Manufacturer says electrical weed control provides efficiency and environmental advantages

RootWave eWeeder is powered by a standard tractor via the PTO

RootWave eWeeder is powered by a standard tractor via the PTO

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

The company reports that in independent trials in orchards last year, its high-frequency eWeeding system delivered full control of weeds, similar to results from trials in sugar beet and maize during the same summer.

The RootWave machine treats weeds 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.

Growers can reserve a machine now for delivery in spring 2024.

Chief executive 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.”

Lower energy use

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

“RootWave delivers the most effective, economical, environmentally friendly and safe weed control on the market,” Diprose added. “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.”

 The machine is powered by the PTO on a standard tractor. Growers will be able to see commercial prototypes working at demonstration days this summer.