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Aspects of steaming the soil to reduce weed seedling emergence

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  • Weed Management
  • Biology


Microsoft Word - Abstract_NL1.doc Aspects of steaming the soil to reduce weed seedling emergence B. Melander, T. Heisel & M. H. Jørgensen Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Protection, Research Centre Flakkebjerg, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark [email protected] Introduction Physical intra-row weed control in row crops still constitutes a major challenge to weed research, although some significant results have been obtained lately. For example, combinations of flaming and mechanical methods controlled 70-90% of the intra-row weeds in direct-sown onion and leek, but 30-50 hours hand-weeding per hectare still remained to achieve full control (Melander & Rasmussen, 2001). Steaming the soil prior to crop sowing has demonstrated the potential to kill all viable weed seeds completely in the heated soil volume. Thus, soil steaming appears to be a perspective method for eliminating hand-weeding in non-herbicidal cropping systems. Current steaming techniques for field use are extremely energy consuming, and more technical and biological research are needed to develop new devices that are more perspective for practical usage. This presentation contains some preliminary biological results from a joint project involving both technical and biological aspects of soil steaming. The results are from studies aiming at describing the relationship between weed seedling emergence and maximum soil temperature achieved by steaming the soil at a range of times. The relationship is essential for determining the amount of steaming necessary to eliminate weed seedling emergence effectively. Materials and methods Two investigations were conducted in the laboratory, where soil steaming took place in an 7 x 8 cm circular groove made in a wooden wheel with insulation in the bottom and at the sides. Soil was steamed by a timed flow of steam through 4 rubber tubes; each connected to two tines with two 1.5 mm holes each. Four steam generators with a tota

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