Comb harrow use in Bulgarian organic farms


Comb harrow – efficient tool for weed control in organic production of cereal crops Weeds are the major problem in organic production of cereal crops The most common weeds are: wild poppy, larkspur, cleavers, chamomile, veronica … Weed development before the start of a spindle period has a negative effect on yields because the weeds grow among the crops and conditions are created for subsequent appearance of weeds. In organic farming the use of herbicides is prohibited. We use weeds control methods such as crop rotation and direct weed control tools. Such a tool is the comb harrow. The construction is simple. Each section has joints on which the operative accessories are attached – flexible steel spikes. Depth of work and slope of the spikes adapt to the specific conditions. The optimum speed of the harrow is 7 km/h at maximum crop height of 40 cm. The use of the harrow contributes to:
– mechanical weeding and aeration of the soil – breaking the soil crust
– moisture regulation and better tillering The best results are obtained when the cereal crop is well rooted and the weeds are at the beginning of their development. Under the Organic Knowledge Network Arable project, we tested the effect of a harrow on three cereal crops: Einkorn Spelt Wheat We worked in three organic farms around Plovdiv The farm of the Agricultural University The farm of Nadia Petkova from the village of Trud The farm of Agrointegral in the village of Novi Izvor We divided each plot into two fields: – test field, where we used comb harrow
– control field – without harrowing Firstly, we recorded the number of cereal crops and weeds. Then we harrowed in the end of March – the beginning of April once in each of the farms. Then we recorded the number of cereals and weeds again. Finally we harvested the test field and the control fields separately. We reported the different yields. After cleaning the seeds, we reported the amount of weed seeds and admixtures. The following results were obtained: Wheat:
– 12,7% higher yield
– 22,6% less admixtures Spelt:
– 16,7% higher yield
– 1,7% less admixtures Eincorn:
– 23,4% higher yield
– 22,8% less admixtures The financial result is positive in all three farms, the better harvest compensates for the cost of using the comb harrow, and there is even a balance of 60 Euros/ha. In conclusion, we can sum up that the comb harrow is a basic, very useful and indispensable tool in organic farms. And even more….

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