Archive for the ‘Mechanical control’ Category

Weed seed destructor

SEED DESTRUCTOR: One of the more innovative ways to control weed seeds is with a weed seed destructor. The Redekop seed destructor unit is attached to a John Deere S680 combine. The machine was recently tested in soybean fields with waterhemp infestations in central Iowa.

Learn about new ways researchers are working to help farmers control weeds at the ISU Extension display at the Farm Progress Show.

Prashant Jha | Aug 24, 2022



Farm Progress Show

Aug 30, 2022 to Sep 01, 2022

Controlling weeds in farm fields is an annual challenge — especially with more weeds becoming resistant to herbicides. Fortunately, producers have a wide range of options to counter weeds, including some creative ways that may not have been employed in the past.

At this year’s Farm Progress Show, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will showcase one of the more innovative and practical methods of controlling weeds: a weed seed destructor.


Fitted to a combine, the weed seed destructor does what its name implies. It pulverizes and destroys seeds so that they cannot germinate.

The weed seed destructor (Redekop) will be attached to the back of a John Deere S680 combine and will be available for viewing outside of the ISU Extension and Outreach tent.

While the machine will not be operating during the show, visitors can see it in operation on a computer screen, and they can ask questions of weed science experts.

“We want to give the public a chance to see and ask about this innovative form of weed control technology,” says Prashant Jha, ISU professor and Extension weed specialist. “Farmers in central Iowa and in Harrison County are already using this technology, and we expect more will do so in the coming years.”

Alternative methods

Other methods of weed control will also be featured, including videos of chaff lining, a method that guides the harvested chaff into narrow bands as it flows out the back of the combine at harvest, which reduces the spread of weed seeds by more than 95% across fields and contains weed seeds in smaller spaces.

The harvester or combine is modified with a baffle that separates the chaff (containing the majority of weed seeds) from the straw. The chaff is directed into narrow central bands using a chute at the rear of the combine. 

Weed seeds in the chaff are subjected to decay, and burial of small-seeded weed species such as waterhemp in the chaff will potentially result in reduced emergence in the subsequent growing season. High application rates of herbicides or shielded sprayers can be used to selectively control emerged weeds in those narrow bands in the field. 

The weed control display will also allow visitors the chance to test their knowledge of weed specimens found in the Midwest. Sixteen different species will be available for visitors to identify.

Visitors will also have the chance to learn more about waterhemp, and how it can be suppressed using cereal rye as a cover crop.

Photos and sample trays will show the results of using no rye, rye terminated at 4 to 6 inches tall, and rye terminated close to heading.

“We’re going to be showing the potential for biomass [cover crops] to suppress weeds like waterhemp, and how the results vary based on the height of the cover crop,” Jha says.

Rye helps suppress weeds

Cereal rye has the best potential to suppress weeds because it accumulates more biomass than other cover crop species. A study that was done for the Farm Progress Show shows an incremental decrease in waterhemp based on the density of rye.  

Field studies indicate cereal rye biomass of 4,500 to 5,000 pounds per acre at termination can significantly suppress waterhemp emergence in soybeans, and reduce the size and density of waterhemp at the time of exposure to postemergence herbicides.  

Additionally, producers can view a map of where herbicide resistance has been documented in Iowa based on the recent survey, and ask questions to Jha and other specialists about their own experience with herbicide-resistant weeds.

Jha will be joined at the show by ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists Angie Rieck-Hintz, Meaghan Anderson, Gentry Sorenson and Mike Witt, and several weed science graduate students.

Jha is an ISO professor and ISU Extension weed specialist.

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Vacuum tackles spotted lanternfly infestations without spraying pesticides, Staten Island exterminator says

  • Published: Aug. 01, 2022, 6:30 a.m.
Spotted lanternfly vacuum
Mark Loffredo uses the Atrix high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) vacpack on a Staten Island yard. No protective clothing is required, since no pesticide is sprayed into the air, he said. (Courtesy of Mark Loffredo)




STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Amid the struggle to control Staten Island’s growing spotted lanternfly infestation without damaging gardens and knocking out critical pollinators, one Staten Island exterminator has turned to an environmentally-safe vacuum designed for sensitive indoor environments.

The Atrix high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) vacpack, which contains a HEPA filter and a nature-friendly pesticide, has been in the pest-control arsenal for years, said Mark Loffredo, president of Post Exterminating, but it previously has only been used inside nursing homes and hospitals, where pesticides would be harmful and impractical.

“This is the safest and cleanest option, and it works,’’ said Loffredo, explaining that vacuum chops the insects up while a nature-friendly pesticide remains inside the filter and is never released into the environment.


While Staten Islanders won’t see spotted lanternflies hopping and flying around their yards until later this summer or fall, many are reporting sightings of lanternfly instars, or newly hatched nymphs, recently emerged from egg masses. They’re found on trees and other outdoor structures, and environmental experts urge residents to destroy them before they become full-grown.

The destructive insects, which won’t take on their familiar red coloration and start flying for a few more weeks, feed on more than 70 plant species, including tree-of-heaven. Not only are they a nuisance, they’re also a threat to plants and crops that are critical to New York’s agricultural economy, such as grapevines, hops, apple trees and maple trees, the state Department of Agriculture warns.

Loffredo initially tried the vacuum, much more powerful than a household vacuum, on his own perennial border garden, and was thrilled with the results. A treatment every few weeks will easily control the population in an average-size yard on Staten Island, he said. “If we get in there a couple of times in the course of a month, we can knock them out,’’ he said.


Traditional yard pesticides are harmful to critical pollinators, including butterflies, wasps, bees and hornets, said Cliff Hagen, president of Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, a longtime Staten Island non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Island’s parkland and open spaces.

“Random spraying of these chemicals, unfortunately, kills everything it touches,’’ Hagen said. “No bug is immune. But spiders, ants, bees, they sort of clean up the whole yard for us. The pollination the bees provide is invaluable.’’

Moths, too, and even hummingbirds, are threatened by pesticide spraying, Hagen said, as well as the flowers that rely on them for pollination.

Spotted lanternflies were widely blamed for damaged trees across the South and West shores of Staten Island last fall, and are expected to be active again this year.


The nymphs currently invading gardens are small (1/8 inch) and can be hard to find, but with each molt they roughly double in size, according to the Penn State Extension, an environmental educational organization.

They emerge from egg masses, which resemble brown splotches, and are commonly found on tree trunks.

Refuses to spray

Frequently asked by potential customers to do “broadcast spraying,’’ of pesticides to control lanternflies, Loffredo,who has worked as an adjunct college professor teaching a class on pesticides and the environment, says he always refuses.

In the vacuum’s HEPA filter, pyrethrum dust, which is made from chrysanthemums, is fatal to the insects. The dust remains inside the filter and is as safe and non-toxic to humans as you’re going to get, Loffredo said.


That makes the treatment even easier than spraying, said Loffredo, because the protective equipment required by professionals when applying pesticides is not needed.

Hagen said he loves the idea of the vacuum.

“I’m excited about the possibility that we may be able to handle the spotted lanternfly in an expeditious way that is less environmentally damaging,’’ he said, noting the Island has seen a significant decline in pollinators — especially butterflies — over the past 10 years.

Last year, with funding from Con Edison, the Protectors created the first-ever Staten Island butterfly checklist, discovering that the population on the Island is shrinking. Fifty years ago, 110 species of butterflies were recorded on the Island, Hagen said. Today, there’s just over 50.

Though no studies confirm it, Hagen blames the frequent use of spray chemical pesticides.


“For the sake of our children, we’re supposed to be stewards of the natural world,’’ he said. “We’re failing. That’s a decision each person is making — that they’re going to spray their yards, regardless of the bees and the butterflies.’’

Since about 50% of Loffredo’s business is comprised of healthcare facilities, the HEPA vaxpack is something he uses often. It was a logical choice to try, he said.

“It does suck up some of the leaves, but it gets all the bugs,’’ he said. “I’m using it on the whole yard.”

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CABY virus resurfaces in cucumber greenhouse: “Sometimes there was hardly any aphid to be found in the crop”

Last year, cucumber crops were affected by the Cucurbit Aphid-Borne Yellow virus (CABYV) in several areas of the Netherlands. This disease was also detected in surrounding countries. In the past week, plants affected by the CABY virus were found again at several companies in the Netherlands, says Ewoud van der Ven, senior advisor for greenhouse vegetables at Delphy on behalf also of colleague Rens Smith.

Photos of CABYV, taken last year in a Dutch greenhouse

Plants affected by the virus hardly produce anymore. Since this was a new disease for the Netherlands, there was little experience with it last year. It was clear that aphids transmitted the virus. So far, there are no indications that the virus is transmitted in any other way, said the advisor. Besides cucumbers, the virus can also affect and remain present in various weeds.

In recent weeks, the first plants affected with CABYV have been spotted again at several Dutch growers. “Sometimes, there was hardly any aphid to be found in the crop, and this is alarming!”

The virus can be transmitted by a single aphid. “Aphids from outside are apparently already infected with the virus,” says Ewoud. “They possibly picked this up from infected weeds. A mild winter like last winter doesn’t help either.”

The question now is what can be done to prevent an infestation? Delphy’s advisors have been considering several options.

Preventive spraying against aphids is not very useful
Preventive spraying against aphids is of little use. “The aphid has to suck the pesticide and it then immediately transmit the virus. Moreover, the number of products available is too limited to protect the crop throughout the season.”

However, controlling aphids as soon as they are detected does make sense. “New winged aphids must be prevented from spreading in the crop. The recently temporarily approved pesticide Verimark prevents aphids from infecting other plants. Verimark can be applied twice until 11 September. The agent apparently has a reasonably long residual effect. After the Teppeki agent is in the aphids, these can no longer infect new plants.”

Release of organic agents
Releasing biocontrol agents, which parasitize aphids, contributes to reducing the aphid population, says Ewoud. “These insects, mostly Aphidius Colemani, Aphidius Ervi and/or Aphidoletes aphidimyza, search the entire greenhouse for aphids and either parasitize the aphid or suck it dry. Then the population of the good insects grows. However, if CABY virus affected plants are present, there is zero tolerance for aphids in the greenhouse.”

Photos of CABYV, taken last year in a Dutch greenhouse

Keeping out aphids is the best solution
Repelling aphids is the best solution, according to the Delphy advisor. “In screened greenhouses, CABY did not or hardly occur. Plants should therefore be raised in a greenhouse with screened vents. The risk of getting a percentage of plants with CABY is too high.”

Unfortunately, netting off the greenhouse is not a viable short-term solution for every greenhouse, says Ewoud. That’s why he recommends catching the first aphids that enter the greenhouse by hanging yellow catching ribbons above the crop. “Even though growers may not catch all aphids, it will certainly lower the initial infestation,” he says. His advice is also to consistently keep removing plants infected with the CABY virus. “There is then no source of infection in the greenhouse. This method proved effective last year, anyway.”

For more information:
Ewoud van der Ven
Rens Smith
Ewoud: +31 6 20 39 82 73
Rens: +31 (0)6 26 51 86 49
Jeroen: +31 (0)6  51 59 14 30 

Publication date: Fri 24 Jun 2022
© HortiDaily.com / Contact

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Uwhi trial eradicating pest weeds with woven mats – and reconnecting with tūpuna 

Benn Bathgate15:07, Feb 28 2022

The Uwhi mats being laid at Lake Rotoma on Wednesday, a continuation of a weed eradication project that has shown promising signs at other lakes in the Rotorua region.
STEPHEN PARKERThe Uwhi mats being laid at Lake Rotoma on Wednesday, a continuation of a weed eradication project that has shown promising signs at other lakes in the Rotorua region.

Using an 800-year-old mātauranga Māori solution to tackle a 70-year-old pest weed problem appears to be working – and it’s also helping weavers into jobs and connecting people with their ancestors.

Back in December, harakeke weed mats, called uwhi were laid at sites on the bottom of Lake Rotoiti and Lake Tarawera in a collaborative project from Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand and Te Roopū Raranga Ki Rotorua.

The idea was simple.

The woven mats suppress the pest weed, preventing parts breaking off and establishing elsewhere, and also block the photosynthesis process.

A 70-year-old problem is being tackled with an 800-year-old mātauranga Māori solution just outside Rotorua.

Seeds from the native weeds, however, are able to grow up through the mats and, over time, hopefully replace their pest competitors.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust divers have been monitoring the project and on Wednesday a third tranche of uwhi is set to be laid in Lake Rotomā.

Lead diver Corey O’Neill said the team is confident the positive results they have seen so far will be sustained, and hopefully increased over time.

“We started the monitoring process with no expectations. We had an idea based on scientific knowledge of how the uwhi may work, but we have nonetheless been thrilled to see the early trends indicating uwhi are an effective weed control measure.

“This centuries-old solution to a new-age problem is testament to the pivotal role mātauranga Māori can play alongside western science.”

O’Neill says placing uwhi in Lake Rotomā will allow divers to assess its effectiveness against pest weeds in a unique location.

“With different topography to our current two sites, as well a distinctive pest weed profile, Lake Rotomā will add depth and breadth to our monitoring results and will give more credence to the effectiveness of uwhi.”

Te Arawa Lakes Trust lead diver Corey O’Neill, speaking in December at the uwhi laying at Lake Rotoma.
MARK TAYLOR/STUFFTe Arawa Lakes Trust lead diver Corey O’Neill, speaking in December at the uwhi laying at Lake Rotoma.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust biosecurity manager William Anaru says the trial highlights the advantages of genuine collaboration between iwi and government agencies.

“Through the dedication and hard work of everyone involved, we have been able to carry out a mātauranga Māori trial that is creating a positive difference in our lakes.”

The positive effects of the uwhi project are being felt beyond the lakes of Rotorua, however.

Many of the hand-picked weavers creating the uwhi had lost their jobs due to Covid-19, and the project has provided them with not only employment, but the chance to give back to the community.

Te Roopū Raranga Ki Rotorua Kaitakawaenga Judy Howe-Wiperi said working on the uwhi has been cathartic for her, having poured her blood, sweat and tears into the kaupapa from day one.

“When we were approached to collaborate on this kaupapa I was going through a tough time in my personal life.

Judy Howe-Wiperi said working on the uwhi has helped her reconnect with her tūpuna.
SUPPLIEDJudy Howe-Wiperi said working on the uwhi has helped her reconnect with her tūpuna.

“Uwhi gave me a purpose and I poured all my pain and heartache into creating something that would go out and make a positive difference in our world.”

Howe-Wiperi said uwhi has created the potential for sustainable work for the weavers who have had their lives turned upside down by Covid.

“Every single weaver in this group has been helped by the uwhi kaupapa and now we are ready to share our knowledge and skills to help other people, not just in Aotearoa, but the world.

“We have already had inquiries from Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Tahu and even officials from Australia looking for similar solutions for their lakes.

“I just know our tūpuna would be looking down on us right now saying ‘wow’; This uwhi trial has helped many of us reconnect with our tūpuna in a way we hadn’t before.”

Te Arawa Lakes Trust biosecurity manager William Anaru says the trial highlights the advantages of genuine collaboration between iwi and government agencies.

“Through the dedication and hard work of everyone involved, we have been able to carry out a mātauranga Māori trial that is creating a positive difference in our lakes.”



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Disease affecting coconut crops brought under control

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 01:00Print EditionLocalP.P.G. Sugathadasa Thihagoda Group Corr.

The disease affecting coconut cultivations in the Matara district has been brought under control, Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) Matara Regional Manager Leelananda Gabbadage said.

Nearly 300,000 fruit bearing coconut trees in the Matara district were cut down due the spread of the disease in the district, officials attached to Matara District office of the Coconut Cultivation Board said. Each owner of these trees has been compensated at the rate of Rs. 3,000 per tree, officials stated. Cutting down of diseased trees and banning the transport of all raw materials relating to coconut products from and through the affected areas has made a positive impact in controlling the spread of the disease, they said.

Officials also instructed cultivators and landowners as to the urgent need of informing the officials responsible if they notice any symptoms of the disease in their cultivations. Every endeavour possible is currently being made by the Coconut Cultivation Board to prevent the spread of this disease, Gabbadage added. EmailFacebookTwitterPinterest0WhatsAppViberMessengerTags: Print Edition

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2020 Integrated Pest Management Research, Data and Findings: A Look Back

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Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab

Feb 09, 2021

Photograph of fall armyworm
Fall Armyworm.

2020 was a year like no other — researchers in search of answers to some of the world’s most pressing questions were forced to think outside the box when trials and experiments were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, communities are facing food insecurity challenges more intensely than ever before, emphasizing the ongoing value of research that looks at the sustainable production of crops. Despite a challenging year, Virginia Tech’s Feed the Future Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab (IPM IL) and its partners aim to highlight some of the 2020 research outputs that will continue to help foster improved livelihoods around the world.

Fall armyworm

Tuta absoluta

Crop protection

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IAPPS Region X Northeast Asia Regional Center (NEARC)

Present committee members

Dr. Izuru Yamamoto, Senior Advisor

Dr. Noriharu Umetsu, Senior Advisor

Dr. Tsutomu Arie, a representative of the Phytopathological Society of Japan, the chair of Region X

Dr. Tarô Adati, a representative of Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology

Dr. Hiromitsu Moriyama, a representative of Pesticide Science Society of Japan, the secretary general of Region X

Dr. Rie Miyaura, a representative of The Weed Science Society of Japan

The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Pesticide Science Society of Japan became official partners of IYPH2020 by FAO of UN and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan and endeavored to educate the society on plant protection. https://www.maff.go.jp/j/syouan/syokubo/keneki/iyph/iyph_os.html

Annual activities related to IAPPS especially to IPM of plant diseases, insects and weeds, and plant regulation (from April 2020 to March 2021)

The Phytopathological Society of Japan (PSJ)

2020 Kanto District Meeting, Online; Sep 21–22, 2020

2020 Kansai District Meeting, Online; Sep 21–22, 2020

2020 Tohoku District Meeting, Online; Oct 12–14, 2020

2020 Hokkaido District Meeting, Online; Oct 15, 2020

2020 Kyushu District Meeting, Online; Nov 24–26, 2020

2021 Annual Meeting, Online; Mar 17–19, 2021

Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology (JSAEZ)

65th Annual Meeting, online, March 23-26, 2021

28th Annual Research Meeting of the Japan-ICIPE Association, online, March 25, 2021

Pesticide Science Society of Japan

37rd Study Group Meeting of Special Committee on Bioactivity of Pesticides, online, Sep 18, 2020

40th Symposium of Special Committee on Agricultural Formulation and Application, Yokohama, Kanagawa; Oct 15–16, 2020 (Cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19)

43th Annual Meeting of Special Committee on Pesticide Residue Analysis, online, Nov. 5–6, 2020

46th Annual meeting, Fuchu, Tokyo and Online, March 8–10, 2021

The Weed Science Society of Japan (WSSJ)

2020 Annual Meeting, The Weed Science Society of Kinki, Online; Dec 5, 2020

35th Symposium of Weed Science Society of Japan, Online; Dec 12, 2020

2020 Annual Meeting, Kanto Weed Science Society, Online; Dec 22, 2020

22th Annual Meeting, The Weed Science Society of Tohoku, Japan, Online; Feb 25, 2021

2020 Study Group Meeting of Weed Utilization and Management in Small Scale Farming, Online; Feb 26, 2021

Hono-Kai (means, Meeting who are appreciating agriculture)

35th Hono-Kai Symposium was cancelled due to the epidemic of COVID-19

Japan Biostimulants Association

rd Symposium, Online; Nov 2–30, 2020

Nodai Research Institute

2020-1 Biological Control Group Seminar, Setagaya; Tokyo; Jun 16, 2020 (Cancelled due to the epidemic of COVID-19)

2020-2 Biological Control Group Seminar, online, Nov 13, 2020

2021-1 Biological Control Group Seminar, online, Jun 15, 2021

2021-2 Biological Control Group Seminar, online, Nov 9, 2021

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Weed Control Isn’t Just in a Jug

Chemical, Mechanical and Physical Weed Control is the Future

11/8/2021 | 8:28 AM CST

Matt Wilde

By  Matthew Wilde , Progressive Farmer Crops Editor

To control herbicide-resistant weeds, farmers need to consider all eradication methods, including pulling or cutting weeds. This family was pulling weeds in an organic soybean field, but hand weeding should also be considered in herbicide-tolerant and non-genetically modified soybeans. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Jim Patrico)
To control herbicide-resistant weeds, farmers need to consider all eradication methods, including pulling or cutting weeds. This family was pulling weeds in an organic soybean field, but hand weeding should also be considered in herbicide-tolerant and non-genetically modified soybeans. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Jim Patrico)

ANKENY, Iowa (DTN) — Mike Morgan has waged an all-out war on weeds for years in his Piggott, Arkansas, fields. He may be finally winning.

The main enemy is pigweed, particularly Palmer amaranth. The key to victory, Morgan said, is doing whatever it takes to conquer the weed seedbank and not settling for good-enough control. He’s found that a combination of effective herbicides with multiple modes of action and hiring chopping crews to remove weed escapees and burn them is effective.

But the war is far from over. “The fields are pretty clean now, but we’re still having weed trouble on field edges and seeing occasional escapes,” Morgan said.

Morgan knows herbicides alone no longer provide effective weed control. And in a year when many major herbicide active ingredients are in short supply or overly expensive, non-chemical solutions may be more important than ever.

Not long ago, Morgan was spending $100,000 or more annually on chopping crews that worked almost all summer to rid fields of Palmer amaranth because it threatened his livelihood. This year, he only spent about $10,000 to go after weeds manually because they weren’t as prevalent.

“If you don’t take care of pigweeds (Palmer amaranth), they will take care of you,” Morgan said. “You can see where they have totally taken over farms. We fight pigweed tooth and nail to keep the numbers down so they don’t explode.”

More than 250 weed species have developed resistance to herbicides, according to the Weed Science Society of America. If left unchecked, weeds may slice yields by depriving row crops of water, nutrients and sunlight.

Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, both members of the pigweed family, are particularly nasty and tough to control. Each is a prolific weed seed producer known to foil up to six and seven herbicide sites of action, respectively.


Weed scientists urge farmers to adopt a holistic approach to weed control. This includes herbicides, hand weeding, cover crops, weed seed destruction, tillage and more.

Tom Barber, a University of Arkansas Extension weed scientist, said mechanical and cultural weed-control practices may not be cheap and easy, unlike when one pass of glyphosate did the trick. If farmers want to keep weeds at bay and preserve the efficacy of herbicides that still work, he said they need to consider multiple control methods.

“Farmers have to get out of the mentality that herbicides are the only answer,” Barber said. “Ever since glyphosate resistance became an issue, we made a huge shift in our education programs to focus on cultural practices to reduce weed numbers. Some farmers don’t want to do that because it costs more money, and it’s not as easy.”


Cover crops such as cereal rye and hairy vetch are Larry Steckel’s top nonchemical recommendations to fight herbicide-resistant weeds. Cover crops terminated just before or after planting can reduce Palmer amaranth infestations by 50%, according to the University of Tennessee weed specialist.

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Possible tool in the war on resistant weeds

Wallaces Farmer

Prashant JhaRedekop Seed Control Unit harvesting soybeans

NO RESISTANCE TO STEEL: Iowa State University is among the leading places in the U.S. to put the Redekop Seed Control Unit to the test — including on a field in Story County, Iowa, and in Harrison County, Iowa, on a field owned by Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program participant Larry Buss.For the second year, ISU is testing a Redekop Seed Control Unit on Iowa farm fields to determine the economic feasibility of harvest weed-seed control.

Tyler Harris | Oct 25, 2021

Larry Buss often says, “I haven’t seen any weeds yet that are resistant to steel.” Steel can refer to preplant tillage, cultivation — or in more recent cases, mechanical control of harvested weed seed.

Ever since Palmer amaranth was identified in Harrison County, Iowa, in 2013, Buss has been vigilant in doing his part to slow the spread of herbicide resistant weeds in Iowa and across the continent — spreading the word with national organizations like the Weed Science Society of America and Entomological Society of America, and at international events like the Manitoba Agronomists Conference and the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Annual Conference.

A Redekop unit being tested on 500 acres of soybeans in Story County last year to kill waterhemp seed at harvest
REDUCED WEED SEED BANK: A Redekop unit was tested on 500 acres of soybeans in Story County last year to kill waterhemp seed at harvest. “We had about 90% or more kill efficacy for waterhemp — and that was a multiple herbicide-resistant waterhemp population in soybean,” says Prashant Jha, ISU associate professor and Extension weed specialist. (Photo by Prashant Jha)

These efforts grew with the launch of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program in 2017. Since then, Buss has collaborated with Iowa State University researchers, agronomists, landowners, crop consultants, ag lenders and commodity organizations to monitor the spread of resistance on farms in Harrison County, and test different practices and herbicide programs to control weeds like Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, marestail and giant ragweed.

Most recently, this involves harvest weed-seed techniques — more specifically, using a Redekop Seed Control Unit. Designed to be used with a John Deere combine, the Redekop unit uses high-impact mills to break the seed through physical destruction as it comes out of the back of the combine, killing the seed and preventing germination. According to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Redekop, the unit can destroy as much as 98% or more of weed-seed germination during harvest. The unit also allows the operator to turn it on and off on the go.

“I have a few weeds at a field by Dunlap, so we’re going to test it up there,” Buss says. “Then, we are going to get a sample of the weed seed behind the combine to see if the unit helps with germination destruction.”ADVERTISING

Off to a good start

Iowa is one of the first states the unit has been tested in the U.S. — it was tested by Prashant Jha, an ISU associate professor and Extension weed specialist in 2020 at a farm in Story County.

Jha notes one Redekop unit was tested on 500 acres of soybeans in Story County last year, with promising results for controlling waterhemp seed at harvest. However, he notes the study is ongoing.

“We had about 90% or more kill efficacy for waterhemp — and that was a multiple-herbicide-resistant waterhemp population in soybean,” Jha says. “We don’t know what level of resistance those waterhemp plants had, but they had survived multiple applications, and that’s why it made perfect sense to do some harvest weed-seed control. The same is true in Harrison County — they have populations resistant to Group 9 as well as Group 2 [herbicides] and most likely PPO and HPPD inhibitors.”

This year, after running the seed destructor in soybean fields, Jha will monitor the changes in weed seed bank density over time by collecting soil core samples in the fall, and then counting weed emergence in the following spring.

“We will estimate how much of the initial weed-seed bank has emerged and how much has survived herbicide applications, and how many weeds are present at harvest and the weed-seed-kill efficacy of the Redekop seed unit,” Jha says.

Economic feasibility

Of course, one of the big questions to be answered is: At what point does it become economically feasible to use harvest weed-seed control? Jha notes while the Redekop unit costs about $70,000, it will take time to determine how long it takes to pay for the machine by reducing the weed-seed bank.

PROBLEM WEEDS: Since 2017, growers, agronomists, Extension educators and other stakeholders in Harrison County have studied herbicide resistance in weeds as part of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program. This includes some key problem weeds in the area: Palmer amaranth (pictured), waterhemp, giant ragweed and marestail. (Photo by Bob Hartzler)

“It won’t happen in one year, but we expect at least a 90% reduction in the seed bank,” he says. “There will be some header/thresher loss — probably close to 25% to 30%. Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri has seen close to 25% header loss, and some of the weed seeds are getting shattered. We had close to 30% to 33% header loss last year. It’s not stand-alone, but we expect that, of the remaining 67% to 70% seed going inside the unit, 95% will be killed.”

And there are other factors — like the potential savings on herbicide application costs in the future.

“There are millions of dollars right now going into managing herbicide resistance in corn and soybeans,” Jha adds.

“If you calculate the cost of three applications in a season — burndown, pre- and postresidual — can we cut that cost by reducing the weed-seed bank in a three- to four- year time frame, and increase the longevity of the herbicide? More importantly, we are quickly running out of herbicide options because of multiple-herbicide-resistant waterhemp and Palmer amaranth populations,” Jha says.

Last-resort option

Larry Buss notes that for the time being, the best method for weed control is to keep them from competing with crops during the growing season, by controlling them upfront and preventing them from going to seed and expanding the weed-seed bank.

Larry Buss speaks at a field day
SPREADING THE WORD: Larry Buss speaks at a field day as part of a Weed Science Society of America and Entomological Society of America event in this 2019 photo. Buss notes that growers in Harrison County and across Iowa are getting the message that weeds must be controlled early on with a full rate and multiples modes of action. (Photo by Ethan Stoetzer)

“I’m not going to spend money on it yet, because I would prefer to invest it in a better sprayer or a more robust herbicide program. If herbicide resistance continues to get worse, we can use harvest weed-seed methods to significantly reduce the weed-seed bank, because it’s going to wipe out the weed mechanically,” he adds. “Weeds won’t be resistant to steel, so you can kill it with preplant tillage, cultivation — or you kill the seed with the Redekop Seed Control Unit. But before we do that, I think farmers will look to control weeds upfront so they don’t compete with the crop.”

And, Buss notes the outreach efforts of the Pest Resistance Management Program are paying off — while herbicide resistance continues to be a challenge, people are aware it’s a problem and are taking steps to slow its spread.

“I’m going to pat ourselves, in Harrison County and the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program, on the back,” he says. “Because I think we’re getting the message out that we’ve got to control weeds early on with a full rate of herbicide, and multiples modes of action.”

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The prototype will be presented at Macfrut by the Italian company Bagioni

How to weed organic asparagus mechanically

A system that keeps the asparagus field clean of weeds, through mechanical weeding, without increasing costs is Aurenzo Bagioni’s latest solution which will be presented at Macfrut, during the Asparagus Days.

The Forlì-based company Bagioni, which already produces asparagus harvesting machines, will present this new concept in Rimini, Italy. This accessory is mounted on the back of the asparagus harvesting machines and is particularly aimed at organic farms but can also be used by those who cultivate using conventional methods. Basically, the concept is based on a weeder that allows the central part (30-50 centimeters) – where the asparagus grows – to remain free, but moves the soil laterally at each harvesting operation, to an adjustable depth of 1-3 centimeters. You don’t have to do any extra work, but the device works when you harvest.

Given that the harvest takes place every day, the idea was to attach a weeder to the back of the machine, keeping the central 50 centimeters free for the asparagus to grow. This daily operation should keep the soil moving and prevent the grass from growing.

We had already seen this prototype in June 2021, but Bagioni asked not to announce it until the end of August, because he was thinking of filing a patent.

“This concept is being presented with the aim of understanding whether the idea is interesting to customers and then possibly start building it,” concluded the owner.

For more information: 
Bagioni Alfiero Snc 
Via Bologna 100
47121 Forlì – Italy
+39 0543 703993

Publication date: Thu 26 Aug 2021

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Weed electrocution research sparks interest as herbicide resistance impedes current methods

July 29, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.COURTESY PHOTO The United Soybean Board, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and the Weed Zapper company are partners in this weed electrocution research project.

COLUMBIA — Move over, herbicides. There’s a new sheriff in town. And he’s toting some powerful guns loaded with electricity to kill weeds.

This shocking new method of weed control was demonstrated at the 2021 Pest Management Field Day at the University of Missouri Bradford Research Center in Columbia.

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As more weeds develop resistance to herbicides, electrocution may be the weed management approach of the future, says MU Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley. MU graduate student Haylee Schreier has studied weed electrocution in row crops for the past two years under Bradley’s direction.

The is of special interest to Bradley because it might be the answer to Missouri’s growing waterhemp problem. A prolific producer of seeds, waterhemp is Missouri’s No. 1 weed problem and one of 14 weeds that are herbicide-resistant.

Two brothers in Illinois with backgrounds in farming and engineering designed The Weed Zapper machine. A different pair of brothers purchased the technology and manufacture Weed Zappers at a plant in Sedalia, Mo.

The Weed Zapper model used in MU research has a copper boom that attaches to the front of a tractor. Driven by a PTO, it hits weeds with 15,000 volts of electricity from a 110,000-watt generator on the back of the tractor. Models cost between $42,000 and $72,000.

Metal wheels are grounded, and booms adjust to different heights. Tractor speed is about 2-4 miles per hour, Bradley says. Weed kill is best at lower speeds and is even more effective on some of the more challenging weeds when used at seven-day intervals in late summer.

Schreier’s data shows that by the end of the season there is almost complete control of giant ragweed, common ragweed, marestail and waterhemp. It is slightly less effective on grasses.

The growth stage of soybean and the degree of contact that the boom makes with the foliage influences soybean injury. Soybean yield loss is possible if the boom makes constant contact with the soybean canopy at growth stages R3 or later.

In addition to killing weeds, electrocution also affects the viability of surviving weed seeds. The most impact is seen in waterhemp, where about 65% of seeds become nonviable.

Electrocution is not new to the weed management world, says Bradley. Sugar beet growers in North and South Dakota have been trying this method since the 1950s and 1960s.

The United Soybean Board, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and the Weed Zapper company are partners in this project.

Learn more about Weed Zappers at http://www.TheWeedZapper.com.

Weed electrocution research shows promising results for weed management, especially in waterhemp, Missouri’s No. 1 weed problem. The Weed Zapper attaches to a tractor and kills in-row weeds with high-voltage electricity. Photo by Linda Geist.

For more than 100 years, University of Missouri Extension has extended university-based knowledge beyond the campus into all counties of the state. In doing so, Extension has strengthened families, businesses and communities. MU Extension news: extension.missouri.edu/news.

Print Headline: Weed electrocution research sparks interest as herbicide resistance impedes current methods

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