Weed control in fruit plantations had become increasingly difficult in soft fruit breeder’s plots at the James Hutton Institute, Dundee – and with effective chemicals being withdrawn and those available providing poorer control, finding a suitable alternative was high on the list of priorities for institute Agronomist and Agri-Tech Specialist, Andrew Christie.
Multevo’s range of hot water weed control equipment provides a safe, green, and effective alternative for treating weeds without the use of chemicals. The technology works by delivering a low-pressure spot treatment at an optimum temperature of 98°C in order to kill the root of the weed, minimising regrowth.
On trialling the equipment, Andrew Christie explains:
“We had been looking at several non-chemical options over the last few years and following extensive research and a focussed desk study conducted by the fruit breeders, we collectively identified hot water weed control as a sustainable solution for the increasing weed problem, with Groundsel, Mayweed and Thistles posing most issue as a gap in herbicide control. Multevo’s Weedmaster Midi provided us a machine which is simple to operate and safe to use around the most important soft fruit breeding plantations.”
“A main selling point for us was that there was no need for any extra consumables during application as the machine uses only hot water to kill weeds – any additional inputs may have a phytotoxic effect on our crops, may potentially leave an undesirable residue or be detrimental to balance of soil microbial communities so after lots of internal discussions, the Weedmaster came out on top of the list.”
“Taking the machine on for a hire period, we conducted initial trials on an area of Blackcurrants to assess visual symptoms of phytotoxicity and have been very happy with what we have seen. The weed control has been impressive considering the area had been left without herbicide in spring as a real test for the equipment.”
“An added bonus of the machine has been its flexibility for application timing, taking the need for perfect conditions for use out of the equation, allowing us to move to non-chemical weed control on the extensive grounds on our Dundee site this year. The best feedback we have had from operators has been that you can see the hot water killing the weeds as you are using it, a big change from chemicals where it can be several weeks before you see an effect.”
“Multevo Ltd have been great to work with, always attentive and prepared to answer any questions we had and the institute plan to continue to develop on this year’s work using innovative, sustainable and effective hot water weed control technology in future.”
Multevo introduced the hot water weed control solutions to the UK market place in 2015 and are the sole distributor of Waterkracht weed control equipment. They are committed to ensuring a safer solution to weed control and will continue to promote the benefits of a chemical free weed killer.