Horticulture Service Center tests the effectivity of hot steam against weeds and other pests

On the 4th of May 2010 the service center Rheinlandpflaz in Schifferstadt conducted a bigger field test on weed control. A testing area of 2.000 m² was segmented into several parcels on which different methods of weed control were applied and compared.

Ragwort in focus
Growers in the region were particularily challenged by ragwort in 2010. Hence the testing area was in particular contaminated with ragwort.

Besides the application of chemical means also steaming was considered as alternative method.

16 parcels were steamed with steaming hoods. Testing conditions were suboptimal since the soil was wet and overly compacted due to rain on the previous day. Nevertheless steam penetrated the soil well and heated it up to 99°C down to 5 cm depth within 6.5 minutes. The steamed area was covered with a light sheet afterwards. 10 minutes after steaming temperatures of 95°C could be maintained in 5 cm depth. In 10 cm depth 82°C could still be reached.
It is expected that the steamed area was completely freed from weeds.
Hence the culture can be harvested without weeds and ragwort afterwards.

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