Foam-based weed control is slow and steady

This industrial-looking set-up is WeedingTech’s new AW delivery system, which applies hot foam at low pressure to control weeds in high-value flower and vegetable crops.

Developed and manufactured in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, the machine is pto driven at 1,000rpm and needs around 150hp to deliver the required 10 litres of hot foam a minute.

Hooked on to the front linkage is a rail carrying six nozzles for inter-row work accurate down to 1cm, according to Richard Pearson of WeedingTech. Application can also be via a number of attachable lances. At the back there’s a pto-driven generator, three heaters, and a 600 litre tank that lasts for about an hour.

The organic foam – made from natural oils and sugars including OSR, wheat and maize – blankets the weed and act as a wetting agent. It is suitable for use on any weeds up to six true leaves and has undergone trials at NIAB.

Mr Pearson points out that the AW system can be used in variable weather and there is no need for the operator to have PA1 and PA2 tickets, because the foam doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Make sure you take your lunch along though, as the AW manages to cover just 0.6ha an hour. The technology will be available at LAMMA 2012.

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