A new weed seed killing device that mounts inside combines uses a blend of heat and intense blue light to destroy weed seeds before they exit the combine. While development has reached the prototype stage, the device itself doesn't yet have a name.
are calling it the Weed Seed Destroyer for now," says Jon Jackson, of
Global Neighbor Inc. (GNI).
it does have is effectiveness. "We have consistently had greater than 90
percent control," says Jackson. "In germination chamber tests at Ohio
State University, only 8 out of 1,200 treated palmer amaranth (pigweed) seeds
grew. By comparison, 97 percent of untreated seeds grew."
Central States University experimented with 4 different weeds, including morning glory, foxtail and ragweed and had a 95 percent kill rate.
Destroyer consists of an auger through which seeds and chaff pass before
exiting the combine. The diameter and speed of the auger determines the volume
of material the Destroyer can handle. A heating unit warms the seeds and chaff
before they pass through blue light from LED bulbs. This process kills more
than 95 percent of the seeds immediately. The remaining 5 percent remain alive
but are unable to send out a radicle (baby root).
The concept for the Destroyer was the result of Jackson's desire to find chemical-free weed control. His first attempt was a small hand-held unit for killing weeds in lawns and gardens.
"My son pointed out that if light hits weed roots, they don't like it," says Jackson. "We developed the concept and then showed it to a university researcher and were told it wouldn't work. We built a unit, hit crabgrass with it, and 3 to 4 days later, the weeds turned brown. It worked!"
When Jackson learned the U.S. Air Force had put out a request for proposals to use directed energy to control tumbleweeds, he submitted his design. It was selected for funding in the first round and again in phase two. By then Jackson had secured patents and begun building and selling the Nature Zap (see Vol. 33, No. 4).
next step was applying the directed energy concept to field crops. This time
researchers at several universities agreed to evaluate effectiveness.
Ironically, while it has been proven effective, understanding why it works is
still in question.
"We are looking for researchers to help us understand what is happening in the plant cell to stop the radicle from developing," says Jackson.
This fall, the Destroyer will be installed on a combine in Tennessee, and test units will be in Ohio and Louisiana. Jackson plans to sell 10 to 15 systems next year and then scale up to more than 100 units in 2023.
"Some customization is required for different makes and models," says Jackson. "We expect the cost will be around $30,000 plus about $3,000 for installation."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Global Neighbor Inc., 1855 Bellbrook Ave., Suite B and F, Xenia, Ohio 45385 (ph 937 285-099 or 937 231-8421; email@example.com; www.g-neighbor.com).