Growers gather to see scientifically-proven mechanical weeding solutions in action.

As part of the WineGB East AGM and regional roadshow supported by Plumpton College, WineGB patron NP Seymour hosted a demonstration of under-vine cultivation machinery at Tuffon Hall Vineyard, near Halstead, Essex, on 8 March 2022.

Leading the morning demonstration of Clemens machinery, which is imported and distributed in the UK by the specialist dealership, NP Seymour, was Paul Tuteirihia, from Clemens. 

Paul talked through the many features of the SB Compact Frame and Radius SL+ which was mounted on a new Gen 3 Fendt 209v Vario and driven by independent contractor and NP Seymour’s sales representative Sam Barnes.

In essence, these cultivator blades effectively undercut the topsoil and cut the root structure of the weeds, while the optional rotary tiller incorporates the topsoil.

Readers of Vineyard magazine (Jan 2022) may recall that the Clemens was praised for its involvement in an integrated weed management trial. 

The results of the IWMPRAISE project proved that mechanical weeding is just as effective as herbicide. The study showed that the difference between the mechanical and chemical treatments was marginal, thus dispelling growers’ concerns that moving away from herbicide would reduce yield.

The trial also found that the Clemens Radius SL+, was the most effective in reducing biomass and impacted the greatest number of different weed families. 

Also on display at the AGM was the Clemens Multiclean. These mulching brushes effectively help growers take the weeds back to ground level without interfering with the soil structure while also removing unwanted shoots and significantly reducing the cost of bud rubbing.

“Mechanical weed control is still one of the things we get asked the most about,” said Claire Seymour, sales and marketing director at NP Seymour.

“Under vine cultivators are not a one-size-fits-all product. Modern systems can be incredibly sophisticated, so before choosing a make or model, growers need to think about what they are trying to achieve.

The system on offer from Clemens is robust and comprehensive and has been built to suit growers who need to do everything in just one pass. It is designed to deal well with hardy weeds, and vineyard managers often comment that the Clemens will do a more thorough job, with the effects lasting noticeably longer.”

For more information on the Clemens range of under vine cultivation equipment, please contact NP Seymour on 01580 712200.