Australian farmers have long considered harvest-time weed seed control their “last chance” opportunity to battle herbicide-resistant weeds that survive in-crop treatments. The only downside is that commonly used seed destruction techniques remove chaff from the field – taking with it important nutrients and moisture benefits.

Now an innovative solution featured in the journal Weed Technology is making it possible to destroy weed seeds while preserving highly beneficial crop residues. The Harrington Seed Destructor – a device created a few years ago by Australian grower Ray Harrington – is now available in a new configuration that integrates directly into the rear of a harvester. As a result, harvest chaff can be processed through the Destructor’s impact mill to destroy weed seeds before the residue is deposited on the field.

Researchers studying the device say it successfully killed more than 95 percent of weed seed for the 11 weed species examined, including rigid ryegrass, wild oats, wild radish, barley grass, brome grass, junglerice, oriental mustard, hairy fleabane, windmillgrass, sowthistle and feather fingergrass.  In addition, the chaff delivery rate was equivalent to that produced during a typical grain harvest.

Want to learn more about the integrated Harrington Seed Destructor? The article, “iHSD Mill Efficacy on the Seeds of Australian Cropping System Weeds” is available in Weed Technology Vol. 32, Issue 2.

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