4 January 2017
The Oxford Real Farming Conference 2017

Gathering of the UK's sustainable and organic food and farming movements

1 February 2017
11th Organic Producers' Conference

Rising to the challenge: Practical organic farming solutions for an uncertain future

21 October 2016
Food and Farming standards consultation

The Soil Association are updating their standards and want your views

17 October 2016
Massive overuse of farm antibiotics continues in Europe

Use of antibiotics in Europe remains more than twice as high in animals as in humans

13 April 2016
Organic farm incomes up in 2015

Organic farm profits increasing with organic dairy farming outperforming conventional

New approaches to weed control in oilseed rape

Contract period:

1 August 2009 to 28 February 2013

Main funder:


Contact staff at ORC:

Thomas Döring

Project aims

Overall aim: To evaluate new approaches to weed control in winter oilseed rape that use carefully-directed control methods between crop rows to minimise reliance on commonly-used selective residual herbicides.

Specific objectives:

  1. Determine the effectiveness of a technique based on a simple repositioning (and twisting) of conventional nozzles set at an angle to the spray boom and at a low boom height, to apply a non selective (or non crop-safe) herbicide between the crop rows.
  2. Evaluate the impact of combining directed non-selective treatments between crop rows with directed selective treatments applied over the crop rows.
  3. Evaluate the use of a shrouded inter-row CDA applicator for delivering the non-selective herbicide between crop rows.
  4. Examine the scope for non-chemical control in the inter-rows using a guided mechanical hoe.
  5. Assess the potential for vehicle guidance systems (RTK DGPS or vision based) to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of inter-row treatments.
  6. Study the effect of row spacing on the balance between maintaining a crop that is competitive against weeds and the effectiveness and practicality of inter-row treatments.
  7. Evaluate the cost effectiveness of the different approaches in relation to herbicide use, weed control and crop performance.

ORC's role

ORC conducts field experiments on mechanical weed control in oil seed rape.

Project leader and partners

Research partners
The Arable Group (NIAB-TAG)
Scottish Agricultural College (SAC)
Tillet and Hague Technology

Industry partners
John Deere