Zasso carries out first tests within the framework of a European CEDR project in Austria
Invasive plants, which spread along traffic routes represent a massively increasing problem for those institutions that have to take care of the safety and maintenance of traffic routes as well as the protection of health, agriculture and nature reserves.
As part of the ControlinRoad project (http://www.controlinroad.org/) of the Conference of European Directors of Roads (Central Office of European Ministries of Transport, http://www.cedr.eu/), Zasso is involved in controlling invasive plants on roads using electrophysical methods. This includes fast-growing plants such as the Japanese knotweed, which until now could hardly be controlled, as well as the highly allergenic ragweed, the phototoxic giant hogweed or the Indian balsam overgrowing the nature reserve.
The main trials this year and next year will focus on Burgenland in Austria, a hotspot for invasive plants and also a focus for innovative and sustainable traffic route management.
Fig. 1 shows how up to 3 m high Japanese knotweed has worked its way up to a field of maize (top right) along a farm road next to a stream near an expressway. The plant with roots up to 4 m deep is treated by Zasso with Electroherb as a digital herbicide in different growth stages in order to develop control and containment protocols that are as practical and efficient as possible.
Fig. 2: Ambrosia (ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), the green strip directly at the edge of the road) is a highly allergenic plant that already populates large parts of the roadsides on motorways and expressways in Austria and Bavaria and is to be prevented from forming seeds with Zasso Electroherb, without having to damage the biologically high-quality roadside flora by permanent mowing. The Japanese knotweed in the background near to a railway line has meanwhile massively spread over a field (middle) and is spreading rapidly through soil cultivation.
While the effectiveness tests with Electroherb against invasive plants are only just beginning within the project framework, it is already clear from many discussions and site visits that a control of invasive plants urgently requires innovative methods such as Electroherb. It is best to develop both the Zasso-technology and the management concepts across applications on railways, hydraulic engineering, road transport and agriculture. For example, applicator types from permanent fruit and wine crops can be adapted very well to road edges and reflector posts. Established boom concepts can also be applied to tractors and multi-functional vehicles with mowing tools and mulchers from agricultural and road management working on railways and hydraulic engineering applications. For the application of the Zasso technology itself it is often irrelevant, except for the application protocols and instrument parameterization, whether agricultural weeds are to be controlled, siccation measures are to be carried out or invasive plants are to be prevented from spreading further.
Zasso therefore strives to develop tailor-made solutions with maximum application flexibility of Electroherb technology, even beyond apparent application limits, and to make them available to users in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
Today the Zasso team is going to test the 3rd Generation Digital Herbicide system. It comes with improved energy management and faster applicators.
By treating more than 25 HA with different materials and shapes for the applicators, we have been able to increase the efficiency of the Digital herbicide treatment, allowing us to increase speed. The new software enables the operator to finetune the energy flow to the different surfaces and weed patterns
The system is equipped with GPS / GSM communication to allow a “pay per use” business model.
Today we will perform speed test beyond 10 Km/h showing the efficiency at high-speed application.
This setup allows 4-5 Ha / h treatment for weed control. Today the focus is on IVM ( industrial vegetation management) treatment, row & inter-row Special permanent cultures, Potato desiccation, Pre-seeding and post-harvest application
W. Neudorff GmbH KG and Zasso GmbH intensify their cooperation and have formed a joint venture. With the formation of a joint venture, both companies are breaking new ground in weed management.
The joint venture develops completely new methods of weed management without the use of herbicides. With the help of electrophysical forces, both the shoot parts and the roots of the weed plants are destroyed. This advanced technology protects the environment and can therefore be used in areas that until now have posed major challenges in weed management.
This approach opens up completely new possibilities for weed control. This innovative technology makes it possible, for example, to use it on sealed surfaces, which is generally taboo for herbicides. The companies are currently working together on the practical introduction of this disruptive technology.
About Zasso GmbH
Zasso GmbH specializes in clean plant control technologies for agriculture, silviculture, home, traffic and urban areas. Zasso’s methods target both the shoots and the even more critical roots of undesired plants systemically by employing advanced lightweight high-voltage methods. Our ground-breaking systems deliver efficient and robust solutions and add an innovative approach to the dwindling number of available methods for environmentally sympathetic plant control. Electroherb reshapes weed control and plant management for both current and future challenges.
Neudorff develops and produces environmentally friendly plant protection products, organic fertilizers, peat-free soils and many other plant care products for natural gardening. The company attaches particular importance to environmentally friendly active ingredients that originate from nature wherever possible. Many products are developed and tested in our own research department.
Due to its extensive activities in the field of sustainability, Neudorff has already received many awards.
In the last 2 weeks we had the opportunity to perform tests with our new functional prototype for the consumer area.
Figure 1: Zasso’s new prototype for chemical-free weed control
Many traffic constructions offer a harsh, but competition-free habitat for certain robust plant species. However, the sheer amount of vegetation can exceed engineering damage thresholds and hamper any control effort, or even reduce the service life of the construction.
Such cases make it necessary to remove even deeply rooted and long-established plants, if possible without causing any structural damage in the process. This proves particularly difficult as those plants have developed specific, very efficient survival strategies in the shape of subterranean storage organs and hidden growth points. Set off by climate change, the offshoots and seeds of street trees are also increasingly spreading in a non-desirable way. Ivy that has grown into buildings is hard to remove without significant damage to the overall structure.
On May 16th and 17th, Zasso France participated in the “Terres Innovation” platform. Co-organized by French agricultural cooperative Acolyance and the Chambre d’agriculture 51, “Terres Innovation” is a major regional event, a permanent showcase of agricultural innovation around major issues: robotics, agronomy, connectivity and mobility, in partnership with regional and national innovation players.
Zasso is proud to have been invited to present its innovative electric weed control solution. It represents its first public demonstration in France. Zasso was able to present in details the technology behind its systemic mode of action, as well as run a series of live applications on a nearby field, in front of hundreds of farmers.
This participation represents a milestone for Zasso, as it continues to implement its electronic weed control solution in key strategic markets.
We are pleased to be mentioned in the French magazine among the alternative weeding methods. Our technology continues to improve in short development cycles, so that we can present our new versions in the near future. You can find the content of the whole article in French under the following link.
— Zasso Group AG – a leading platform developer for electric weed management – today announced the constitution of Zasso France SAS, as well the completion of further equity financing across the group.
The newly found Zasso France SAS entity helps the group to further accelerate Zasso’s expansion into this strategic market. Zasso France SAS will formalize local partnerships, conduct research projects with technical institutes, as well as disseminate its pioneering technology through public demonstrations.
“France represents one of the most promising market places for Zasso, following government announcements to prohibit glyphosate in the short term. We are seeing significant demand from cities, farmers and winemakers keen to adopt alternative non-chemical weed control solutions”, said Benjamin Ergas, President of Zasso France SAS.
To support such development, Zasso closed an equity financing from existing Zasso shareholders, demonstrating their commitment to further development and growth of the Zasso Group AG.
To secure its fast growth the Zasso Group AG Board is happy to announce that it has closed a new equity financing round for its German operation, Zasso GmbH, from existing shareholders, to sustain tremendous development in its weed control business.
“Using superior technology to achieve positive environmental impact is an exciting and important mission. We are proud to support the development of a solution that is clearly contributing to a healthier future, – the future of herbicide is digital” says Lucian Dietsche, Partner of GREEN Towers GmbH.
About Zasso Group AG
Zasso Group AG specializes in clean plant control technologies for agriculture, silviculture, home, traffic and urban areas. Zasso’s methods target both the shoots and the even more critical roots of undesired plants systemically by employing advanced lightweight high-voltage methods. Our ground-breaking systems deliver efficient and robust solutions and add an innovative approach to the dwindling number of available methods for environmentally sympathetic plant control. Electroherb reshapes weed control and plant management for both current and future challenges.
We are very pleased to be represented in the French magazine “VITI”. The French market seems to be a promising starting point for our systems. With the help of our partner, Benjamin Ergas, we will probably have some promising trials in France this year.
On June 6th we are going to present our systems and our team in Aachen, Germany. Please register at https://www.zasso-day.com
First experiences in residue-free haulm desiccation from project ElektroSiKa by the Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture) and Zasso
The haulm desiccation in potatoes has developed into a complex process over the last few years. In addition to the actual termi-nation of plant and tuber growth by siccation of the potato plants, it also take further physio-logical aspects of product quality into account.Against this backdrop, the uncertainty about the pending re-approval of the active ingre-dient Diquat has led to the fact that the potato industry, and in particular the “Fachkommis-sion Technik der Union der Deutschen Kartoffelwirtschaft” (Technical Commission of the Union of the German Potato Industry) (UNIKA), made an effort to identify innovative solutions for haulm dessication at an early stage. Overall, the approach using siccation with a high-voltage electrical current showed the greatest chances of success.
In a project (ElektroSiKa) funded by the German Government’s special purpose fund held at the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture and the system manufacturer Zasso GmbH, Aachen, have been investigating the first deployment of this purely physical haulm desiccation process in potatoes since late summer 2017. The assessment criteria of the trials carried out at the test station in Dethlingen include not only the actual siccation, but also its effects on the outer and inner quality of the crop as well as the shelf life of the tubers.The method, which has so far been used exclusively in weed control, is based on the fact that an electrical current is introduced into the leaves of the plants as a high-voltage direct current via a flexible metal applicator and then flows systemically through the stems as well as near-surface root areas right down into the soil, and the circuit is then closed with a second applicator. The high voltage causes cell walls to be destroyed, which interrupts the water transport in the vascular bundles as well as impairs the photosynthesis apparatus.
The first results from a randomized plot trial at the Dethlingen test station with nine haulm desiccation variants in two potato varieties have shown that haulm desiccation with the Zasso Electroherb method leads to compara-ble degrees of plant drying, both with and without haulm topping, in only one pass. The sugar, starch and glycoalkaloid contents all showed no changes. The germination behavior of the physically haulm desiccated potatoes is also within the range of the known desiccation processes. This confirms the basic functionality of the Zasso Electroherb method for reducing haulm in potatoes, with the inner and outer quality of the tubers to become the focus of further experiments in 2018.In order to systematically minimize the risk of possible impairments to the tuber quality, the exact experiments will be extended to other varieties and different soil moisture levels in the cultivation period 2018. Practical applications on larger areas are also planned, in order to better understand the fundamental influencing factors on siccation and quality as well as to further develop and minimize the required energy dosage. The main aim is to achieve the greatest possible concentration gap between the dosage for the desired main effect and the additional effects when overdosed and thus to provide a robust distance for practical field use. In this context, Zasso will employ a new generation of modular and small-area self-controlling high-voltage units for the test year 2018.
The project partners expect a large range of further insights from the 2018/2019 test season, also with regard to the necessary energy requirements, the potato quality and the effort for the desired general reduction of food and environmental pollution through this residue-free physical process.It is planned to present the Zasso Electro-herb method to a wide audience of experts at the PotatoEurope (12 to 13 September 2018, Rittergut Bockerode, near Hanover), as part of a special show on alternative haulm desiccation processes in potatoes.
Zasso would already like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for the excellent, trusting and highly competent cooperation in the promotion of innovative developments for a future-oriented agriculture.
Zasso is pleased to announce the formation of its Advisory Board. This board will help shape and guide the strategy of Zasso Digital Herbicide, working closely with the leadership team, to capitalize on future growth opportunities
The initial appointments are Mr. Philippe Herve, Mr. Marcus Heppner and Mr. Jean-Pierre Ergas.
Mr. Philippe Herve
Philippe is Director at IDVESTO and was the former Global Head of R&D Alliance Management at Bayer CropScience. He brings 20 years of hands-on experience in identifying market needs and managing agriculture innovation for developed an emerging markets. At Bayer Cropscience and thereafter, he contributed to increase investment for agribusiness innovation. As a member of the Advisory Board, Mr Herve will provide guidance to the development of Zasso’s solutions, go-tomarket strategies and alliance management. When asked why he chose to engage with Zasso, Philippe said: “There is an urgent need for both efficient and sustainable weed control systems and I am glad to support the Zasso’s team to bring its innovative solutions to market.”
Mr. Marcus Heppner
Marcus is a Senior Vice President Global Legal at GrünenthalPharmaGmbH & Co.KG and was a former Senior Corporate Counsel at Merck KGaA. He brings over 16 years of experiences in the fi eld of corporate law, corporate governance, M&A and In- and Out Licensing. During his stay at Merck KGaA he supported most of the transformational M&A deals. Currently he is in charge of heading the Global Legal function at Grünenthal. As a member of the Advisory Board and based on his corporate law and transactional experience, Mr Heppner will provide advice on strategy, business development and alliance management When asked why joining the advisory board of Zasso, Marcus said: “I am very much impressed of the market potential of the sustainable and efficient weed control solution that has been developed by Zasso and very much like the energy of the entire Zasso team. I am very much looking forward sharing my experiences and help to bring the business to the next level.”
Mr. Jean-Pierre Ergas
Jean-Pierre is Chairman of the Board of Knowles Corporation and Managing Partner of Ergas Ventures. Mr. Ergas brings to the Zasso Advisory Board substantial international management experience as a former chief executive officer and Chairman of fi ve companies in the United States and Europe. Drawing on his background, knowledge and experience managing all aspects of international businesses, including acquisitions, cross-border transactions, productivity and performance initiatives, Mr. Ergas will contribute to the Advisory Board on matters involving Zasso’s operations in corporate strategies and business development. Mr. Ergas holds an MBA from Harvard University. When asked why he chose to engage with Zasso, Jean-Pierre said: “I have been positively struck by the market potential of the innovative and sustainable weed control solution designed by Zasso. I look forward to provide as much insights as possible to help Zasso team with its strategy and market penetration across its verticals.”
“We are honoured to welcome these leading experts in the fields of Agtech and Industry to our newly formed Advisory Board” said Dirk Vandenhirtz, Chief Executive Officer of Zasso Digital Herbicide. “The expertise that the new Advisory Board brings to our executive team will be invaluable in helping guide the development of our Zasso platform.”
Dirk Vandenhirtz — CEO Zasso Digital Herbicide
Zasso Group AG
Dirk Vandenhirtz CEO – Baarermattstrasse 8D
6340 Baar – firstname.lastname@example.org