The use of roller crimpers to terminate plants and obtain a natural mulch before cash crop establishment has been identified as a valid and sustainable approach to control weeds. Several enhancements have been evaluated to improve and speed up plant termination to avoid delays in cash crop planting and consequent yield losses, which can occur with standard roller crimpers. In the present study, a new prototype machine provided with a roller crimper and an undercutting blade, allowing it to simultaneously crimp plant stems and cut root systems, has been designed, realized, and tested. The aim of the research was therefore to evaluate the effectiveness of the prototype for plant termination and to compare it with a commercial roller crimper. The termination was performed on a spontaneous vegetation cover (weeds). A monophasic exponential decay model to evaluate the weed termination rate over time was performed. The fitted model showed that the prototype is able to achieve a greater and faster weed devitalization compared to the commercial roller crimper, with a lower plateau (0.23 vs. 5.35 % of greenness of plant material, respectively) and higher constant of decay (1.45 vs. 0.39 day−1, respectively). Further studies are needed to evaluate the prototype’s effectiveness in relation to different soil textures, moisture conditions, and amounts of plant biomass to manage, to further improve the machine and extend its use in a broad range of situations, including cover crop termination.

Testing of Roller-Crimper-and-Undercutting-Blade-Equipped Prototype for Plants Termination

Sportelli M.;Frasconi C.;Gagliardi L.
;
Fontanelli M.;Raffaelli M.;Antichi D.;Peruzzi A.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The use of roller crimpers to terminate plants and obtain a natural mulch before cash crop establishment has been identified as a valid and sustainable approach to control weeds. Several enhancements have been evaluated to improve and speed up plant termination to avoid delays in cash crop planting and consequent yield losses, which can occur with standard roller crimpers. In the present study, a new prototype machine provided with a roller crimper and an undercutting blade, allowing it to simultaneously crimp plant stems and cut root systems, has been designed, realized, and tested. The aim of the research was therefore to evaluate the effectiveness of the prototype for plant termination and to compare it with a commercial roller crimper. The termination was performed on a spontaneous vegetation cover (weeds). A monophasic exponential decay model to evaluate the weed termination rate over time was performed. The fitted model showed that the prototype is able to achieve a greater and faster weed devitalization compared to the commercial roller crimper, with a lower plateau (0.23 vs. 5.35 % of greenness of plant material, respectively) and higher constant of decay (1.45 vs. 0.39 day−1, respectively). Further studies are needed to evaluate the prototype’s effectiveness in relation to different soil textures, moisture conditions, and amounts of plant biomass to manage, to further improve the machine and extend its use in a broad range of situations, including cover crop termination.
2023
Sportelli, M.; Frasconi, C.; Gagliardi, L.; Fontanelli, M.; Raffaelli, M.; Sbrana, M.; Antichi, D.; Peruzzi, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1174129
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