By Bo Melander and Frank Poulsen, Frank Poulsen Engineering
Physical intra-row weeding in row crops is a challenge because there is a high risk of injuring the crop plants while removing the weeds. This may happen with tools that do not discriminate between crop and weed plants while operating. IWMPRAISE seeks to improve physical intra-row weeding by developing automated intra-row weeding using vision technology for the identification of crop plants. The Danish company Frank Poulsen Engineering works with two solutions in sugar beets in collaboration with Aarhus University and Nordic Beet Research. The one solution is based on flaming intra-row weeds using an array of gas burners where every single burner is turned off while passing a crop plant. The video shows the temperature profile during operation of this thermal intra-row weeding system where low temperatures indicate the presence of crop plants.