Category Archives: Weeds

Electric Weeding Demonstrations

In conjunction with Kazel Cass at Hotgrass, we have some electric weeding demonstrations. So if you’re interested in non-herbicide non-mechanical weeding, get along for a personal encounter.

Next opportunity – Franklin

When: Tuesday 16th January 2018, 13:00 to 15:00
Where: A.S. Wilcox SFF trial site, Highway 22, Pukekawa

(1km past GAS Pukekawa, gate on right)

General enquiries:
Kazel Cass (Kazel@hotgrass.co.nz or 021 033 2428)

Hotgrass uses the RootWaveTM Pro Electrothermal Weeder technology designed and manufactured by RootWave in the UK. They suggest this is:

  •  Sustainable, using a generator it uses a fraction of fuel required for thermal (steam, hot water) weed control.
  • Organic, the only input is electricity.  No need to carry tonnes of water, or toxic agri-chemicals
  • Effective, trials in the UK show it is effective against some of the toughest weeds because it gets down to the root of the problem.  It is able to control weeds that are resistant to herbicides
  • Manoeuvrable, because the device has a small footprint, and doesn’t require any water, it can be loaded onto small utility vehicles

Charles Merfield, head of the BHU Future Farming Centre, has reviewed electric weeding. His very detailed review is here. Worth your time reading too.

Field Scale Electric Weeder Consortium

Do you have an interest in field scale electrothermal weeders and being part of a project to make that happen?

Charles Merfield is leading a proposal to develop equipment in conjunction with Ubiqutek,  a UK company who originally designed electric weeders and have weeders in use in the UK and HotGrass, the NZ agent. 

The current commercial machines are ‘only’ hand held weeders aimed at the urban weed control market, e.g., councils, and their contractors.  However, the handheld machines can clearly demonstrate the potential of electrothermal, and Kazel Cass of Hotgrass, is doing a series of demonstrations around the country which you may be interested in attending.

If you would like more information about electrothermal weeders have a look at the FFC Bulletin article.

In any normal situation, Ubiqutek and Hotgrass as the owners / suppliers of the weeders would be developing field weeders themselves, however, both are very small business startups with limited funding and people resources, so they are unable to start work on a field machines for several years.  They also lack expertise in what is required from field machines especially for the different sectors, e.g., pasture, cropping, viticulture and other permanent crops, and therefore how to design them. 

The aim of Charles Merfield’s project is to accelerate the development of a field scale weeder so that NZ farmers & growers get access much sooner. To do this he is seeking farmers and growers who are interested in the technology and willing to contribute some funding. 

For more details, contact Dan at LandWISE or Charles Merfield at the Future Farming Centre.

 

Sustainable Weed Management Workshop

Approaches to the non-chemical / sustainable management of weeds

Full House at Weed Control Workshop.

With the increasing and well know issues surrounding herbicides, such as resistant weeds, ‘resistant’ consumers and increased regulation, non-chemical/herbicide weed management is becoming increasingly important. 

Growers are well aware of the limitations of current weed management tools and practices. They recognise simple chemical solutions are increasingly limited and more sophisticated management is essential.

In response to this need, the BHU Future Farming Centre, NZ’s leading specialist sustainable agriculture research centre, and LandWISE with its focus on sustainable production through technology ran a non-chemical weed management workshop to give attendees the knowledge and tools they need to make significant enhancements to the long-term sustainability of their on-farm weed management practices. 

Topics covered included the context of weed management, essential weed biology and ecology, integrated weed management plus detailed coverage of field operations and machinery.   Full information can be found at www.bhu.org.nz/future-farming-centre/events/one-day-seminar-workshop-on-non-chemical-weed-management

Dr Charles Merfield, Head of the Future Farming Centre, said “the aim of this practically focused course was to give attendees a sound overview of the whole of non-chemical weed management as well as providing practical details about how to implement the ideas once they get back to the farm.” 

The feedback from attendees was very positive and we anticipate running this again next winter. We already have a wait list so contact us if you are keen info@landwise.org.nz

Download pdf here>

For further information please contact:

Dr Charles Merfield
Head, BHU Future Farming Centre
021 0231 8901
charles.merfield@bhu.org.nz
Dan Bloomer
LandWISE Manager
021 356 801
dan@landwise.org.nz