Uses for Potatoes...
The use of Calor LPG fired burners for desiccation has become a popular alternative to sulphuric acid use for many specialist seed and ware growers. The ability to stop, even small areas of crop, when required without the need for unpopular chemicals.
With no legislative controls as there are relating to the application of acid; there is much greater control over treatment timing as a burner is not subject to delays due to adverse weather conditions; and there is no restrictions on its use in environmentally sensitive areas, such as near water courses.
The biggest concern of burner operators has been the slow work rate of the 2-row system and the need to travel up every other baulk. This is no longer the case with 4 and 6 row burners now on the market.
With increased work rates and improved efficiency the new generation of burners is giving the grower an environmentally sound and economically viable alternative.
The principle is the application of infrared technology to expose growth and debris to deeply penetrating infrared radiation in combination with fierce direct heat to achieve results. Weeds crop foliage or crop debris suffers destructive cell damage when heated above 70 C. The topsoil and all that is on it is exposed to a temperature of 1,000 C for as long as the burner passes. This method of heat treatment affects moulds, spores, pests, viruses and bacteria provided they are sensitive to the duration and intensity of the heat exposure. However, the heat only penetrates the soil a few millimetres to leave its micro-organisms intact. The burners operate satisfactorily in conditions when spray drift would damage adjacent crops.
For more information contact the team at Thermoweed.