The GRDC and the University of South Australia (UniSA) have announced plans to further develop the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD) technology to integrate the process into the harvester itself. However, the earliest this is likely to be commercialised is almost a decade away.
GRDC manager for commercial farm technologies Paul Meibusch, says the complexity and the need for precision and reliability make this a long-term investment. In the interim, he says the GRDC remains committed to the trail-behind unit which was commercialised in 2012 by De Bruin Engineering of Mount Gambier, South Australia.
The first two commercial units were sold late last year to growers in Western Australia, and the company has made several improvements based on early feedback.
Mr Meibusch says the HSD technology may prove to be one of the most important investments made by the GRDC in weed control.
The possible follow-up with an integrated technology has been tested with a retrofit to a CASE9120 (class 9) harvester and trialled in a wheat crop north of Adelaide. The prototype showed potential, however, both the the GRDC and UniSA say there is still work to be done. The current power requirements of the retrofitted unit are beyond the ability of even the largest current harvester.
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