Got resistant weeds? Microwave them

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Australian researchers are taking an innovative approach to dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds. Australian farmers have long fought a large battle with combating resistant weeds. They have had to resort to methods considered “old school” and “old fashioned.” They may have a new way to combat these hard-to-control weeds in the future thanks to Australian researchers.

Melbourne University engineer Graham Brodie has developed technology that destroys weeds by exposing them to microwaves. The technology is based on the common household microwave. The technology was demonstrated to leading Australian vegetable and potato growers this year year at the AUSVEG Future Technologies Seminar.

The microwave weed killer is mounted on a trailer, pulled by a tractor, and works by firing low intensity microwaves at weeds in the ground, causing the weeds to shrivel and die.

“With many weeds developing a resistance to traditional herbicides, an alternative, chemical-free way to eliminate destructive weed pests will be a welcome addition to the Australian vegetable growers’ armory,” said Hugh Gurney, AUSVEG spokesperson.

Australian vegetable growers were very interested in the technology, according to Gurney.

“Australian agriculture has consistently produced innovative solutions to on-farm challenges, and this technology often becomes the industry standard for farmers globally,” Gurney said.


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