Options for weed seed control at harvest expanding for Canadian farmers


Weed control is often focused first on out-competing the pest. Some escape, of course, so “control” shifts to decreasing the weed seed bank. There are limited ways to eliminate those weeds with mature seeds at harvest, but recent work in Australia and here in Canada is focused on destroying weeds at the combine.

According to Breanne Tidemann, weed scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, there are about seven different harvest weed seed control options farmers can use, but many of them involve fire, which make them less than a great fit for dry falls in Western Canada. But three pieces of equipment do offer decent options.

“Of what actually goes into the mill from the combine, you’re getting probably greater than 95 per cent control, from what we’ve seen across all three mill types,” says Tidemann. “Of the field population…typically what they’re seeing in Australia…[is] 60 to 70 per cent population control, variable from year to year, of course.”

Weed seed control mills are now developed to integrate into the back of combines. Those available include:

  1. IHSD, or the Integrated Harrington Seed Destructor;
  2. Seed Terminator from Australia; and
  3. Redekop Seed Control Unit, from Saskatoon, Sask.

When it comes to what’s holding Canadian farmers back from adopting the technology, Tidemann says there are a few factors including their cost: a sense that we don’t need to use them yet, and a desire for proof that they work here in Canada.

Tidemann says it will take the results of ongoing research, and testimonials from early adopters, to encourage uptake. But, she reminds farmers, weed seed control at harvest isn’t limited to mills, or herbicides.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Please register to read and comment.

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag


Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.



Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.