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Garford triple-bed Robocrop guided weeder

Precision mechanical weeding company Garford Farm Machinery has developed a three-section guided inter-row hoe for growers working crops sown in beds wanting increased daily output.

The Multi-Section Inter-Row guided hoe effectively combines three single-bed units into one implement with a common toolbar, which each section guided individually by a Garford Robocrop smart vision system.

This takes account of any variations in the spacing between beds and the position of plant rows within each bed. Commercial horticulture crops such as salad onions and lettuce are among those catered for by the new machine.

The Multi-Section Inter-Row model can have up to 30cm or 50cm of side-shift adjustment with accuracy of 8mm to 10mm claimed when used with soil-engaging discs.

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The Garford triple-bed precision inter-row hoe has three sections, each with its own ‘smart vision’ guidance system. - Photo: Garford
The Garford triple-bed precision inter-row hoe has three sections, each with its own ‘smart vision’ guidance system. - Photo: Garford

Video camera images to identify plant rows

Garford’s Robocrop system analyses video camera images to identify plant rows and then finely adjust the position of the hoe frame to accurately position the implement’s weeding tines between the rows.

Working speeds up to 12kph are common, says Garford, with higher speeds than that possible in the right circumstances.

Viewing multiple crop rows over a large area

The high-level accuracy is obtained by viewing multiple crop rows over a large area, say Garford Farm Machinery engineers, with a grid matching technique enabling the system to follow narrow-spaced grain crop rows and multi-line sowings of carrots and similar crops.

This proven system is already used on a number of Garford implements for hoeing between crop rows – and within the row in the case of precision-sown crops such as sugar beet.

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The Multi-Section Inter-row hoe can have 30cm or 50cm of side-shift for each section to cater for different bed and row spacings. - Photo: Garford
The Multi-Section Inter-row hoe can have 30cm or 50cm of side-shift for each section to cater for different bed and row spacings. - Photo: Garford

Custom built

The Inter-Row hoes are custom built to individual requirements and can incorporate a range of soil-engaging tools, including the traditional duck foot ‘A’ share, flat ‘A’ shares, ‘L’ blades and Garford’s specially developed Slash blade, designed to take out weeds adjacent to the row while having good plant foliage clearance.

Tines or ridging ploughs in the wheel tracks are available together with different shield and disc options and for non-bed applications Garford produces high-speed inter-row hoes in sizes up to 18m mounted and 24m trailed.

Product summary

Company: Garford Farm Machinery
Name: Multi-Section Inter-Row
Type: Weeding hoe for commercial horticulture crops grown in beds
Key feature: Three-section precision hoe with individual ‘smart vision’ guidance for each section providing increased workrate over single-bed model

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