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Water Grasskiller against weeds

An innovative approach in the fight against weeds thanks to the technology developed by Caffini, which uses the power of water thrown at a high pressure on plants. This machinery, which was already awarded at EIMA 2016, is raising a particular interest among the farmers

by Marcello Ortenzi
July - August - September 2018 | Back

The first precaution to be taken when planting an orchard or a vineyard is starting with a clean soil: bindweed, Bermuda grass, and in general perennial weeds must be eliminated before planting. The most commonly used method is facilitating the desiccation through tillage and making the harrow pass twice between June and August, within fifteen days of each pass, insisting along the edges of the field.

A more modern and ecological solution is getting rid of weeds in the rows of vineyards and orchards without any chemical substances, using a weedkiller machinery designed and patented by Caffini from Verona, the “Grasskiller”, which exploits only the force of the water thrown at a high pressure on the weeds to destroy them.

The system works thanks to a 1000 bar pump that allows not only to eliminate the weed sticking from the ground, but also to radically remove them by chopping their roots up to a few centimeters of depth and without using any chemical herbicides. Designed specifically for under-crown processing in vineyards and orchards, it has been tested for two seasons by Allegrini Estates in Valpolicella, showing a great effectiveness with only two passes, without affecting the cortex. The soil is worked and closely resembles to a soil worked with a hoe and this slows down the leaching in the hills. The machinery, powered by PTO, is powered by a tank with 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 liters capacity. The head, which comes back when there is a plant, is floating with hydraulic adjustment and it allows to operate even on a slope. The rotation speed of the jet disc (600 revolutions per minute) driven by a hydraulic motor, together with the forward speed of the herb (about 2.5 kilometers per hour) ensure a uniform coverage of the area affected by the treatment.

The machinery, which works using simple water at room temperature, has already been appreciated by the market in its one side version, and has been awarded at Eima International with the recognition of Technical News 2016.  The latest TWIN version has been added an herbicide system consisting of two heads, fitted to the front attachment of the tractor. The two heads work simultaneously on two sides of the row, cutting down 50% of the working time.

This new model adapts to the width of the rows through the hydraulic adjustment directly from the cab. Each head has an independent hydraulic feeler, with sensitivity adjustment to work both with very young plants and with gradients. The new rotor with an arcuate profile perfectly copies the trunk of the plants and avoids the sliding of the heads against them. Given the attention that this method raised among farmers, the company intends to develop the awn edge cutters in the coming years, so as to make it save passes and work on two rows at the same time.

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