Weed control is an ongoing problem for farmers, especially those focused on tillage, though a group of organic farmers think they have found the solution, as reported in Nerdlist.com.
In times where pesticide use is frowned upon and studied, organic farmers have begun using a ‘flame weeding’ method to control the pests, a process recently developed. Check out the above video, courtesy of Boing Boing, showing the process up close. Warning - It is very cool (Figuratively, not literally)!
The flame-thrower/flame weeder is fitted to the back of the tractor like a sprayer would and blasts flames out behind it, killing any unwanted weeds in the process. The heat also kills off some unwanted parasites in the soil surface.
The process is more complicated than just burning the weeds. Flame weeding burns the plant structure in unwanted plants, preventing photosynthesis and growth.
“Flame weeding is what we like to call a ‘slow kill.’ Essentially, you are destroying cell structure in the plant leaf. The weed will no longer put energy toward growth (photosynthesis) taking the kill through the root system.”, said a spokesperson for Flame Engineering, a company who manufacture flame weeding equipment.
“YES, flame weeding will kill the roots too! Even on big weeds (over 6″), you will see a stunting effect and even a kill within a few days, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.”, they continued.
Who knew that weeding could be less of a tedious process and more one for those who like danger! It makes things much more interesting anyway!