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Analysis and Definition of the close-to-crop Area in Relation to Robotic Weeding

Nørremark, Michael and Griepentrog, Hans W. (2004) Analysis and Definition of the close-to-crop Area in Relation to Robotic Weeding. Paper at: 6th Workshop of the EWRS Working Group 'Physical and Cultural Weed Control', Lillehammer, Norway, 8th March 2004.

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The objective of this paper is to analyse and define the field conditions close to the crop plants of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.). The aim is to use this study for the choice and development of new physical weeding methods to target weeds at individual plant scale level. It was found that the close to crop area is like a ring structure, comprising an area between an inner- and outer-circle around the sugar beet seedling. Physical weeding should not be applied to the area within the inner circle.
The radius of the inner circle increases with the appearance of young beet leaves during the growth season. It was also found, that no weeds were germinating within 1 cm around individual sugar beet seedlings. Therefore this distance should be added to the radius of the inner circle. The space between the inner and outer circle is termed the close to crop area where physical weeding should be applied. The size of this area is defined by the developmental stage of the sugar beet fibrous root system and foliage. Thus, the determination of the growth stage of individual crop plants is necessary before any physical weeding can take place in the close to crop area.
Uprooting, cutting between stem and root or damage of main shoot can do the physical control of most weed species located in the close to crop area. However, the targeting of weeds from above and from different angels above ground is limited in the close to crop area. This is caused by the fact that sugar beet leaves do not leave much space between leaves and ground and that our own study indicate that 26.4% of sugar beet plants at the 4-6 leaf stage are covering the main shoot of weeds. The most problematic weeds are the species, which have their main shoot and leaves located close to ground level. These species can either be controlled by damage of the main shoot or with a combination of shallow surface cutting and burial.
Discrimination between weed species is beneficial under certain circumstances. First, the efficiency of the physical control of individual weed species is depending on the timing. Secondly some weeds species do not have significant negative impact on the yield, but instead leaving these species uncontrolled could benefit to an increased bio-diversity and reduced time and energy input for a physical weeding process. This paper is contributing to the ongoing Danish research project Robotic Weeding.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen > KU-LIFE - Faculty of Life Sciences
Deposited By: Griepentrog, Dr. Hans
ID Code:4834
Deposited On:23 May 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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