The Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD), a novel weed control technology, has been highly effective in Australian cropping systems. To investigate its applicability to conditions in western Canada, stationary threshing was conducted to determine the impact of weed species, seed size, seed number, chaff load, and chaff type on efficacy of seed destruction. Control varied depending on species, with a range of 97.7% to 99.8%. Sieve-sized volunteer canola seed had a linear relationship of increasing control with increasing 1,000-seed weight. However, with greater than 98% control across all tested seed weights, it is unlikely that seed size alone will significantly influence control. Consistently high levels of control were observed at all tested seed densities (10 seeds to 1 million seeds). The response of weed seed control to chaff load was quadratic, but a narrow range of consistently high control (>97%) was again observed. Chaff type had a significant effect on weed seed control (98% to 98.6%); however, seed control values in canola chaff were likely confounded by a background presence of volunteer canola. Overall, the five parameters studied statistically influence control of weed seeds with the HSD. However, small differences between treatments are unlikely to affect the biological impact of the machine, which provides high levels of control for those weed seeds that can be introduced into the harvester.
Nomenclature: Volunteer canola (rapeseed), Brassica napus L. BRSNN.