General ILVO BLOGS from the Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke: Successful mechanical weeding in a mixed crop
On May 3, 2021, at the Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke (PPAE Hansbeke), a mixed culture of malting barley and pea was tilled with Treffler's precision weed harrow. The cradle harvester provides mechanical weed control so that no herbicides are needed to kill weeds.
Finding the appropriate time for weeding is no easy task. It is a trade-off between the weather forecast and the development of weeds and crop. Indeed, dry weather increases the success rate of mechanical weed control, but weeds are best dealt with at their germination stage before they appear on the soil surface.
Constant tine pressure regardless of soil unevennessTreffler's harrower is special because it has a system for setting a uniform tine pressure. The tines are individually sprung and the pressure is hydraulically controlled from the tractor. It is important to place the right pressure on the tines for maximum weed destruction without loosening the crop. If the weeds are already more established, then more aggressive and possibly multiple weeding is required, which can cause damage to the crop.
In the video below you can see the precision weeder at work in the mixed culture of malting barley and pea.
The mixed culture of malting barley and pea withstood the weeding treatment very well. Two weeks after weeding, the crops were well developed on the field (see photo). In the summer they will be harvested and then tested.
The Experimental Platform for Agroecology in Hansbeke is a collaboration between ILVO, PHAE and RHEA. The 50 ha of organic fields offers a unique experimentation space for agroecological principles. We regularly blog about these experiments via the ILVO website and social media.