The Finger hoe
The Finger hoe
Regulate weed also in the row!
Did you already hear about the Finger hoe?
Or is your row-crop cultivator already equipped with this super-tool?
The specification of the row crop cultivators can vary quite a lot. This includes a big variety of different tools, adapted to the conditions of the crop, soil, weather etc., which ensure best results. The finger hoe works with particularly high precision in the row.
To reach the best result, the unprocessed hoeing belt should be set as narrow as possible along the crop-row (graphic 1). A hoeing belt up to 4 cm is quite realistic. But it depends on the guidance of the row crop cultivator and how wide the crop-row already is. Exact and precise results can be achieved with the ROW-GUARD camera steering system. The camera steering system steers the hoeing machine exactly and precisely along the row trough the sideshift frame. Therefore deviations are very small and this ensures complete weed control over the entire surface.
The finger hoe consists of two rotating rubber stars, which work as close as possible or even in the crop-row. They can be used in almost every crop. With the finger hoe the unworked hoeing band of the row crop cultivator can be broken up and the small weeds will be buried or uprooted and dry out on the surface. The main crop will not be harmed. An exact setting of the fingers is crucial for a successful application, otherwise it could cause damage to the main crop.
We have briefly summarized tips for the correct setting here:
Adjustment of the finger hoes:
- The finger hoes should be adjusted with a distance of approx. 2 cm (graphic 2). In praxis an adjustment of 2 cm is only possible when the machine is equipped with the camera steering system (ROW-GUARD). On machines without camera steering, whether rear or front mounted, 2 cm is difficult to see therefore difficult to achieve. If the crop is already a larger, the distance has to be set a little wider, as the crop or its roots are already thicker.
- The finger stars should slightly bend upwards - light pressure should be applied. The spring on the holder should be slightly under pressure during operation, so the fingers can work properly and adapt to uneven ground. This can be set by adjusting the height of the shaft of the finger hoes (graphic 3). The spring also compensates any frame movements, which can be caused by support wheels or feeler wheels of the cultivator.
- The steel drive fingers, which go into the ground, must work at the appropriate depth in the soil (not too deep, but also not too shallow). The depth depends on the type of soil, soil conditions or the crop stage. The height of the finger hoe should be adjusted so that it works shallow and most importantly not too deep into the soil. (diagram 2).
- It is also important that a separate spring mounted holder is used for each crop row, on which the stars are mounted in pairs. If the stars would be mounted individually, i.e. not on pairs on one holder, different lateral pressure would be exerted on the plant row if the height differs. In addition, the finger hoe should work a row parallel and without offset. This is the only way to ensure precise operation without damaging the crop (graphic 4). Finger hoes which are not placed opposite each other injure the crop, work in different heights and move or push the crop. What is more, the weeding effect is quite limited as the fingers do not work left and right of the row at the same time.
Further tips for adjusting a hoe and a tined weeder can be found in the “guide book of organic farming" under Downloads.