Dale and Nick Druffel farm almost 2,800 acres near Uniontown, WA, in the beautiful rolling hills of the Palouse Region. As herbicides have slowly failed them in their fight to manage weeds such as Italian ryegrass and wild oats, they have switched gears and added a Seed Terminator to their weed management program.
Nick first brought the idea of seed impact mills back to Druffel Farms after working on prototypes with Seed Terminator in Australia in 2017. In 2022, they purchased their own unit, as part of an integrated weed management (IWM) plan – not to replace herbicides, but to supplement them, and perhaps lower their chemical costs. (And as the Druffels learned, there are financial assistance funds available in some states for using seed impact mills through the USDA-NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program as part of the Integrated Pest Management Enhancement.)
Crop rotation plays another important role in their IWM plan. The Druffels are rotating diverse crops, such as lentils, garbanzos (chickpeas), winter wheat, spring wheat and barley. They are particularly careful selecting the right crop cycles and varieties that allow them to catch the most weed seeds possible at harvest before the Italian ryegrass shatters.
The Druffels know their main tool for combating weeds remains herbicides, but with chemicals failing due to weed resistance in the region, they believe that arming themselves with the Seed Terminator, crop rotation and careful variety selection will give them a better outcome in the battle against weeds.
In the second installment of our video series, “HWSC in the Pacific Northwest: Farmers Lead the Way,” learn more about the Druffels’ experience using the Seed Terminator on their operation here:
Catch up on the first installment of this video series, featuring Joe Limbaugh, of Pullman, WA, here.
Read more GROW news and research updates on harvest weed seed control and seed impact mills here.
Video and text by Claudio Rubione, GROW