Flames have been employed to ᴋɪʟʟ weeds since 1852. John A Craig was the first one to receive a patent for the first flame weeding equipment for sugarcane fields. By the 1930s, many people were using oil and gas burners to ᴋɪʟʟ weeds. Flame weeding is a widespread ᴍᴇᴛʜod today in maize and soybean crops. It can be used both before and after the start of a new growth season. The burners travel through the fields at a speed of 5 to 7 mph.
The weeds are not intended to be totally burned by the flame. Simply raising the temperature within the cell structure for photosynthesis to cease and weed growth to stop is all that is necessary. A temperature between 500,000 and 1.2 million BTUs is acceptable. A typical cooktop burner produces around 12,000 BTUs. Flame weeding is possible as long as the present crops are knee-high or higher.
The fact that we are getting the growing point of the weed and not that of corn or soybeans is one of the reasons this works so effectively. That is the necessary area on which you should focus your heat or flame.
Non-chemical weed management ᴍᴇᴛʜods like flame weeding have gained popularity as organic farming has become more popular. Now that organic production is picking up again and men are seeking for ᴍᴇᴛʜods to control weeds and organic produce, we are seeing a lot more of this. Flame weeding is not an one-size-fits-all approach to weed management. The flame process isn’t finished yet, we still need to go back and do further mechanical cultivation. But doing so significantly reduces the number of field passes.
Let’s see how these flame-throwing tractors ᴋɪʟʟ weeds and pests in the video below:
Source: Tech Insider
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