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Crop Science Abstract - Crop Ecology, Management & Quality

Harrington Seed Destructor: A New Nonchemical Weed Control Tool for Global Grain Crops


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 52 No. 3, p. 1343-1347
    Received: Nov 21, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): michael.walsh@uwa.edu.au
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  1. Michael J. Walsh*,
  2. Raymond B. Harrington and
  3. Stephen B. Powles
  1. Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, School of Plant Biology, Institute of Agriculture, Univ. of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia


Global grain production is under threat from the escalating evolution of herbicide-resistant weed populations. Worldwide, herbicide-reliant grain crop production systems have driven the proliferation of herbicide resistant populations of major weed species. Alternatives or adjuncts to herbicides are needed for sustainable control of crop weeds in grain crops worldwide. Here we introduce and prove the ability of a new weed control tool, the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD), to intercept and destroy weed seeds during grain crop harvest. The interception and destruction of weed seeds exiting the grain harvester in the chaff fraction during grain crop harvest is a hitherto unrealized opportunity. We have developed a cage mill-based chaff processing unit that consistently destroys weed seed infesting grain crop chaff fractions. The subsequent construction of the HSD incorporating this unit had >95% weed seed destruction efficacy when used during commercial harvest of three major grain crops, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.). The HSD system has the potential for a dramatic impact on global grain production by providing the unique combination of effective weed control with complete retention of grain crop harvest residues. Only herbicides offer this same combination of highly effective weed control and complete residue retention in large scale grain crop production systems.

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