Farmers Are Using Flame-Throwing Tractors to Get Rid of Weeds and Pests

The use of pesticides has reached its peak with their harmful effects and because of that farmers are trying to find out new solution for removing weeds and pests from their crops.

The land managers have come up with the perfect solution, flame-throwing tractors that cook weeds to death, an amazing solution, isn’t it?

Pesticides have been a necessity in the agricultural world for decades since they have proven to be an efficient solution for keeping under control various pests and weed. However, the effects towards the environment were disastrous as a result of their use. Pesticides have infected water sources, disrupted the ecosystem, and have been the cause of many health issues. People started to complain about having headaches, dizziness, and nausea, and in the worst case scenario the pesticide were the triggers of cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm.

People have become aware of the negative effects of pesticides on their health and the environment so that they turned to the use of organic products. Organic farming has become popular that decreased the pollution, and on the other hand increased soil fertility. Plus, it is used less energy, the soil erosion got reduced and at the same the water was conserved. This type of farming is not beneficial only for the humans but as well as for the animals that live nearby the farmlands.

Flame Weeding

This new method has proven to be as effective as the pesticides but without the existence of the negative effects.  The flame weeding functions perfectly by burning off any unwanted obstacles to the growing crops. A regular farm tractor is equipped with a row of flamethrowers that not only sets fire to weeds, but as well as initiates a chain reaction that elevates the effectiveness of this method.

Flame Engineering is a company that produces flame weeding equipment that is designed to eradicate the plant structure of weeds so that there is no longer a possibility of photosynthesis. This method is even more effective than the pesticides as it destroys them up to the root. On the website of this company it is explained the process of weed destruction. It says: “Flame weeding is what we like to call a ‘slow kill.’”, which means that this procedure is destroying the cell structure in the plant leaf. In this way the weed has no energy for photosynthesis taking the destruction through the root system. 

The website explains:

Yes, flame weeding will kill the roots too! Even on big weeds (over 6″), you will see a stunting effect and even a kill within a few days, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.” 

Nevertheless, there are opponents to this old procedure that was used centuries before the rise of the chemical industry. Some doubt its efficacy and asking if there is enough evidence to support its widespread use.

One of the opponents is the agricultural consultant Aina Tolulope commenting the following:

I don’t really get how this will deal with [armyworms] though,” wrote “Will it be used before or after the infestation? We all know that [armyworms] start affecting the crops like two weeks after planting. Won’t this technique burn off the crop from the entire farm?” 

As we mentioned before a century age this was the preferred method for the removal of weeds and pests from the farmlands. In that time there were no chemicals and even in the ‘40s and ‘50s of the previous century this was the preferred method. In those days over 80,000 farmers nationwide controlled weeds by burning them often using diesel fuel according to the available records.

After the second world war the interest of using pesticides and herbicides for the farms and home gardens have become large believing that the chemical products will do their job, which they did, but with huge side effects. Therefore, the interest in returning the method of flame weeding is justified.

Moreover, this method is not new as the parks use it frequently to destroy weed and pests. Meghan Fellows, a biologist in the parks system in Montgomery County, controls the weeds in the urban parks by shooting 400,000 BTUs at them through her four-foot flame-throwing wand. It has been proven that is very efficient when the pulling by hand is very difficult and can be also harmful just like the use of chemicals.

Sources:

nerdist.com

interestingengineering.com

mandatory.com