Booking is now open via Eventbrite. Tickets are free. This includes lunch, refreshments, access to the workshops and exhibitions, and the main weeding event.
Mechanical Weeding LIVERural innovation Centre, Harnhill
The Royal Agricultural University and Innovative Farmers have teamed up to bring you ‘Mechanical Weeding LIVE’ on Tuesday 9 May 2017.
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.
During the farm 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.
The Royal Agricultural University and Innovative Farmers are pleased to be working with a number of machinery companies, including Combcut, Garford, OPICO, Spearhead, and TRP.
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 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.
JustCommonSense AB’s mission is ‘to develop and market products for agriculture’ and has its basis and origin of the patented innovation weed cutter CombCut. The company will also develop and sell other products with similar orientation, some of which are at a late stage of development.
CombCut is a mechanical and selective weedcutter developed to comb your crop and cut weeds in cereals, grassland, and other similar crops.
William Hudson looks after the sales and development of Combcut in the UK and Ireland for JustCommonSense, which is based in Sweden. He said: “We hope to inform farmers and agricultural students of the use of CombCut to control weeds in cereals, grassland, and some vegetable crops. CombCut has now been sold in Europe, Canada, and Australia as part of a weed control program. Users have dramatically reduced their weeds in their crops leading to higher yields, better quality, and higher prices received for their crops.”
Garford Farm Machinery Ltd is a development, manufacturing, and distribution company supplying high quality products to the UK and world agricultural market.
Specialising in row crop equipment, Garford is recognised as a world leader for their range of Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop InRow Weeders. The Robocrop range of products use video cameras and image analysis computers to locate crop position and then guide the hoes quickly and accurately.
Garford manufacture a range of robotic mechanical weed control products including Robocrop Precision Guided Hoes and Robocrop InRow Weeders. Garford also supply manual hoes, hooded sprayers and the Weedfoil Wiper.
OPICO is the UK's largest importer of agricultural machinery, representing more than ten suppliers from around the world.
Thomas Hatzenbichler, the Austrian company responsible for producing the Comb Harrow, is one of Europe’s leading companies in the field of mechanical crop weeding, and has been represented in the UK by OPICO for more than 20 years. Whilst Hatzenbichler have specialised in inter-row cultivators and harrows for organic weeding in the past, these products are increasingly being utilised by conventional farmers.
James Woolway, Managing Director, said: “OPICO is involved as a partner in the Mechanical Weeding LIVE trial and event in order to promote the benefits of mechanical weeding to conventional farmers. It is the company’s belief that much can be gained from combining organic farming practices with conventional farming techniques, to reduce the environmental impact of modern farming and improve margins.
“Our hope is that both the trial and the event will enlighten farmers that have never seen the mechanical weeding operation in action, and the results after the technique has been employed on cereal crops.”
Spearhead Machinery is Europe’s leading manufacturer of large area rotary mowers, specialising in vegetation maintenance and stubble management technology.
Traditional and core business is centred around the maintenance of green areas with the most extensive range of rotary, flail, amenity and reach mowers available in the green area maintenance sector.
Spearhead have been manufacturing rotary mowers for over 25 years and are the market leaders in the sector, supplying a range of machinery with cutting widths from 1.6 metres to 8.2 metres within the Multicut range.
Antony Prince, Director of Sales and Marketing, said: “Our rotary mowers are capable of fine-chopping and mulching grass and stubble to encourage worm activity and assist with improved drainage and aeration in the soil. Spearhead’s unique HD blade system (available on the Multicut 460 and above) has the ability to lift the thatching layer within the grass cover, and combines with the mulched residue for natural decomposition, creating a more robust soil structure to support higher yielding crop cover.
“Regular timely mulching with the unique HD blade system has been found to contribute to weed control by preventing flowering and therefore suppressing further seed growth.”