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Thermal Weed Control for Organic Production
Written by Rosaria Campbell for the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (Click here for full reference)
What is Thermal Weed Control?
Thermal techniques can be used for top killing in crops such as potato, but the propane consumption for thermal top killing is quite high (70 - 110 kg/ha). The method has also been used in the control of the Colorado potato beetle. However, the level of control is variable, depending on the degree of protection given to the insect by the plant leaves, insect position on the leaf relative to the position of the flame, and the tendency of the insects to drop from the plant in response to disturbance.
The following links provide further information on other research in this area, and on the practical applications of thermal weed control.
1. Campbell, R., N.M. Rifai and R. C. Martin. 2003 (In Process). The potential for thermal and pneumatic weed and insect control in organic production. Canadian Biosystems Engineering. Submitted for review April, 2003.
2. Duchesne, R.M., C. Lague, M. Khelifi and J. Gill. 2001. Thermal control of Colorado potato beetle. In Physical Control Methods in Plant Protection/La Lutte Physique en Phytoprotection, eds. C. Vincent, B. Panneton and F. Fleurat-Lessard, 61-73. New York: Springer-Verlag.
3. Leroux, G.D., J. Douheret and M. Lanouette. 2001. Flame weeding in corn. In Physical Control Methods in Plant Protection/La Lutte Physique en Phytoprotection, eds. C. Vincent, B. Panneton and F. Fleurat-Lessard, 47-60. New York: Springer-Verlag.
© 2012, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)