23 November 2001

Row crop hoeing takes auto route

AUTOMATED steerage hoeing can allow sugar beet and other row crop growers to weed faster and more accurately than before, according to Silsoe Research Institute.

Trials with the Robydome/SRI vision guidance system, which links a computer to a forward facing camera, showed working rates of up to 11kph are possible, said researcher Matthew Home.

"A two-man steerage hoe can be very accurate, so long as the operator doesnt fall asleep. But its a lot slower. The best you can expect is about 5kph."

Automatic guidance also allows the cutting shares to be set closer to the rows without damaging the crop, he said. &#42