New methods of mechanical weed control from Opico include a new range of inter and intra-row hoes.

Joining the Hatzenbichler comb harrows and hoes, the German-built Kult machines will add to the Bourne-based company’s offering of specialist cultivators designed for high-value vegetable and salad crops. In addition, the firm’s steerable headstocks should provide a simpler, lighter, lower-cost option for implements with narrower working widths.

Kult’s inter-row hoes can be equipped with a wide range of working tools from A-shares to L-blades, with tines positioned to suit the narrowest 10cm spacings in wheat, to row crops like pumpkins set up to 1m apart.

While dealing with weeds between the rows of crop is critical in maximising yield, in these high-value specialist crops it’s equally important to manage those in amongst the rows of plants. That’s where Kult’s innovative intra-row finger weeder comes in, said Opico.

A simpler approach than other solutions on the market, pairs of plastic tined wheels either side of the row work in tandem to pluck weed seedlings out from between the crop plants. This intra-row weed control option is also available on Hatzenbichler’s line-up of inter-row hoes.

“With its success firmly rooted in the vegetable industry, Kult’s philosophy is very much about building bespoke machines to suit the customers’ requirements,” explained Opico managing director, James Woolway.

“Its weeders can be made to suit any bed size, or working width and can be equipped with a wide range of tools to deal with different crops, soil types and weeds. That concept of configuring bespoke machines is exactly how we are handling our mechanical weed control offering here in the UK. Our product specialists will work with growers to build exactly the right spec' implement for the job.”

That means there is a range of options for the Kult’s steerable toolbars. At the most basic level, there is manual guidance with an operator seated on the frame steering the unit either mechanically, or hydraulically, and usually where there is less emphasis on speed.

The next level of automation is camera guidance and like Hatzenbichler machines, the Kult weeders employ the British-made Tillett and Hague system. These camera-guided machines work closer to the crop and provide better weed control at higher work rates.

While Hatzenbichler comb harrows and inter-row hoes provide herbicide-free weed control options for broad-acre crops, the Kult line-up is a much more bespoke offering catering for specialist crops.