Changing the future of food and farming

Research projects

New approaches to weed control in oilseed rape

Contract Period : 01/08/2009 - 28/02/2013

Main Funder : HGCA

ORC Staff Contact : Thomas Döring

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).

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
Monsanto
Micron
John Deere
Garford