Weed Master Video Update!

We are wrapping up the final reports for our NE SARE-funded project that supported our on-farm trials of the Weed Master.  In addition to inspiring this blog, we used this project as a test case for using video to capture the on-farm trials and experiences of participating growers and our research group.  Tavi Merrill, who recently graduated from the University of Maine Sustainable Agriculture undergraduate program, has done a fine job of directing and editing these videos.

We are continuing our field research on hand tools and scale-appropriate weeding tools for the small farm.  Ben Costanzi is a new M.S. student who will focus on this topic for his thesis work.

You can view the most recent videos below, or go to our YouTube Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/zeroseedrain

 

Prologue to the Weed Master Project

 

Weed Master Field Trial:  Fisher Farm

 

Weed Master Field Trial:  Fail Better Farm


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2 thoughts on “Weed Master Video Update!

  1. The WeedMaster producer here…

    You have produced wonderful videos from your trials! Actually all the comments – even the slightly off-topic ones – are valuable feedback for instructions, and even for further development of Weed Master concept.

    Some comments, however:
    – many workers pushed the Weed Master by their hands or breast. And then it is hard work. Some of the videos (like hilling peas) showed, how I have thought it to happen, and how I do it: push with the hip. Easier, lighter. Hands are actually just for steering.
    – finger weeder wheels should be placed very close to each other to have an adequate effect on crop row. Your cultivated plants often tolerate much more “violence” you ever believed. Only after you have made some damage, you do know, what is an optimal treatment.
    – think how much the footprints are a problem. By walking on the bed rather close the tools is lighter, and the steering is easier. This may facilitate an extra pass or two during the summer, which should well compensate the footprints?

    But: the videos are maybe the best feedback ever! I know, I should produce own ones as well, hopefully I am able to find some time next summer.

    Next summer, I will also test the Weed Master with small electric motors, type windscreen wiper motors, and a car battery as a power source. The Weed Master will not pull your after that, but reduce the power needed considerably, facilitating more precise steering and longer working hours per day.

    Yours,

    Petri Leinonen

    • Petri,

      Thanks for your comments. I continue to get very positive feedback, but to my knowledge no farmers have purchased the equipment. I am preparing a new post that will include our data on working rates.

      I look forward to learning how the motorized version works. It is something I would really like to try, but have not yet found money to support the engineering.

      You are welcome to use our videos if you like; I can arrange a ftp if you want the actual files.

      Kind Regards,

      Eric

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