An Iowa State researcher says two mechanical technologies can help reduce the number of weed seeds in fields. Prashant Jha tells Brownfield a chaff liner limits the weed seeds to a narrow and more manageable row behind the combine. The other method his team evaluated is a Redekop seed destroyer attachment that fits certain John Deere combines. “Weed seeds we are capturing, we are knocking down close to 90 or 92 percent of those and with the almost-like 88 or 90 percent of those weed seeds we are getting pulverized or severely damaged so they are rendered non-viable.”
Jha says combines can spread thousands of Palmer amaranth seeds from only four plants over a wide path, leaving a difficult-to-control problem for future growing seasons. He tells Brownfield crushing the seeds during harvest reduces the need for chemicals and slows weeds like Palmer amaranth from developing resistance as quickly. “So that when you are exposing your herbicide programs, you are seeing less number of weed seeds from a density standpoint, and that’s the goal.”
Jha was a presenter during the Wisconsin Agri-Business Classic in Madison Wednesday.