Video Clip: Rotary Hoe from Vegetable Farmers and their Weed Control Machines

Organic Agriculture June 02, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Source:

Vegetable Farmers and their Weed-Control Machines [DVD]. V. Grubinger and M.J. Else. 1996. University of Vermont Extension. Available for purchase at http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/Videos/weedvideo.htm (verified 31 Dec 2008).

This is a Vegetable Farmers and their Weed Control Machines video clip.

Featuring

Tim Taylor, Crossroad Farm. Fairlee, VT.

Audio Text

This is a rotary hoe, which we use in corn. It comes in all different lengths. This is actually a very small one. It’s been cut down so it does two rows of corn. We use it for blind cultivation. After we’ve sowed the corn, approximately anywhere from four to five to perhaps a week to ten days later, depending upon the soil temperature and time of the year. We’ll come in and we just run this right across the top of the crop blindly. This is usually pre-emergent or just as it is spiking up.

I use this in corn. I’ve used it in peas and in beans. It will get about approximately fifty to sixty percent of the weeds. It will get approximately maybe two to three percent of the corn or the crop you’re trying to actually grow. Depending on your timing, you can actually come in when the crop, not so much corn but peas and beans, when the crop is actually up and starting to leaf out. It’s one of the pros and cons of this. It allows you a little more time for more finer cultivation because it does reduce the pressure, the weed pressure, for a period of time. And yet it doesn’t get them all and you still need to do cultivation. I find I still need to do single row cultivation as well.

Each sprocket here is spring loaded and will bear the full weight of the unit. You can get a little nervous sometimes when you use it because it does sink into the ground quite a ways. I find that I’m quite safe as long as I keep my corn planted at the two inch level. Corn planted in the one inch zone will tend to be dug up a little more often.

One of the problems with this tool is that it picks up all of my loose plastic from my crops like melons and zucchini and squash. I don’t know if it’s exactly a downside - it gets it out of the field, which I do want to get it out.

This video project was funded in part by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (USDA). 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.