UK company launches electrical weed control for orchards, vineyards & fruit
19th July 2023
RootWave has launched its first tractor-powered electrical weeding machine for orchards, vineyards and fruit. The machine kills weeds using electricity to give better weed control at a lower cost than chemical herbicides whilst protecting health and helping nature restore its soils, water and biodiversity.
Environmentally friendly weed control
The RootWave machine eliminates weeds in the rows of vines, bushes and trees using treatment electrodes on purpose-designed hydraulic arms, to work seamlessly between different row widths of crops. The treatment uses electricity to create heat within the weed and roots boiling them from the inside out.
In independent trials in orchards last year, the company’s patented, high-frequency eWeeding system delivered full control of weeds, similar to results from trials in sugar beet and maize during the same summer (2022).
In 2018 the company successfully launched a professional hand-held eWeeder RootWave Pro, and has sold over 150 units in the UK and Europe.
CEO Andrew Diprose said: “RootWave delivers better weed control in fewer treatments at a lower cost. It will become the indispensable tool for farmers that want effective weed control without any environmental issues.
“Our technology is certified organic and helps nature restore its soil, water and biodiversity.”
Lower energy use
In the company’s own tests, eWeeding provided full control of weeds at a lower total energy use than chemical herbicides.
Mr Diprose said: “RootWave delivers the most effective, economical, environmentally friendly and safe weed control on the market.
“It works so well because the plant and roots are killed by heat generated within the weed itself. And, because it works so well, the number of applications you need in a season is comparable to that of herbicides and less than required for mechanical weeding. We are the only eWeeding provider using high-frequency electricity, which has significant advantages over standard 50Hz or DC wave forms.”
The machine is powered by the PTO on a standard tractor. Growers will be able to see commercial prototypes working at demonstration days this summer, and can reserve a machine now for 2024 delivery direct with the company. For more information visit rootwave.com.