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In a year fraught with widespread herbicide shortages, a mechanical weed-control system has never looked so attractive.
Farmer and inventor Dave Button first talked to No-Till Farmer about the Row Shaver System, a mechanical form of weed control, in 2018. Button has been testing and tweaking the system in the years since then, and he believes he’s created an ideal weed-control solution for no-tillers and organic farmers.
The Row Shaver System has been used in soybeans, corn, milo and cotton. Button says it can be used on anything planted in rows, although rows narrower than 20 inches could pose a challenge. The Row Shaver’s cutters can be adjusted to cut row widths between 20-40 inches.
“Weeds can’t grow resistant to steel,” Button explains, citing the Row Shaver motto. “Rather than tilling or cultivating the soil to remove herbicide-resistant weeds and losing valuable soil moisture and crop yield, we mount hydraulically operated mower assemblies on the front of sprayer row units.
“Mowing the weeds in the middles reduces competition for adjacent cash crops and allows them to canopy over the mowed stubble, further reducing the viability of standing weeds.”
The Row Shaver mower also can be paired with a companion tool, the Row Trimmer, to further reduce production of viable weed seeds. The trimmer features a “floating” helical reel and sickle-bar that rides just above the crop and “mows” flowers, seeds and stems growing taller than the crop to interrupt the reproductive cycle of weed species.
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