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Cost-efective inter-row hoeing and band spraying systems for weed control in integrates and organic cereal production

{Project} Cost-efective inter-row hoeing and band spraying systems for weed control in integrates and organic cereal production. Runs 2002 - 2005. Project Leader(s): Tillett, Nick, Silsoe Research Institute .

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Early in a season the crop covers only part of total field area. Treating that area uniformly can therefore be wasteful. An ability to differentiate between crop rows and inter-row spaces would provide opportunities for increased treatment efficacy, reduced environmental impact and reduced input costs. Banded treatments on, or between crop rows, requires a level of precision that is difficult to achieve in practice.
So, despite the potential advantages inter-row cultivation and band spraying are limited to use in high value crops. Recent advances pioneered by some of the consortium partners now offer automatic guidance systems for inter-row cultivation. These are currently used in intensive vegetable production and by those growing cereals organically. They offer enhanced accuracy, higher forward speeds and reduced driver fatigue compared to manual systems. Whilst helpful, the science behind these developments has limitations with respect to work rate. In particular the need for inter-row hoes to match drill bout width makes such systems uneconomic for conventional cereal producers.
Aims and Objectives
Develop of a system based on vision guidance technology that will reduce herbicide
input by 60% for conventional cereal producers and treble work rate for those already
hoeing organic cereals.
In particular we will:
• Tackle generic scientific problems associated with precision vision guidance spanning multiple drill/planter bouts
• Develop systems and strategies that minimise driver workload through, ergonomic display of information, high reliability and automatic error recovery
• Demonstrate inter-row cultivation in organic cereals grown at a 25cm row spacing with a hoe spanning three 4m drill bouts
• Demonstrate combined inter-row cultivation and band spraying in conventional cereals grown at a 25cm row spacing
Key Messages:
• The experimental hoe and guidance system have now been commissioned and undergone preliminary trials
• Preliminary work indicates that the objectives are achievable and that the
resulting system could operate as a practical farm tool
• Analysis of accuracy indicates a standard deviation of lateral error of between
8 and 12mm has already been achieved
• The technology has potential use in the banded application of inputs other than
herbicide and could form the basis of a weed/crop mapping system

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:crop rows, inter-row, banded treatment, herbicide, weed control, hoeing, cereals, mapping system
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: UK > Other organizations
Research funders: UK > Other organizations
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Project ID:LK0928
Start Date:1 October 2002
End Date:31 July 2005
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:10113
Deposited On:13 Dec 2006
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:35

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