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R270 Volunteer Control LINK

Publication Date: 
17 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Paul Miller

Contractor :
Silsoe Spray Applications

Full Research Project Title: Minimising environmental impact of weed control in vegetables by weed detection and spot herbicide application
Duration: April 2007 - September 2009

Aim: To develop a system to detect volunteer potatoes in vegetable crops and deliver a targetted application of herbicide to the volunteers.

The project began as feasiblity study, funded by HDC and the AHDB Potatoes, to assess the potential for developing a method of controlling weed volunteer potatoes in vegetable crops by the targeted application of herbicide. Further development of the project is being funded through the Horticulture Link Programme, with contributions from the AHDB Potatoes.

The work involved the assessment of image analysis based techniques to discriminate volunteer potatoes from surrounding crops and to locate treatment sites on plants. Application methods using  new and existing nozzle technology were also developed and tested. Agronomic assessment of candidate treatment methods were evaluated in laboratory and field trials.

Results from the project have demonstrated the potential for controlling volunteer potatoes in onion and carrot crops by the spot application of glyphosate at work rates, with total system costs that are competitive with any of the alternatives. In field trials, typical levels of control of 90% in carrot and onion crops were achieved with a single application and with acceptable levels of crop contamination and damage.

Reports and Key Words

The final report for a follow-on project (R435) is also available (published July 2013).

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