Zürn Top Cut Collect weed harvester: A new dawn for arable weed control?

From black grass, sterile brome and wild oats to fat hen, red shank and a host of other common arable field weeds, the range of herbicides to counter them is an increasingly short one. Hand rouging still offers some form of control for weeds that are easily pulled up, like wild oats, but rouging is a laborious, unpopular and expensive job. Robot weeding may help in the future, but it is still in its infancy, particularly for cereal crops. How about another option, weed harvesting? Working from a concept initially developed by a French farmer, Zürn introduced its Top Cut Collect a weed seed head cutter collector in 2020. Here we offer an insight into its development and use in the field.

by Sonke Schulz

13 Feb 2022

Every cereal grower is aware of pernicious weeds like black grass. A single plant has the potential to shed 2,000 seeds and each one of these can possibly survive in the soil for ten or more years, just waiting for a chance to germinate. A ticking time bomb of a weed and far from being the only one that is proving increasingly difficult to control.