Developing a mechanical weeding strategy for narrow-row organic field and vegetable crops

Élise Smedbol

Researcher, Ph.D.

450 653-7368
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Contact Élise Smedbol

Description

Inter-row weeding is indispensable for organic farming; however, it is not widely used in Québec for narrow-row crops. With the development of a narrow-row crop weed control strategy, along with early passes of the rotary hoe and tined weeder, farmers would be able to intervene later in the crop cycle and achieve greater control of larger weeds.

The use of a guidance system (e.g., camera or GPS) for very narrow rows could yield greater accuracy at higher speeds. Narrow-row crop weeding will be studied in four experiments conducted on three crops, i.e., green beans, peas, and soybeans. The experiments will take place over three years at the Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville Organic Agriculture Innovation Platform.

Objective(s)

  • Establish a weed control strategy for narrow-row crops using late weeding—along with early passes of the rotary hoe and/or tined weeder—under optimal conditions.
  • Determine
    • the appropriate tools and speed for weeding narrow-row crops;
    • the optimal time to weed;
    • the effect of row spacing and the use of access roads, and
    • the impact on speed and accuracy of adding a camera-guided system to the weeder.

From 2019 to 2023

Project duration

Field crops, Market gardening

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control, Organic farming

Services

IRDA is working to make mechanical weed control a cost-effective alternative to herbicides.

Partner

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec

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