Pöttinger has added its name to the growing list of manufacturers offering a mechanical weed control solution. The company’s cultivators are packed with a number of refinements such as adaptors for various row widths.

Three years ago, Pöttinger bought the crop care technology from CFS (Cross Farm Solution), thus giving the firm a ready-made start in mechanical weed control. Today there are three share hoes in the range, with working widths of 4.70, 6.20 and 9.20m. For asymmetrical systems there are also 30cm wide frame extensions for both sides of the machine. The manufacturer can match all common row widths to this basic frame, which has pros and cons.

A disadvantage is that in some configurations, the frame protrudes out slightly on one side. On the plus side there are many, tool-free adjustment options such as the working width of each row, the row and camera position as well as the tine arrangement.

The headstock (Cat II or III) has an integrated side-shifting frame as part of the standard specification. Movement of up to 25cm to either side is controlled hydraulically, with the current position sensed by a nifty linear potentiometer. It is either controlled from the terminal or automatically using a camera. The latter is sourced from British company Tillet and Hague with the option to fit a unit on both sides (as on the featured machine) for easier work on a slanted headland.

The camera system recognises the crop rows in two ways: the colour tones and also looks at one to eight rows at a time, depending on the width of the row. When used in a knee- high maize crop with herbicide-resistant, strongly rooted blackgrass between rows, the set-up worked very well.

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