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Machinery hygiene at harvest

Dermot Forristal and Brendan Bourke joined Michael Hennessy on this week’s Tillage Edge podcast to discuss machinery hygiene at harvest.

The potential of combines or indeed other machinery to spread weeds is now a serious concern for most farmers as grass weeds such as blackgrass, canary grass and wild oats can be easily spread and this is more worrying when these weeds may be herbicide resistant.

Dermot explained that a large combine can cover over 900 hectares over the season which could be as much as 70 average size fields.  Each of these fields will have different weed burdens and the potential for spread of seeds from field to field is enormous.

Brendan Bourke outlined the main areas where weeds can build up on the combine and the best tools to use to dislodge these weeds. Brendan strongly recommends a cleaning routine on a daily basis, for fire safety reasons, but also to prevent weeds spreading by the combine.

The advice to farmers who are using contractors over the harvest is to discuss the need for weed-free machinery before the contractor comes to the field.    

For more episodes and information from the Tillage Edge podcast go to: www.teagasc.ie/thetillageedge

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