Weed control in agriculture is essential in order to preserve crop quality and soil health. With this practice, which has always been a part of agricultural work, the role of mechanisation has brought about important and fundamental changes. In particular, the control of weeds through mechanical weeding – already fundamental in traditional agriculture – acquires even greater importance in organic agriculture where the use of herbicides to prevent weeds is eliminated. Here, in fact, weeds have a greater chance of reproducing and spreading, severely impacting the harvest, effectively rendering the field uncultivable after only a few seasons.
Managing weeds, especially with cereal crops, requires specific programmes, which must include agronomic and mechanical interventions, carried out with high-tech and highly reliable means.
This is precisely where McCormick comes in, an indispensable partner for mechanical weed control in cereal agriculture and for tine harrowing of spring cereals such as oats, barley and wheat. In fact, these are sown as early as possible in succession to autumn-winter cereals as they are not very tolerant to soil compaction and waterlogging.
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The McCormick X7 SWB tractor responds perfectly to the needs of farmers looking for a machine that combines small size and low weight with high power. Its weight makes it ideal for jobs where it is necessary to compact the soil as little as possible while preserving its productive capacity. Traction – essential for mechanical weed control – is ensured by power ratings of up to 175 hp and perfect weight balance that unloads all power to the ground with ease. Driving comfort is also ensured by the front axle equipped with independent-wheel suspension. This means being able to use harrows, which make tine harrowing an effective technique especially on early stage weeds, as well as weed whackers, which are also involved in cereal crop weeding operations.
Mechanical weeding of these areas takes place according to a specific timeline. For deeper sowing, one can start with blind harrowing (or weeding) from the second or fifth day. From germination, tine harrowing can be performed from the second leaf stage. Finally, the last pass carried out by means of the inter-row weeder must be done before covering the rows. At this point, it will also be possible to carry out interventions with high incidence on the ground for better control of weeds that may have developed in the spring period.
The DNA of this McCormick vehicle is composed of technology on the one hand and comfort on the other, both dedicated to protecting the well-being of the operator and the land.
The McCormick X7 SWB tractor is designed with a new one-piece bonnet, providing greater visibility for the operator, with a 90° opening to allow immediate access as well as quick and easy maintenance. Added to this is the Première Cab, a spacious operator area with intuitive, power-assisted controls, LED headlights that illuminate the work area and rear cameras that reduce blind spots and increase visibility for the operator.
Design also plays a key role, thanks to modern, strong lines, the use of automotive materials chosen to make the environment comfortable, the air-suspension seat and the soundproofing of the entire cab, which has mechanical suspension. Acting as a bridge between comfort and technology is the multifunctional armrest, in which all the main controls are housed, including the EasyPilot joystick that allows easy engagement of the gears and robotised ranges of the P6-Drive transmission and includes the main hydraulic and lifting controls.
The PSM (Precision Steering Management) system includes integrated devices for satellite-assisted guidance, which is operated directly from the display in the cab and allows all ISObus implements to be managed easily and efficiently.
Crop care takes a big step towards sustainability with mechanical weeding, which replaces chemical weeding, thanks to the use of weeders, tine harrows, special implements and robots for performing mechanical or electrical weed control, protecting cereal crops more effectively and increasing field productivity.
Making this shift towards increasingly sustainable agriculture is crucial, but it must be done on board vehicles that are also dedicated to greater environmental (and human) protection, as is the case with McCormick.
Choosing the McCormick X7 SWB tractor as an ally for mechanical weed control means directly taking part in green farming by means of a vehicle with a weight that has less impact on the soil, not spoiling it or forcing over-intensive cultivation, and with the latest-generation Common Rail electronic injection and HI-eSCR2 exhaust gas treatment system which reduces fuel consumption by up to 10% compared to tractors in the same category.