Faster is better for Garford’s Robocrop guided hoes

Garford Farm Machinery’s Allan Knight

It’s bad news for weeds. Travelling at speeds of up to 18 km per hour, Garford says its Robocrop guided hoes will either pull out the pests or cut them down.

In this report from Agritechnica 23, host Shaun Haney and Garford’s technical sales and marketing manager Allan Knight discuss how the U.K.-based company uses its Robocrop technology to guide inter-row hoes on a path to fast and efficient weed removal.

Using the Robocrop imaging system, hoes can be guided through crop rows, even in narrow row cereals and multi-line (carrot type) rows. Images taken from frame-mounted cameras are analyzed at a rate of 30 frames per second and the direction of the hoe adjusted via a hydraulic side shift with anti-backlash action. Accuracy is generally 15 mm at the camera, and with the addition of soil engaging discs, better than 10 mm accuracy is possible, the company claims.

Knight says the Robocrop technology gives the hoe the ability to react to the crop and shifting rows, and allows operators to run faster to enhance weed removal.

“With the steel working the ground we’re actually taking the wheat out of the ground, which is predominantly what we want to do,” says Knight. “We want to take the weed out of the soil and lay it on the surface to die, or we want to actually slice it in half. So, speed is our friend — the faster we go, the better.”

In the video below, Knight also discusses how Garford’s approach to mechanical weed control differs from its competitors.

“It’s the Robocop system. Nobody runs a hoe like we do,” says Knight. “It’s the camera system reacting to the shears in the ground; the side shift is completely different to everybody else; and we have the pressure down system on the machines as well so all the wheel units are talking to each other mechanically and physically through the hydraulic system.”

RealAgriculture’s coverage of Agritechnica is brought to you by Optimum GLY, a new canola trait technology from Corteva Agriscience.


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