THE “WEED CHIPPER” HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CHANGE THE FACE OF FALLOW WEED CONTROL

A new mechanical weeding machine may help change the face of fallow weed control across Australia’s broadacre grains industry, and TECHSPO delegates will have the privilege of seeing the technology in action.

The Weed Chipper is the outcome of 3-year GRDC funded project and has been touted as the next answer in the fight against herbicide-resistant weeds. It has been developed by agricultural engineers Dr Andrew Guzzomi and Dr Carlo Peressini from the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Director of Weed Science Dr Michael Walsh at the University of Sydney. The project’s engineering lead, Dr Guzzomi, will be demonstrating its capability and presenting at this year’s conference.

“In terms of the technology involved, this machine operates in a similar way as a weed-seeking spray boom. Weeds are sensed, though instead of spraying them, we chip them out,” Dr Guzzomi says.

According to Dr Guzzomi, the Weed Chipper has been designed to adapt seamlessly and quickly into grain-cropping systems.

The Weed Chipper has been designed to run at 10 kilometres per hour and, while this may be slower than a sprayer, the weed chipper can work around the clock in a wider range of environmental conditions. Given this potential to operate across a wide range of conditions it is well-suited to an automated system.

This is Dr Andrew Guzzomi’s second time at TECHSPO having presented in 2017 on the ‘seed flamer’ technology which won the WA Innovator of the Year emerging category in 2016. This year’s presentation and demonstration will no doubt be a highlight of TECHSPO 2019.