bowles, Head of Farming, Innovative Farmers

10.40   Introduction to RAU Farms

Tom Overbury, Farms Director, Royal Agricultural University

10.50    Mechanical weeding options

Dr Nicola Cannon, Principal Lecturer in Agronomy, Royal Agricultural University

11.30    Non-chemical weed control in conventional agriculture

Nick August, Director of August Farms Ltd

12.00    Weed control strategies on organic farms

John Pawsey, Shimpling Park Farm

12.30    Questions

12.45    Lunch

12.45   Guided tour of field experiments

Investigating the impact of different treatments on weed control and a demonstration with machinery manufacturers of mechanical weeding equipment operating in spring wheat.

15.30   Close


The kit

The following manufacturers will be bringing machinery to the event:

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

During a field walk, you will see the neighbouring spring wheat receiving the same weeder treatments as those previously conducted on the winter wheat. You will be able to view the impact of different weeders on weed control, and the number of passes in the proposed field trial.

At Mechanical Weeding LIVE you can:

  • Assess the level of weed control managed with different weeding machines
  • Determine the impact of one or two passes with different weeding machines
  • Evaluate the changes in weed populations with different weed treatments
  • Measure 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 will each receive one of the weeder treatments when conditions are appropriate in late March. The main weeder plots will then be randomly split with half receiving a subsequent weeding treatment by the same machine approximately three or four weeks later.


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