We have previously had flame-thrower weed-killing machines featured on That’sFarming, but French Machinery giants, Simon, latest design the “Steam’R” is the first of its kind to use steam.
Fully automatic, the Steam’R was designed for use by growers where mechanical in-row weeding is impossible and is a self-propelled disinfection machine. It claims to not only kill weeds but weed seeds using just steam. The machine corks completely autonomously, with the steering wheel and driver’s seat only there for moving the machine to another field.
The machine operates completely by itself, alerting the owner when it is finished or in need of assistance. The Steam’R is also equipped to shut down if it detects any problem.
How it kills weeds -
As mentioned, the Steam’R kills weed seeds through the use of steam.
This steam is created by the diesel engine in the machine, which heats water to 180 degrees, turning it into steam. The steam is then injected into the ground via that plates, at a temperature of up to 160 degrees Celsius.
The water is supplied to the machine via an automatic hose (it can unroll and roll itself), while farmers can monitor the machines work through their smartphones.
The machine works best when soil temperatures are heated to 80 degrees Celsius, with steam injected to a depth of up to 9cms. This kills not only weeds but seeds too, without damaging soil or soil organisms.
The machine comes with plates, 3ms in length and 1.5ms wide, and can be got with between three and five plates. The distance between each plate can be adjusted by farmers. The machine is currently available in three versions, the Steam’R 600 (3 plates), the Steam’R 800 (four plates) and the Steam’R 1000.
For further information on the Steam’R check out the official Simon website here. Alternatively, you can watch the Steam’R in action below!