Weed blaster shows promise as alternative to herbicides
Reblogged from https://ascendingstarseed.wordpress.com/
Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune
Updated: August 25, 2014 – 4:42 AM
The method, gaining attention from organic farmers, uses grit such as corncob bits instead of chemicals to protect crops.
Frank Forcella is tackling the problem of weeds head-on.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture research agronomist in Morris, Minn., Forcella doesn’t spray pigweed and foxtail with herbicides to shrivel them.
He blasts them to smithereens with corncob grit.
The tactic is gaining attention from organic farmers who don’t use chemicals and from food companies seeking to market pesticide-free snacks and other products.
Forcella said the technology is experimental but shows promise. It uses an air compressor to spray gritty material on both sides of a crop that kills young weeds without harming corn or soybeans.
“It obliterates the weed, especially if it’s a small broad-leaved weed like Lamb’s quarters or pigweed that’s one to…
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