Design, development and evaluation of targeted discrete-flame weeding for inter-row weed control using machine vision
Weed management is a major constraint in organic crop production. The main objectives were design, development and evaluation of a targeted-discrete flame weeder in laboratory and comparing continuous (uniform) flame weeding with targeted flaming of inter-row weeds in an organic maize production field. In the laboratory tests, optimum angle and height of burners, as well as accuracy and precision of the targeted discrete-flamer were evaluated at three levels of ground speed (0.5, 0.7 and 0.9 m s⁻¹). In the field experiments, the effects of the same ground speed levels at three maize plant growth stages (4, 6 and 8 leaves denoted by V4, V6 and V8, respectively) on weed eradication as well as on fuel consumption were investigated. The results of the laboratory tests showed that the optimum position of burners were 25 cm above the ground surface and inclined at 30º for achieving acceptable accuracy in application of targeted flaming. In the field trials, uniform (continuous) and targeted (discrete) flaming showed similar results in weed eradication, while fuel consumption of the targeted method was significantly lower than the uniform application. Also, based on the field experiments, weed control calculated three days after flaming (3DAF) was significantly higher than that of one day after flaming (1DAF) and the first flaming was significantly more effective than the second and third flaming. The results of this investigation indicates that targeted-discrete flame weeding by using machine vision technology is a potential alternative to uniform flaming with extra advantages of lower fossil fuel consumption and air pollution.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds); 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
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