"Electrical weed control involves the application of very high voltage, short duration pulses or high voltage ac or dc current directly to the unwanted plants or the use of microwaves or radio frequency waves to destroy unwanted plants and seeds or to sterilise soil. The paper describes the techniques and briefly reviews some of the applications to which the techniques have been used, with particular emphasis on the United Kingdom.
"Equipment to remove weed beet from sugar beet crops and a general agricultural weed control machine are described, as well as a system for treating Japanese Knotweed. The rise in organic produce and the increasingly severe restrictions on the use of chemicals throughout the EU should have offered an opportunity for electrical weed control methods, as they are very environmentally friendly, but the authors do not know of any equipment being built or tested in the UK at the time of writing – in spite of several attempts to apply for funding."
"Electrical weed control is an environmentally friendly method of killing weeds for
horticulture and agriculture. It is not well used, however, although it has been practised for over 100 years, due to the well established (and effective) methods of controlling weeds by
"In July 2011, on a Horticulture Group visit to the Oxford Botanic Garden, mention was made of a particular plant that the Garden considers its most pernicious weed. This fiend is Nothoscordum x borbonicum, a member of the Amaryllidaceae (APG III classification - formerly Alliaceae). Sometimes called fragrant false garlic it is better known simply as onion weed. It spreads by producing hundreds of daughter bulbils as well as setting seed when it flowers. A recent research project has found that for each bulb in leaf that you can see, there are 150 dormant bulbs in the soil. It's estimated that for each cubic metre of soil in one of the most infected beds contains approximately 2.3 million bulbs!
"Over the last few years this plant has spread around the Botanic Garden especially through the monocot family beds and the Iris beds. On the tour was Margaret Waddy, the group secretary, and the following week in an evening talk that she gave, Margaret mentioned this pestilent plant. In the audience of her talk was Roger Balls who is an independent engineering consultant specialising in food processing, packing facility design, food hygiene, post harvest technology and horticultural production. For many years he has worked with a colleague, Dr Mike Diprose of Spectrum-tec to investigate the use of electricity to control weed plants."
A review of non-chemical weed management
"Methods of non-chemical weed control that could be used in organic systems were reviewed
previously as part of a desk study funded by MAFF (Bond & Grundy, 1998). Other reviews
of developments in non-chemical weed control techniques and systems have included:
"Morgan, 1989; Parish, 1990a; Stopes & Millington, 1991; Rasmussen & Ascard, 1995;
Rasmussen, 1996; Bond & Lennartsson, 1999 and Bond & Grundy, 2001. Bàrberi (2002) in
an appraisal of recent organic weed management research questioned whether the right issues have been addressed anyway. The present review aims to update and consolidate the previous MAFF-funded review as part of the Organic Weed Management Project, OF0315, funded by DEFRA. It is intended that this review will be ongoing and based on recent scientific and grower related publications as these become available. The reference list should provide an extensive bibliography of papers relating to most aspects of non-chemical weed control."
I guess this a natural progress from the sort of devices used for hair removal. Many people are using stem injection for JKW - so the 'method' is identical - in that individual stems are targetted, be interested to learn how this extends to general large scale weed control. Guess some reading up required.
I like the idea of green, friendly, methods.
Thank you for sharing