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Rootwave launches tractor-powered electrical weed control machine

23-03-2023 | |
RootWave eWeeder is powered by a standard tractor via the PTO. - Photo: Rootwave
RootWave eWeeder is powered by a standard tractor via the PTO. - Photo: Rootwave

UK company RootWave has launched its first tractor-powered electrical weed control machine for orchards, vineyards and fruit.

In independent trials in orchards last year, the company’s patented high-frequency eWeeding system delivered full control of weeds, similar to results from trials in sugar beet and maize during the same summer (2022).

The RootWave machine treats weeds (and grass, et cetera) in the rows of vines, bushes, and trees using treatment electrodes on purpose-designed hydraulic arms, to work seamlessly between different row widths of crops. The treatment uses electricity to create heat within the weed and roots boiling them from the inside out. That way, a strip that is free of all weeds and grass between 30 and 50 cm wide is created.

The electrical weed control machine is powered by the PTO on a standard tractor. The minimum tractor power required is 75 hp.

In the company’s own tests eWeeding provided full control of weeds at a lower total energy use than chemical herbicides.

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RootWave eWeeder has adjustable arms for treating around trees, vines and bushes. - Photo: Rootwave
RootWave eWeeder has adjustable arms for treating around trees, vines and bushes. - Photo: Rootwave

Better weed control at a lower cost

CEO Andrew Diprose said: “RootWave delivers better weed control in fewer treatments at a lower cost. It will become the indispensable tool for farmers that want effective weed control without any environmental issues. Our technology is certified organic and helps nature restore its soils, water and biodiversity.”

“It works so well because the plant and roots are killed by heat generated within the weed itself. And because it works so well, the number of applications you need in a season is comparable to that of herbicides and less than required for mechanical weeding. We are the only eWeeding provider using high-frequency electricity, which has significant advantages over standard 50Hz or DC wave forms.”

Also read: Electric weeding with high frequency electricity gives better weed control with lower energy use

Prototypes

Growers will be able to see commercial prototypes working at demonstration days this summer. They can reserve a electrical weed control machine now, with those first in the queue able to secure delivery in spring 2024. The machine will be availabe in the UK this, Rootwave plans to make it available for France and then the EU next year.

”We will be exhibiting at SITEVI in France at the end of November, which will be the first chance for those in the EU to see the machine. We do plan to launch in North America too, in 4 years time,” Jimmy Phillips, Rootwave’s Communications & Customer Marketing Manager said.

Also, in the future Rootwave will develop weed identification systems for coming generations of the machine, for use in other crops.

In 2018 the company successfully launched a professional hand-held eWeeder RootWave Pro, and has sold over 150 units in the UK and Europe.

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Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming





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