HannhJoy Pheasant - Weed vs. Crop Differentiation Using Crop Marking Systems

Posted February 14, 2018

During the past year I conducted three field trials in lettuce and gathered data from five tomato field trials. The three lettuce trials used physical plant markers. Three of the tomato trials had physical markers while two had topical markers. I collected weed density counts before and after cultivation, plant stand counts, time to hand-weed after mechanical cultivation, and marketable yields.

Figure 1 Lettuce before cultivation  

Figure 2 Mechanical cultivator

Figure 3 Lettuce field after cultivation

 

Results from the field trials (Table 1) show significant reductions in both weed densities and manual labor can be achieved with an automated weed control system in comparison to standard cultivation with no change in crop safety.

 

Table 1  Field trial results

Trial

Year

Crop

Crop Marker

Weed Reduction

Hand Weeding time reduction

1

2017

Tomato

Topical marker

76%

39%

2

2017

Tomato

Plant label

60%

49%

3

2017

Tomato

Topical marker

85%

61%

4

2017

Tomato

Topical marker

89%

8%

5

2017

Tomato

Plant label

87%

31%

6

2017

Lettuce

Plant label

61%

29%

 7

2017

Lettuce

Plant label

62%

42%

8

2017

Lettuce

Plant label

63%

50%

 

In July I presented a poster on this project at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers annual meeting in Spokane, WA. I also gave a poster and presentation at the California Weed Science Society annual meeting in Santa Barbara, CA in January 2018.