environmental & social
Facing the future challenges of gaining higher yields with lower input of energy and chemicals, electrophysical weeding by zasso develops more sustainable systems.
The Electroherb technology provides an ecologically responsible alternative by minimizing the chemical footprint. Chemical herbicides can be avoided entirely and lower treatment frequencies reduce the overall carbon footprint.
Electrophysical weed destruction leaves no chemical residue and there is no selection pressure of plants. Continuous development of new herbicides or mixtures become unnecessary – an ingenious way to target weed resistance!
“Electroherb provides an optimal foundation for environmentally certified agri- and silviculture”
Weeds and invasive plants are eliminated in a targeted way without spray drifts or run-off chemicals dispersing into the environment and affecting other plants and animals. Using Electroherb, modern soil-conserving and energy-saving cultivation methods like no-till farming havefor the first time a reasonable alternative to total herbicide usage.
The electrophysical technologies by zasso enable automated weeding, leading to a revolution in working conditions.
In developing countries automated weeding is the best way to reduce manpower. This will allow the children of farming families to attend school full-time and gain a quality education, leading to a more educated workforce able to fill high-revenue jobs.
Mechanical weeding is especially dangerous along highly frequented roads, highways and railway tracks, causing accidents and health problems among the workers who inhale the exhaust fumes.
The zasso method allows hard manual labor to be replaced by more complex jobs in a far better working environment, and even older workers can do a great job. This is particularly valuable in countries with hostile climate conditions and long distances between settlements.
Electroherb weeding units combine effective weeding with minimizing the hazards of chemical methods.
Herbicides have wide-ranging health implications for humans.
Some of the many chances to take up herbicides are:
- Spraying operators touching gear or inhaling aerosols.
- People living in or passing through fresh treatment areas.
- The population drinking insufficiently treated water.
- Humans eating contaminated food.
The health hazards of widely used herbicides are under worldwide scientific and political scrutiny. In some cases the risk of cancer-causing effects can no longer be excluded. Our Electroherb technology can significantly promote a healthier life and environment by avoiding all these dangerous and unsafe chemical herbicides.
After the introduction of our Electroherb technology, “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” means zero herbicides for many application areas!
Following the ALARA principle, it is a continuous challenge to develop effective technologies with a minimal environmental impact. Electroherb works by raising the level of Good Agricultural Practices and reducing the worldwide dispersion of herbicides. When new practices like Electroherb prove to be efficient and applicable acceptable concentrations of residues can be reduced, even legal levels. This is the best approach to minimize unwanted and undesired herbicide residues.
As a principle
Avoiding chemicals which spread irreversibly to very different organisms and into the environment in an entirely uncontrollable way follows the key message of the precautionary principle.
In many countries the idea of the precautionary principle is widespread in legislation as well as public opinion. This means hazards should be identified before a technology goes to market. Even if there is a slight, unproven risk of a hazard authorities are empowered to stop market introductions or impose application rules. And if too many doubts remain about safe application, a better option is required.
Electroherb developed by zasso acts in a targeted manner and does not leave any chemical residues.
In conservation areas, human impact should be minimized wherever possible. But invasive species need a clear answer: Electroherb.
It is always a difficult decision to allow the elimination of specific plants in nature sanctuaries. But invasive plants can aggressively destroy entire ecosystems when they have no antagonists.
Human interference is the only chance to repair earlier human impacts on natural reserves. Doing this with herbicides is an even more difficult decision even when they are distributed manually and repeatedly directly on cut stems.
zasso has designed electrophysical alternatives to destroy such invasive species – getting down to the roots of the problem.
An escapee from parks, Pontian Rhododendron occupies an ever-increasing area in landscapes and natural reserves.
It is an important, but challenging task to reduce the costs of eliminating this invasive species. Mechanical and chemical elimination of Pontian Rhododendron costs up to 10.000 €/ha. In some natural sanctuaries the invader, which almost outcompetes most native vegetation, spreads at a rate of 20 ha/year. Countries like Great Britain estimate they need to spend millions of € per year to eliminate these plants.
zasso is now developing technologies that will minimize the costs of eliminating these invasive species.
Shading to kill
Giant Rhubarb is an invasive plant with a highly destructive impact on Ireland’s nature reserves. Electrophysical destruction can be an important weapon in its elimination.
Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) already covers large areas of Ireland, especially protected island and nature reserves. Both mechanical and chemical elimination is difficult to achieve:
- By spraying near rivers, the residue poses an aquatic risk.
- Spraying in this rainy climate risks run-off of chemicals.
- Painting the leaf stalk with glyphosate is a laborious and time-consuming task, and only effective at the end of the season.
- Frequently, regrowth from the rhizomes and fragments occurs.
- Mechanical treatment is very ineffective.
- Erosion occurs after mechanical root extraction from the soil.
Invasive & toxics
Common Ragweed and Giant Hogweed are dangerous for humans as they cause severe allergic effects. zasso is developing lightweight tools to eradicate such plants down to their roots.
Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia) is a real threat to those inhabitants of Europe and the USA who are allergic to its pollen – and there are many allergic people now.
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) causes serious light-induced allergic sunburn to everyone who touches this decorative plant. Especially children like to play with the hollow stems.
For both species, mechanical and chemical eradication plans have not yet been successful. zasso is developing tools and concepts to manage these plants with the aim to finally eradicate them.
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