Mechanical Weed Control Demonstration in Field Vegetables at Oak Park
There is a growing need for non-chemical weed management tools for sustainable crop production. Significant developments have been taking place in the technology of weed control systems amongst some of the leading manufacturers internationally. This event at Oak Park provides an opportunity to see first-hand, live demonstrations on vegetable crops, being run at the Teagasc Crops Open day in collaboration with the Irish Farmers Journal.
As well as the more conventional hoes and tine weeders, SMART weeding technology is advancing rapidly and robotic and camera-guided systems will be featured, which will be of particular interest to vegetable producers operating conventional and organic production systems. Specialised manufacturers demonstrating at the event include Stekette, Farm Droid, Garford, Treffler, Einbock, Terrateck, Pottinger and Ferrari.
Speaking at the Crops Open Day, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett said; “The vision in our recently launched National Strategy for Horticulture is ‘to grow a more profitable, value-added sector, driven by innovation and sustainability’. A key action in the Strategy is ‘Research and Development for the horticulture industry’ and this mechanical weed control demonstration shows the potential for increased productivity and enhanced competitiveness, whilst also improving our environmental credentials. Irish growers are committed to fostering innovation and recognise the role of integrated pest management in Irish vegetable production.”
Eoin Sweetman, Teagasc Specialised Vegetable Adviser said; “We are very fortunate and appreciative to have specialist machinery companies join us in Oak Park from across Europe, and it is a great opportunity to see these machines working in Irish conditions. Field vegetable growers are already adopting modern mechanical weed control technology in the drive towards sustainable vegetable crop production. I am very excited that we can see some of the latest solutions in full operation here today.’’
Stephen Robb, Irish Farmers Journal, said; “The increasing demands placed on Irish producers to address the growing need for efficient and nutritious food production, while also minimising dependence on chemical inputs, are significant. This year, as part of the Crops and Cover Crops Cultivations event in Oak Park, we are thrilled to present a unique field vegetable weed control demonstration that provides specialist vegetable growers with an opportunity to see the latest advancements in cultural weed control methods. The Irish Farmers Journal is delighted to collaborate with the Teagasc Horticulture Team for this innovative demonstration.”
John Spink, Head of the Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land Use programme said; “This mechanical weed control demonstration in vegetable crops compliments very well the Crops and Cover Crop Cultivation open day in Oak Park. Supporting the vegetable sector has never been more important. This event builds on the recent appointment of an additional Teagasc Specialised Vegetable advisor who will provide specialised technical advisory support to vegetable producers operating conventional and organic production systems.”