Year 2016, Volume 62, Issue 4

Year : 2016
Volume : 62
Issue : 4
Authors : Mauro PAGANO, Roberto TOMASONE, Carla CEDROLA, Marco MINGOZZI
Abstract : Manual, mechanical and chemical techniques are used to control weeds in asparagus fields. Chemical weed control is permitted by protocols, except for organic production, but prohibited during spear harvest, because shoots continuously emerge. In the harvest phase, the bed must be kept free from weeds to facilitate picking. Inadequate weed control increases infestations over the years. In this context, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) flaming is effectively used in three phases of the annual cycle: harvest period, fern production period, end of growing cycle. A specific range of flaming machinery has been designed and adjusted for accomplishing treatments in each phase. During the harvest period, a broadcast flaming machine performs the treatment multiple times. Field tests identified suitable operative parameters to control weeds effectively, safeguarding the emerging spears (5km h-1 treatment speed, 0.8 bar gas pressure). During the fern production phase, intra-row flaming is applied to eliminate weeds and prevent seed dispersal. A special flaming machine is used to move through the narrow aisles, treating both sides at the same time (4÷5 km h-1 speed, 1.2 bar gas pressure). A laminar air flow provides a barrier to protect the fronds from rising heat. At the end of the growing cycle, the fern fronds are shredded mechanically and the residues are burned, eliminating disease inoculum and weed seeds. The flaming machine promotes the ignition of fern residues, improving combustion. A recent innovation is represented by a combined machine for shredding and flaming the residues simultaneously, reducing work time (3÷4 km h-1 speed, 1.6 bar gas pressure).
For citation : Pagano M., Tomasone R.,Cedrola C., Mingozzi M.(2016): Integrating the flame treatment in the growing cycle of Asparagus for a sustainable cultivation Agriculture and Forestry, 62 (4): 27-34. DOI: 10.17707/AgricultForest.62.4.04
Keywords : Asparagus officinalis, flaming, weeds, organic production, mechanization.
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ISSN 0554-5579 (Printed)
ISSN 1800-9492 (Online)
DOI : 10.17707/AgricultForest


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