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Design and Field Testing of a CombinedFlaming and Cultivation Implementfor Effective Weed Control

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 33(1): 43-54. (doi: 10.13031/aea.11719) @2017
Authors:   Brian D. Neilson, Chris A. Bruening, Strahinja Stepanovic, Avishek Datta, Stevan Knezevic, George Gogos
Keywords:   Cultivation, Cultivators, Flame cultivators, Organic farming, Weed control.

Abstract. Flaming is a thermal weed control method that uses heat to control weeds within or between crop rows. Mechanical cultivation is another weed control method which undercuts weeds between crop rows, while leaving a strip of weeds within the crop row. A combination flamer/cultivator implement was designed to take advantage of the good qualities of both flaming and cultivation methods to provide a more consistent weed control than using either flaming or mechanical cultivation alone. Flaming hoods were designed in the spring of 2010 and retrofitted on an existing row crop cultivator. The flaming hoods were redesigned in the spring of 2011 for easier manufacturing. They were tested in field studies in corn ( L.) and soybean [ (L.) Merr.] during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Of the seven treatments tested, a treatment of flaming combined with cultivation applied twice during a season produced the highest weed control and crop yield, while maintaining low crop injury and weed dry matter.

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