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.
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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
We will also demonstrate our system at the “Terres Innovation” in La Marne on 16/17 May (Please follow this link for more information: https://zasso.eu/event-extern/terres-innovation-agriculture-et-viticulture/ )
Find the full article here: Viticulture MatEquipement.
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.
Desiccation Potatoes PDF download
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 Grünenthal Pharma GmbH & 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 effi cient 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 offi cer 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
We are happy to hear about an article about Zasso in the January issue of magazine Réussir Vigne.
For the French press release please click on the following link. Réussir Vigne Zasso
(* Translation) “A weed control solution as effective as glyphosate and at a competitive price. It seems too good to be true. And yet. That’s what promises the Swiss firm, with its electric weeding system, Electroherb. This solution, which is under development in viticulture, could arrive in one to two years. The machine is already on the market in Brazil for other uses (communities, highways, etc.). The principle of the technology is quite simple: to apply an electric current on each weed. By crossing it, the current explodes the cells, causing the death of all his tissues, as well than underground. Zasso announces thus an effectiveness of three months without no earth movement or elevation soil temperature.
To allow “electrocution” of the weeds, the company has developed an equipment call the Electroherb, attached to a tractor. A generator, powered by a PTO, sends an electric current in a first row of electrodes, which happens to be in contact with weeds. A second row of electrodes, in contact with the ground, recovers the current and the redirects to the generator. The flow must be in the range of 3.000 to 7.000 volts per discharge, and 30 amperes. According to Zasso, even the most resistant herbs, are eradicated. “It’s all about voltage, contact time, and the type of applicator,” says the firm. And to do this it has developed, and patented, a system of self-regulation of the electrical dosage, depending on the height and density of the herbs, moisture and resistivity of the soil, weather conditions, etc. According to Zasso, the first effects of a application are visible 15 minutes after the passage.
No negative impact on worms of earth and springtails. In addition, this system is supposed to be harmless both for the vine (as it is not affected by the electrodes), only for the fauna of the soil “if we respect the right voltage, says Benjamin Ergas, of the company. Formal tests on earthworms and collembolans, made with various research institutes Germans (FIBL, Lanat, Gaiac) are being finalized and should to be published shortly. They go to this meaning. We are also in progress discussion with INRA. The Electroherb, which can be passed between 3 and 5 km/h, is for the moment developed only in interlining version. “But in 2018, we will work to an interceptive declination”, promises Benjamin Ergas. “Urban models that we have are close enough, this should not be too complicated. ” He foresees the arrival of a wine prototype 2018. “We will test it in Germany to winemakers, to make adjustments and necessary adaptations, he continues. The objective is to have a first solution in 2019. ”
The size and weight of the equipment are not yet known. But the company claims to be aware of the imperatives in the viticulture segment, both in terms of congestion and soil settlement. On the user side, the solution should be safe for the operator. “We have several systems of safety “, describes Benjamin Ergas. First, the current is flowing only if the circuit is closed. In addition, the machine is equipped with Lidar sensors, to detect any obstacle or anomaly. Finally, the applicators (electrodes) are covered, preventing any direct contact. From a financial point of view, things are not perfectly locked. “We wish to be competitive with glyphosate, nevertheless affirms Benjamin Ergas. We plan to work on a leasing system, with billing based on the use (itself estimated thanks to the distance traveled or the voltage used). But all this is still to be refined. “Let’s hope that the results meet the high expectations. Because if Electroherb looks promising, in the sense that the electric shock has an impact on the roots, says Christophe Gaviglio IFV, I have no information about energy consumption, security or a test result on crops. » To be continued.
Clara de Nadaillac”
Today the city of Aachen has given Zasso Digital Herbicide the permission to build its new research and development centre in Aachen – the leading German city for electronic development.
The strong connection to the University of Aachen (RWTH) and the international community in the German Netherlands Belgium triangle led the decision to locate this important research centre in Aachen
The facility is designed to run carbon dioxide neutral and can host nearly 100 engineers on 850 sqm. In addition, Zasso will built a 450 sqm lab to build and test the latest generation of the digital herbicide platform.
“I am happy to open this unique environment to our team to increase creativity and help to have a good and healthy working environment” says Dirk Vandenhirtz CEO Zasso Digital Herbicide “this new facility will not on only enable us hosting our fast-growing team, but it will also include areas for creative work exchange and playground for employee’s kids.”
Using latest building technology, the facility shall be opened by in Q1 2019- Zasso will invest 2.9 Mio Euro to build this Ag Tech research hub.
download the PDF here
It is possible to look out with optimism to the great challenges in agriculture
The development of sustainable technologies for weed control is well on track – to support an agricultural system that uses less chemical herbicides.
“Swords to ploughshares” was a slogan that still envisioned the plough as a peaceful alternative and reliable a basis for food production. But this image has changed considerably. Although the first proponents of no-till soil management recognised more than 100 years ago that churning up the soil destroys essential ecosystems in the long run, it was only the widespread use of Glyphosate that made this method a worldwide success, because the chemical herbicide allows control of obstinate weeds without the high energy input of ploughing.
The carry-over of fungal diseases through re-germination of volunteer grain (“green bridge”) can be inhibited or the spread of nematodes after a rape seed harvest minimised by just one application of Glyphosate, without disturbing the soil or deeper tillage. The risk of erosion through water and wind decreased, which was decisive for many growing regions around the globe. As a result, the numbers of earthworms and other soil organisms increased significantly. Suddenly the soil was demonstrably able to retain so much additional carbon (while at the same time storing more water) that no-till farmers could become sellers of CO₂ certificates. Even with a diminishing rural population still working in the fields, ever larger areas could be cultivated and gain good yields. Farmers everywhere soon converted to soil conservation approaches and created entirely new agroecosystems, with distinct social and economic implications. Some areas of the purely conventional agriculture apply Glyphosate even too a much greater extent than no-till farmers, also decreasing their energy consumption and workload.
However, the side-effects of the Glyphosate triumph are becoming increasingly obvious. Aside from the dangers for the health and environment and
the creation of resistant plants, microorganisms in the soil, insects as well as birds are also directly or indirectly affected by the broad, often extensive and extremely efficient use of the chemical. Not all effects can be directly and causally retraced, but knowledge about interrelations is steadily increasing. The implementation of the precautionary principle prevalent in Europe also calls for restrictions, and these currently get off the ground.
An overview of all arguments against a reduction or abolition of Glyphosate show several important aspects:
- Glyphosate has shaped agriculture, the environment and social structures to a considerable extent.
- The dependency on its application is therefore large. The same also applies to the risk of damage in case no adequate substitute becomes available in time, before a foreseeable phasing out of further application areas or in the case of inevitable restrictions on short notice.
Farmers therefore need to be offered a practical, technical alternative when it comes to weed control, and most of all one where no soil movement is involved! Otherwise, a change will generate increased and substantial CO₂ – as well as nutrient releases – and this effect already happens during the first ploughing. In addition, the ecosystems that have been established over so many years will again be destroyed. It is not surprising that pasture tilling is strictly regulated by the EU. In addition, the status quo regarding manpower, erosion, soil compaction and bonus systems for careful tillage cannot easily be changed. Turning exclusively to organic farming (which also partly uses tilling to large extent) with totally different agroecosystems and cultivation methods is also no option. This approach cannot be transferred to the necessary scale and is not at all a short-term alternative for all regions. Moreover, many organic farmers know the limitations of their weed control methods only too well and they are increasingly looking for new options. But no other chemical herbicides will be forthcoming. The chemical industry has been searching for more than 25 years now. An extended use of already existing chemical herbicides is also no solution. It is with good reason that their application is becoming more and more restricted, with increasing knowledge about their side effects and the possibility of accumulation in the human body and the environment. The only reason that Glyphosate is the most common herbicide today is that there are no more recent, cheaper and more efficient replacements. It has become more of a victim to its own application success, as a herbicide without alternatives and a publicised low toxicity, than to the increasingly obvious health and environmental impacts. Yet while these rather complex and indirect side-effects have remained obscure for a long time, this makes them no less relevant.
Consequently, the challenge is a great one when the focus is now on restricting Glyphosate as well as other problematic herbicides. No matter what chemical molecules have been taken off the market in past decades: in each case, a very successful and economically relevant product needed to be replaced by an even better, technologically more advanced one. For example, the case of replacing PCBs and CFCs initially demanded various extensive innovations before the environment could actually start to benefit. Every time an increase in intelligent technology and a decrease of residue where the main goals stated. These complex problems can only be approached in a concrete way and to a degree acceptable to individual farmers as well as society, by reinforcing the social and economic structures in agriculture, lowering the overall energy consumption, using soil for carbon storage, reducing the impact on the environment and strengthening sustainability. Many of the required building blocks have already been developed, and innovation would at least gain a decisive boost if a change were projected. Wider awareness of alternatives, which now have to be extensively studied, tested and put into practice, forms a core element of a forward-looking, sustainable agriculture.
Europe already has many marketable methods for weed control in cities and fields, using such innovative techniques as high voltage, pressurised
water, hot water, highly biodegradable nature-like substances, sensor-controlled hoes and brush systems. Instead of monopolies and monocultures, diversity is key for the companies. What all of these mostly medium-sized enterprises have in common is a large potential to prove, in a flexible way and on short notice, how and where chemical herbicides can be replaced by innovative technologies – while also addressing currently unsolved issues (resistances, lack of confidence in the public opinion, image loss). It is definitely wrong to claim that Glyphosate is without alternatives and its abolition will lead to considerable losses and damages, for there are already alternative concepts in place – for the sustainable control of spontaneous vegetation that
crosses the threshold to becoming damaging and therefore a weed. Apart from the already applied mechanical methods on the soil surface, Zasso proposes the electrophysical treatment with high voltage currents. This technique offers an opportunity of controlling and treating the vegetation systemically, right down into the roots, with an effect similar to that of Glyphosate, but without moving the soil. The high voltage is conducted through the plants and specifically damages their water supply in the shoots and roots. Only plants touched directly by the applicators are going to dry out afterwards, and all without any chemical residues. The soil is not moved, erosion avoided and the habitat of the soil organisms remains totally intact. This efficient method can be used as well to treat weeds on paving, gravel, water-bound coverings and streets. Depending on the area of application, other innovative methods can also prove to be effective. And ultimately a combination of methods is going to keep spontaneous vegetation in check wherever it definitely causes damage and becomes a weed. This demands a more precise, selective weed control approach – to protect the environment in all those locations where vegetation is more valuable for animals and plants when it remains in place than when it is removed.
In summary, it is possible to look out with optimism to the great challenges in agriculture. And while there may be no chemical replacements for Glyphosate, there will be numerous physical alternatives for weed control. Many of these innovative techniques are currently developed or already deployed in Europe. Now the task is for all parties concerned to work together in identifying the best alternatives for individual agricultures and regions and to implement them straight away. Only then can the health and economic risks for farmers, the environment and our society overall be kept within limits – for a future-oriented, strong agricultural sector.
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Zasso Digital Herbicide – a leading platform developer for electric weed management – today announced that it has agreed an equity financing by Green Towers GmbH and Ergas Ventures LLC. The proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate Zasso’s continued growth and market expansion. This investment underlines Zasso´s commitment to developing pioneering, eco-friendly solutions for weed control.
“We are proud to get two well-regarded investors on board who will not only support Zasso with an equity investment, but also serve on the company’s advisory board.” – says Dirk Vandenhirtz, CEO of Zasso GmbH.
“Zasso has built a robust solution addressing the critical need for non-chemical weed management across a wide range of end-markets,” said Jean-Pierre Ergas, Partner of Ergas Ventures LLC. “The company has an especially impressive portfolio of proven, sustainable and scalable applications. I am excited to renew my commitment to Zasso as they continue to drive tremendous growth in the business.”
Zasso Group 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. “
About Green Towers GmbH
Green Towers GmbH is a family-owned company specialising in investment in various private equity projects with a focus on sustainability.
About Ergas Ventures LLC
Ergas Ventures LLC is a Franco-American family business, incorporated in the US and already an existing investor in Zasso Group AG. Jean-Pierre Ergas, Managing Partner of Ergas Ventures LLC, is the former Chairman and CEO of industrial firms including Cegedur and Cebal in France, American National Can and Bway Corporation in the US, as well as former Chairman of Alcan Europe.”
Download the pdf here Zasso Press release
300-400 spectators visited us in Agiez on September 27, 2017.
While having best weather conditions we were able to present our Electroherb for the last time this year in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. After an intensive exchange with interested parties from France, Switzerland and Germany, we were able to start our machine demonstration at 5:30 pm. To illustrate our results, we had already treated a strip about four hours earlier (see pictures). The so-called Digital Herbicide works very quickly in warm and dry weather, so that you can recognize significant effects after only a few hours.
We were delighted to be present at another Swiss No-Till event – thanks a million for the invitation. We would also like to thank Jean-Daniel ETTER and his company “Prometerre”, who were responsible for the great organisation, and Grunderco for providing us with the large tractor – normally a tractor with about 100 HP is sufficient for our system.