Mechanical weeding is the agricultural practice of eliminating weeds without the use of pesticides and chemicals.

It is a recognised technique in organic farming, but thanks to the increasing focus on sustainability, it is attracting new interest from many agricultural entrepreneurs.

Because mechanical weeding has a number of advantages and benefits, not only environmental but also agronomic, such as:

  1. weed control that can be done without the use of synthetic chemicals, representing a more sustainable solution for the environment and human health;
  2. the reduction of costs: after the initial investment in equipment, costs are lowered as the purchase of chemicals is no longer necessary;
  3. crop protection: the weeding activity focuses exclusively on weeds, without affecting cultivated plants;
  4. soil health: mechanical weeding improves the composition and health of the soil and plants.

In general, mechanical weeding is an effective and sustainable option for weed control, but it requires extra care compared to chemical weeding to ensure that weeds are removed without damaging cultivated plants.


Distruzione delle erbacce


What is weed control used for?

Weeding in agriculture is a fundamental activity, useful to limit and control the proliferation of we eds and reduce competition for water and nutrients.

In addition, it defends the crop from the possible damage that these weeds can cause when their uncontrolled growth creates a favourable habitat for the development of pests and pathogens that threaten the health of the entire crop.

It is therefore vitally important to proceed with weed removal during the vegetative development phases of the crop with weeding actions, for example, within the rows to allow optimal crop growth and development.


Types of weeding

Of the most popular techniques, chemical weeding has long been used by farmers for its effectiveness, speed and simplicity. But it is a technique that involves continuous investment in the purchase of herbicides that can have major consequences for the environment and human health.

Not to mention the fact that this way of working, in the long term, can lead to the onset of resistance to chemical treatments by weeds.


The growing interest in environmental issues, however, has led to a focus on more sustainable agricultural practices, including mechanical weeding, which is spreading very rapidly in the agricultural supply chain.

Today, mechanical weed control techniques not only find application in organic farming but are increasingly adopted as a practice in conventional agriculture, as they reduce dependence on herbicides and help maintain long-term soil health.

Mechanical weed control involves the management of weeds by cutting them - especially when the technique of total or partial grassing is adopted - even by simply tilling the soil, with positive repercussions with regard to root development by encouraging better plant growth.



A way of working that also makes it possible to preserve the ecosystem and biodiversity without changing the physical and biological conditions of the soil.

And, depending on the particular needs of each farmer, Sicma machines can also be used to carry out efficient weed control at the same time as other tillage operations.


Solutions for mechanical weeding

Sicma has designed and today produces a series of specific agricultural machines for weed control, which are flanked by other more specific machines for tilling the soil to those for mowing and cutting weeds, demonstrating how the technical innovations studied over the years allow the creation of increasingly versatile and efficient machines.

Within the Sicma product range, we have become familiar with inter-row tool frames and machines for working in vineyards and orchards, designed specifically for weed control work.

However, the versatility of the most classic tillage machines and the experience accumulated to date have enabled our engineers to design machinery capable of performing mechanical weeding operations, and this is where the bio tillers and power harrows come in.


The Bio Sicma milling machines (RG BIO, RW BIO, SPR BIO) are equipped with a pair of twin front wheels thanks to which it is possible to obtain an extremely precise and uniform adjustment of the working depth, in a band of soil (from 3 to 9 cm) where, by mixing the cut organic mass with the soil, the compost effect is obtained, preparing the soil for the action of the seed drill while respecting the natural plant cycles.

Bio tillers are also characterised by another very important element, the rotor, designed to reach a rotation speed of 344 revolutions per minute (much higher than the usual 250): this allows weeds to be cut cleanly at the root, slowing their regrowth and oxygenating the tilled soil at the same time.

The hoes also have a precise entry and cutting angle to prevent soil compaction and increase the refinement of the tilled mass.

Finally, another special feature is the possibility of hydraulically adjusting the opening of the rear lids, allowing organic material to escape freely while preserving the 'natural' effect of compost creation.


Rotary harrows, on the other hand, are agricultural machines used for a series of operations on the surface layer of the soil.

While their task is mainly to refine and level the soil surface to make it even, homogenous and ready for sowing, they can also be used to bury crop residues and fertilisers, avoiding the formation of tillage soles that can occur when using the agricultural tiller with a high frequency.

In addition, the action of the blades on the soil also allows for biological control and at the same time the elimination of noxious weeds and weeds that are physically uprooted, incorporated and stirred back into the soil, making power harrows an alternative to rotary tillers even for inter-row work.

Sicma has developed two series of power harrows specifically designed to work inter-row soil, the EA and EV series, which include compact machines ideal for working in vineyards and orchards but also suitable for horticulture, gardening and greenhouse cultivation.

Despite the more compact dimensions, both the structure and gearing are largely oversized and identical to the larger models to ensure the best results.

Erpici rotanti per il diserbo interfilare


In the final analysis, it is worth mentioning the other machines in the Sicma product range, as already mentioned above: inter-row and flail mowers.

Mechanical weeding carried out by the Sicma inter-row mowers is a valid and effective alternative to chemical weeding that respects the environment and enriches the biodiversity of the ecosystem of vineyards and orchards.

The integration of mechanical weed control between the rows allows the farmer to respect the microfauna and flora that populate the vineyard and encourage a greater presence of nutrients, with positive effects on the size and quality of the fruit.

In addition, inter-row machines have the great advantage of being able to mount a series of tools on the frame to carry out multiple operations: from weed control to soil tillage, from suckering to vegetable mulching, optimising the entire work cycle.

Interfilare a lavoro


The shredders finally, act mechanically on grass and shrubs, cutting and finely shredding unwanted vegetation.

Furthermore, through their action they evenly distribute plant residues over the soil, forming a kind of natural mulch that retains soil moisture and limits water evaporation, protecting the soil from weathering and hindering the growth of new weeds.

Flail mowers are irreplaceable machines for those who need fast and effective maintenance that, thanks to options such as the hydraulic inter-row mower disc can carry out mowing work quickly and thoroughly both within the row and under the stumps.

Trinciatutto erbacce


Mechanical weed management techniques, as mentioned, are nowadays applied not only in organic farming but increasingly also in traditional agriculture.

The evolution of the agricultural sector towards more sustainable models, however, needs state-of-the-art machinery, able to replace herbicides and chemical products while effectively achieving the same results; it is in this context that Sicma's agricultural equipment fits in, representing the ideal solutions to support farmers in their transition towards sustainable practices that respect the environment, those who live and work in it.


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