1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3, Page #23[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Farmer Uses Homemade Concoction To Kill WeedsA Wisconsin farmer swears he keeps his fields weed-free with a concoction of vine-gar, mustard oil and apple cider.
Herbert Noreen of Clayton says his yields last fall ran as high as 134 bu. per acre and the fields were as weed-free as any other farmer in his area. He says he's never used chemical pesticides or petroleum-based fertilizers on the 200 acre farm where he and his wife Carol milk about 40 cows and grow corn, rye and alfalfa.
He found the recipe for his weed-killing concoction in a 1923 issue of the Old Farmer's Almanac. The strange mixture was being used at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Garden but the article said they were having a tough time keeping the ingredients stabilized. Noreen looked around for a solution and decided to homogenize the home-brewed concoction.
At first he experimented with a backpack sprayer and had mixed results. Then he tried using a much finer sprayer nozzle and applied it in the early morning (or evening) when it wouldn't evaporate so fast. Results were "temendous" and he's been using his home-brewed herbicide ever since. The final solution consists of vinegar, mustard oil, an Amway wetting agent, and apple cider, which cuts the acidity of the mix somewhat. Noreen won't reveal the exact proportions because he's trying to obtain a patent.
Noreen thinks the acidic vinegar burns back green tissue while mustard oil makes the solution adhere to the weed while also helping to "smother" it. It takes quite a bit longer than a chemical spray to work except on weeds like mustard and morning glory, which have big leaves. It kills those right away, he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Herbert Noreen, Rt. 2, Clayton, Wis. 54004 (ph 715 948-2611). (Country Today)
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