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Optimization of Inter-Row Spacing and Nitrogen Rate for the application of Vision Guided Inter-Row Weeding in Organic Spring Cereals

Melander, Bo; Green, Ole and Znova, Liubava (2016) Optimization of Inter-Row Spacing and Nitrogen Rate for the application of Vision Guided Inter-Row Weeding in Organic Spring Cereals. In: 56th Annual Meeting of the Weed Science Society of America .

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Summary

Flex-tine weed harrowing conducted as a full-width operation treating both crop and weeds is the principal method for direct weed control in organic spring cereals in Northern Europe. Results with this technology have varied considerably where especially crop injuries and control failures against tall-growing and tap-rooted weed species have been major drawbacks. New camera technology capable of detecting crop rows makes it possible to employ selective weed control in spring cereals. Normally cereals are grown at 12.5 cm row spacing in Northern Europe but even a moderate extension of the row spacing can make enough room for implementing automatically steered inter-row hoeing. Experiences from practice have shown that camera-based steering systems can guide a hoe blade accurately in a 20-25 cm wide inter-row space. The steering systems have also improved work rates by increasing implement width and forward speeds and the technology is gradually being employed on an increasing number of organic farms. Growers claim that crop injuries are negligible and weeding effectiveness against problematic weed species has improved compared with weed harrowing. However, the cereal cropping system has not been optimized to the usage of inter-row cultivation. Intra-row weeds, i.e. those growing in the crop lines, are not controlled and increasing the row spacing to 25 cm or more may cause a yield penalty. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between inter-row cultivation, inter-row spacing and nitrogen rate on weed and crop growth. Results are reported from two years field experiments with spring barley and spring wheat. It was aimed to maintain a constant seed rate for all five row spacing studied (12.5, 15, 20, 25 and 30 cm), which gave a higher crop density in the rows with increasing row spacing. A denser intra-row crop stand would improve the suppression of surviving intra-row weeds and partly compensate for the more weed growth that wider row spacing would cause by allowing more light penetration into the crop canopy. It was found that maintaining the seed rate when increasing row spacing was important for preserving crop yields. The best results in terms of weeding effectiveness and crop yield were achieved with 15 and 20 cm row spacing and high N rate; most evident in spring barley. It was seen that the traditional ‘Ducksfoot’ blade is not an optimal solution for inter-row cultivation at small row spacing. As a consequence, a new blade has been developed which is also presented at the WSSA 2016 Annual Meeting.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Speech
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 2 > RowCrop
Deposited By: Bo Melander, Senior Scientist
ID Code:29975
Deposited On:11 Apr 2016 07:13
Last Modified:11 Apr 2016 07:13
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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