Hoeing corn requires precision
Corn cultivated in an organic way - a challenge for every farmer. But our CHOPSTAR row crop technology will provide best pre-conditions for a successful harvest.
High competition of weeds in in early crop stages is a serious problem for the corn. To meet this challenge tined weeders and row crop cultivators which work with a high level of precision are necessary. We offer the best solutions!
The most important direct plant protection measure is mechanical weed control. Constant observation of the crop is absolutely necessary! Particularly in maize, perfect timing of the different measures is extremely important to achieve the optimum success.
Seedbed preparation and blind weeding
The right measures start before sowing. A flat, dry and above all well reconsolidated seedbed is necessary for successful emergence of the crop. Shortly after sowing, the AEROSTAR-EXACT tined weeder can be used for blind weeding. Because of the precise depth control and the exact adjustment of the tine aggressivity over the entire working width the AEROSTAR-EXACT is ideally suited for blind weeding (see picture 1). Especially at this time germ tubes of the weeds can be destroyed, which dramatically reduces the weed pressure later on.
Early hoeing is indispensable
Regular hoeing after emergence of the corn is essential to keep the rows clean. We have developed the CHOSPTAR 5-90 for this purpose. This machine is available front and rear mounted. The front mounted machine (see picture 2) has a great advantage of excellent visibility on the hoeing elements. But in practice, a centimetre-precise adjustment is only possible with the camera steering system (ROW-GUARD) at the rear. A camera system will provide this additional precision in steering and guiding of the row-crop cultivator which will make the difference in weed control.
In addition, we have recently developed a new row crop cultivator system, which allows the control of weeds in the early 2-leaf stage of the corn plant without damaging or spilling the crop - the CHOPSTAR-TWIN with ROW-GUARD. The hoeing parallelogram does not operate in the classic way in between the rows but directly above the row. The result is a very narrow unworked area (less than 2,5 cm / 0,98" left and right of the row), still providing the possibility to operate the machine at a very early crop stage (see picture 3). The new ROW-GUARD camera, including the redesigned sideshift frame, detects even the smallest plants and steers the hoe with absolute precision, even at high speeds.
All CHOPSTAR row crop cultivators can be equipped with a wide range of tools, for example with finger weeders. The finger weeders work in the row, therefore, due to working the full surface of the field, they ensure a very clean crop.
The following options are available for the mechanical weed control in corn:
- Finger weeders
- Following weeder tines
- Heaping elements
- Angle knives
- Crop deflector discs
- Crop deflector shields
- Other options on request
Tips for adjusting the sweeps:
- Depending on the soil and its characteristics (e.g. stones, organic matter, etc.), different sweeps, adapted to the row spacing, can be mounted. Furthermore, depending on the stage of crop growth and weather forecasts, a wide variety of heaping elements, angle knives or ultra-flat sweeps are available. Here it is important to choose the right working tools, adapted to the conditions.
- The smaller the crop, the closer the row crop cultivator should work to the plant. The sweeps must be adjusted as closely as possible to the crop.
- The larger the crop, the further away the sweeps must be mounted, in order not to damage the roots of the crop.
- In areas with risk of erosion, a small grove with larger clods can be established in the middle of the row by adjusting the last tine of each element to work deeper than the others. This should prevent the soil from getting washed away by slowing down the water. (see picture 4)
Tips for adjusting the finger weeders:
- The finger weeders should be set at a distance of approx. 2 cm / 0,78" (see picture 5).
If the crop is larger, a little more distance must be adjusted, as the crop is already thicker. In practice, however, an adjustment of 2 cm / 0,78" is only possible with the ROW-GUARD camera steering system. On machines without a camera steering system, whether rear or front, a wider distance has to be adjusted in order not do damage the crop.
Tips for adjusting the protection elements
- The smaller the crop, the lower the protection elements should be placed to prevent the culture from being spilt or damaged.
- In well-established crops, protection elements can be completely taken off.
- Shortly before the rows close, protection elements are not required anymore and can be raised.
- Which protection elements you want to use depends on the crop and/or the soil conditions (e.g. organic matter or stones).
Short & compact – weeding with row crop cultivators in maize:
- Indispensable blind weeding with the AEROSTAR-EXACT before emergence
For this measure the weather is very important. It is important not to weed too early (so that the desired effect is not achieved) and not too late (so that no seedlings are damaged). Usually about 4-6 days after sowing.
- If weed pressure makes it necessary: another gentle weeding in the 2-3 leaf stage at 2 - 3 km/h
(Attention: the plants can be bent easily!) Hoeing with the precision row crop cultivator CHOPSTAR-TWIN is already possible!
- Hoeing with the CHOPSTAR 5-90 approx. 1 week after weeding
The right adjustment of the row crop cultivator is very important. Make sure to have the right adjustment of depth, tools, finger weeders, .... But the basic rule is: as much hoeing as necessary and as little as possible to keep the crop clean. In addition, hoeing should be done as close as possible to the crop. To enable the best hoeing result use finger weeders in combination with camera steering system ROW-GUARD.
- Hilling shortly before row closing
When the maize is about 40 cm / 15,75" tall, small weeds can be controlled by covering them with soil. In addition, the plant gets warmer soil due the "hilling effect". Faster working speeds and various ridging tools are used to throw soil into the row. This promotes the warming of the soil on top of the plant root, a larger soil surface is created and this guarantees faster growth. In addition, small weeds are buried in the row, so you’ll reduce weed pressure.
After row closing, you don’t need any further operation. If, however, you still need to run the row crop cultivator (due to erosion and/or crusts), a feeler for sensing the crop row can help to control the side shifting frame. So you can still hoe a closed row (see picture 6).
We wish you a high yield & a successful harvest!