How can excessive levels of docks in pastures be avoided without ploughing and cultivating too often? There is a need for innovation, as no mechanical treatment seems sufficient.
The WUZI dock-cutter is a good way of controlling weeds manually, as the drill terminates the dock and prevents regrowth.
For each year that ploughing of a pasture is postponed, organic mat-ter in the soil can build up to 1000 kg N per hectare. Thus, the dock-cutter leads to a build-up of organic matter in the soil and effective termination of docks without ploughing.
• The mounting of the dock-cutter needs to be adjusted in order to fit a mini-loader or a front-loader on a tractor. In Denmark, mini-loaders are already present on many farms.
• The docks are drilled by placing the drill on top of a dock and then using the oil pressure of the loader to turn on the cutter and terminate the dock. The cutter drills about 20 cm into the soil, which is enough to destroy the point of growth and thus prevent regrowth.
• The dock-cutter automatically plants grass seeds into the bare soil where the dock was treated. This is an important function, as the grass seeds will compete with docks germinating later in the growing season from seeds in the soil.
• Using the dock cutter is more convenient than forking- or digging-out the docks. However, it still needs 20 to 30 seconds per dock, one person and the machine. In a field with high dock infestation, the dock-cutter is too time-consuming as it only drills out one dock at a time. In that case, it is recommended to plough the field or cut the docks before they set seeds (which means when the seeds are green).