The project tests weed control within the inter-row spacing of oilseed rape using various techniques. This includes positioning systems (e.g. vision-guided) and weed control methods (e.g. chemical and mechanical).
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.
- 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.
- Evaluate the impact of combining directed non-selective treatments between crop rows with directed selective treatments applied over the crop rows.
- Evaluate the use of a shrouded inter-row CDA applicator for delivering the non-selective herbicide between crop rows.
- Examine the scope for non-chemical control in the inter-rows using a guided mechanical hoe.
- Assess the potential for vehicle guidance systems (RTK DGPS or vision based) to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of inter-row treatments.
- 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.
- Evaluate the cost effectiveness of the different approaches in relation to herbicide use, weed control and crop performance.
ORC conducts field experiments on mechanical weed control in oil seed rape.