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Mechanical Harvesting: Large-Scale Field Trials

Dr. James Leary, UF/IFAS
17 June 2020

  • Bio Dr. James Leary, UF/IFAS

    Mechanical harvesters are a centuryold technology able to cut, lift and remove both submersed and floating aquatic vegetation. It is generally perceived to be environmentally neutral but also considered less efficient and costprohibitive compared to chemical control alternatives. Recently, state agency decisions have pushed to re- examine the opportunities to integrate mechanical harvesting in aquatic plant management programs. A pilot project was established to monitor hydrilla harvest operations, from June-Aug 2019, in three severely infested plots (total area: 173 ha) on West Lake Tohopekaliga. Here, we report on efficiency and efficacy calibrations as preliminary guidance towards optimizing harvest contributions to a comprehensive aquatic plant management program.

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