Friday, September 26, 2008

Under Vine Slasher Demonstration

An effective under vine slasher.


I saw this demonstrated today at Ralph Mottillo’s Bethany block. It is made by Ledgard Pruning Systems. I see a lot of potential in this for our region and wanted to share it with you. Weed control holds organics / bio / sustainable back. It cost the earth in labour (and/or diesel), and it is hard to justify not using knockdown weed control which is quick and easy.

This invention could change that.

Imagine slashing your under vine weeds during winter, then either doing a summer cultivation pass or using an organically registered mild herbicide to control the rest. Next week we are treating Ralph’s block with a herbicide called ‘Slasher’ – an organic acid - which has BFA registration pending. If it works on the small stubble left behind we might just have an alternative to conventional herbicide that fits economically... (Now all we have to do is off set the carbon we burn by using the tractor).

Under vine slashing could work well in conventional vineyards, e.g. let them get weedy in winter, break up the soil etc, then under vine slash. Let the weeds spring back for 2-3 weeks, then as you get weed regrowth use a low rate of herbicide to take out the small weeds. Much easier to control than the monsters we normally go after.


Food for thought.


Under vine slashing makes organic / biodynamic / minimal input farming much easier and gives growers a valuble alternative to herbicides.

The slasher travels at 4km/hr at 1,500 rpm which is a significant advantage over cultivation methods which need high revs and slow speed (therefore have higher labour costs and burn more diesel).

Another advantage over undervine cultivation you are not relying soil moisture levels in order to control weeds. When you cultivate and the soil is too wet you create hard pans, too dry dust bowls.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

About time ! Looks great and would be fantastic if it could be used at the same time as the conventional slasher. What's the cost ? Paul P

James Hook said...

Check out the website for their details.

My understanding is the system will fit on a normal slasher.