Evaluation of a thistle mower

Last changed: 14 January 2019
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A tool that cuts weeds in the growing crop without damaging the crop

Project manager: Anneli Lundkvist, Department of Crop Production Ecology, SLU

Jonas Carlsson, an organic arable farmer in Blekinge, has developed a very interesting implement, a vegetation cutter/thistle mower. This cuts the weeds in the growing crop but does not damage the crop. The technology involved is mechanical and uncomplicated, which gives low manufacturing costs and a high degree of reliability. The Swedish Institute of Technology (JTI) and the farmer have together developed a prototype and carried out a preliminary assessment of the implement.

In this project we will proceed to a more comprehensive evaluation of the thistle mower. In four field trials, we will study the short-term and long-term effects of cutting weeds, in the first instance creeping thistle and sow thistle.

Facts:

Control of creeping thistle and sow thistle is one of the great challenges in organic cropping. In this context, it is important to have a well-balanced crop rotation that improves the competitive ability of the crop against the weeds. However, in certain situations there is a need for direct control measures against the weed in a growing crop. The methods available are mainly weed harrowing, row hoeing and mowing.

Page editor: Ullalena.Bostrom@slu.se