Destroying Weed Seeds

Through research funded by soybean checkoff dollars, Dr. Bob Scott, weed specialist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UAEX), explains how advances in existing practices can destroy weed seeds.

The battle against weeds is never ending, but new equipment allows soybean producers to manage common weed seed. Moving forward from windrow burning, which has proven to destroy weed seeds, the harvest weed seed destroyer is a step in the right direction to containing them. Dr. Scott and his team installed one in their commercial combine at the UAEX research farm to explore the future of weed seed management.

A combine is used in order to replenish the soil seed bank, which is the main way weed seeds are spread; therefore, installing a weed seed destroyer into a combine allows producers to destroy these seeds without realizing it. In turn, the weed population is greatly reduced and preventing the spread of weeds from field to field is more manageable.

Both Case and John Deere are working to make smaller versions of the weed seed destroyer to install in these combines. As the producers are driving through the fields, the seeds are smashed through the grinder of the destroyer, demolishing the cellular integrity of the seed so it cannot germinate.

To learn more about the research Dr. Bob Scott and his team do to aid producers in their efforts against weeds, follow Dr. Scott on Twitter.