AN ALTERNATIVE to a spray pack or spray boom is the weed wiper – a product that can be used on windy days and is capable of selectively controlling hard to manage weeds.
Pumps and Sprays manager Mark Batson, Riverstone, NSW, said the C-Dax Eliminator Weed Wiper allowed farmers to tackle patches of weeds in paddocks with a tractor, quad bike or ute vehicle.
It wipes herbicide across weeds sitting high in a paddock, thereby treating weeds but leaving pasture untouched.
Mr Batson said using the weed wiper for the first time could be unnerving, but when farmers saw the kill 10 days later their confidence grew as they knew it worked.
He said it was important to graze a paddock prior to using the wiper to ensure the pasture species were low and the weeds were sitting high, making them an easy target for the machine.
The woollen wipers were offset so the weeds were dragged under and got two shots of herbicide as they touched two wipers.
The Eliminator utilises a tank with a 12-volt pump which pressurises the feed lines to the wipers.
The feed lines deliver the herbicide solution to the carpet wipers through a lay-flat laser-cut irrigation tube. The wiper comes with a control which adjusts the rate of chemical flow.
“It’s important to keep the carpet primed but not dripping, all that’s taking the chemicals off the wipers is the weeds, so when they are sparse you back the rate of flow off and when going through a heavy infestation you put it up,” Mr Batson said.
“The pump is always pressurising the feed lines that’s why you have the control.”
Mr Batson said it was still important to keep a weed control program active, as there was no one-step solution for weeds.
“You won’t kill everything in the first year of use, but if you keep at it for a few seasons and stay in a regime you’ll get results.”
He said the big mistake many landowners made was to see they’d reduced the weed numbers by 90 per cent and then stop, but he said they’d find they’d have a reinfestation in a few years.
The C-Dax Eliminator Weed Wiper comes in 2.3-metre and 4.3m units, the larger unit has wings on the side to cover more area. Mr Batson said the product would suit most graziers.
He said it would suit small- to medium-sized operations and was easy to use.
“If you can get the chemical on the weed then it will treat it,” he said.
“You can use it on a windy day as you won’t get spray drift, so you can use it with confidence near otherwise sensitive crops.
“The Eliminator is ideal for controlling hard to manage weeds and has been used widely on reeds, rushes, serrated tussock, Chilean needle grass, fireweed, lovegrass, bracken and thistles.”
How to use the weed wiper:
- Attach machine onto a tow bar of a suitable all-terrain vehicle, tractor or utility vehicle.
- Use one of the four height adjustments to find the right height, which should be above grazed pasture so the machine is touching weeds only.
- Ensure the machine is horizontal, as the wiper is most effective in this position.
- Half fill the tank with water and then put in the chemical. Continue to fill with water so the chemical mixes in. Chemicals can foam up if put in first.
- Adjust the rate of flow using the electronic controller. You want to keep the carpet primed, but not dripping. All that’s taking the chemical is the weed so when in a sparse weed area you can back the rate of flow off and when in a heavy infestation pump it up.
- As you drive along weeds are pulled under the offset wipers so they get wiped by the herbicide held on the woollen wiper.