Weed control using the shearer with the inter-row disc.

The management of weeds, also cultivated ones, requires rationality: the mechanical means that cut and till the soil are tools for controlling weeds economically, effectively, quickly and without environmental impact, typical of chemical herbicides. 

Their use (and the use of pesticides in general) is always a problem, both for environmental reasons (alteration of food chains, reduction of biodiversity, water quality, human health, deterioration of soil quality) and because they favour the onset of resistant weeds (and other pests). 

For organic farming, on the other hand, physical or mechanical control represents the only system allowed. Although it requires a greater number of interventions in the right time frames, it undoubtedly brings advantages to crops and to the quality of the products.

Spontaneous herbs in cultivated areas are contrasted because they can generate a series of problems:

  • Competition for water and nutrients; 
  • Home for parasites and diseases; 
  • Spread of seeds for spreading weeds themselves; 
  • Barrier effect interference with mechanical operations such as fertilisation and pest treatments; 
  • Interference in harvesting operations that become more difficult and slow; 
  • Contamination of crops; 
  • Competition towards cultivable herbaceous species between crop inter-rows; 
  • Worsening of fruit quality; 
  • Creation of a humid and poorly ventilated microclimate that promotes the development of pathogenic fungi; 

The inter-row disc can be used both to complete the work on the row done with other tools, and to quickly mow weeds under the stomp. 

  • Grass cutting allows to maintain the height of the turf at a manageable height with minimal disturbance of the ground. The timing of the intervention should be based on the agronomic objective (e.g. preventing the grass from seeding). 
  • High cutting with respect to flush cutting allow respectively the favourable development of useful species to the detriment of others. 
  • Grass cutting, if done alone, must be performed frequently to reduce competition in the rows.
  • The inter-row disc allows for the mulching practice to be performed: the cut organic material is left on the surface to suppress the development of various types of weeds, make good use of the shade offered and, thanks to the decomposition of the residues left on the ground, enriches the soil with useful nutrients. 

From an operational point of view, it is necessary to consider some critical issues:

  • The forward speed is low (about 3 km/h), especially when it comes to young and dense vegetation which can be damaged if it is not adequately protected. 
  • In addition, cleaning at the stump and poles is not always complete, due to the limited range of knives that cannot reach the plants adhering to the stump. 

Discover the models of our shearers that can be equipped with the Hydraulic Inter-row Disc in the spring return or hydraulic probe version:

TRX Shearer

TSN Shearer

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