Electroweeding – Susceptibility of weeds to zasso Electroherb weed management systems

Only very few factors change the susceptibility to electroweeding

For chemical herbicides, the susceptibility of weeds to the specific active ingredients and adjuvants is a key issue in testing and applying the products. Growth stage, weather conditions and even time of the day are additional factors influencing their overall efficacy. While some factors for optimizing the application will always have to be adapted to local conditions, there are some general key points regarding the general susceptibility of weeds towards electroweeding:

  • No development of genetic resistance: In contrast to many herbicides, no genetics-based resistance is known or to be expected, as the method acts on a purely physical basis.
  • Total herbicide effect: There is no known preference of electroweeding for monocots or dicots. The basic requirement for efficacy is a good contact of the electric applicator to the leaves. Dicot weeds e. coffee plantations are as susceptible as predominantly grassy weeds in woods.
  • Effects on roots: Electric power is directed through the roots into the soil. Therefore, the roots of any plants that come into direct contact with the applicator system are damaged – which minimises all regrowth capacity from the roots thus fighting perennial as well as annual weeds. Zasso is currently evaluating if specific plants with thick roots, tap roots, wide root networks or tubers may need more electric power or longer contact time.

Electroweeding electroherb in action
Electroherb in action (left to right): on Brachiaria grasses (no weed control/weed control); tall, mixed weeds in coffee; (before/after 30 days); low-growing, herbicide-resistant dicot Commelina (dayflower; before/after application of Electroherb)

  • Large plants vs. small plants: Larger weed plants require more electric energy and contact time to be eradicated, but the effect is intrinsically reached for when the speed is kept at a constant level, sliding applicators have longer contact times with larger plants compared to small ones. This expands the application window, not only in comparison to weed brushing or hoeing which usually works best for small weed plants.
  • Weather and time of day: Some water on the leaves (after a shower or with dew) poses no problem. Of course, acute, heavy rain reduces the efficacy, because then less electric power is directed through the plants, as instead it is flowing off through the water on the surface.

Due to the immediate physical effect of the zasso method, and unlike with chemical and mechanical herbicides, there are no disadvantageous effects to be expected in very dry weather conditions, for rain after application or with application during late hours, cold times or at night. In fact, this creates an almost complete independence of the weeding process from all weather and temperature conditions! When the Electroherb system is used in practice, the effects on mixed and varied weed communities have not yet shown any particular species that can generally not be handled by electrophysical weeding. Nevertheless, zasso is currently compiling a list of successfully managed weeds for customer information.

To learn more about Electroherb, please do not hesitate to contact:  Matthias Eberius (CTO), zasso GmbH, Pascalstr. 12, 52076 Aachen ‐ Germany  Phone +49 2408 9380103; matthias.eberius@zasso.de