Flame weeding: a sustainable, cost-effective approach for weed management in organic corn
Published: August 2, 2022
Category: Organic News, The Non-GMO Blog
Conventional corn and soy rotation farmers have relied on herbicides and GM seed varieties to kill weeds. Organic production uses soil tilling to achieve mastery over weeds—though that method hampers carbon sequestration. Is there an alternative to these practices?
Sustainability has published a study introducing flame weeding as a suitable option. The report compared using a flame weeder—a tractor attachment that burns the weeds with propane-derived flames—with hand hoeing, to see which controlled weeds better while increasing corn yields. Hand hoeing proved to be more effective and yield-enhancing, but its cost was prohibitive.
Flame weeding did reduce yields, but nonetheless remained cost effective. The authors conclude that this practice is economically viable and more sustainable environmentally, compared to tillage and conventional GM-herbicide protocols.
Source: The Organic Center
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights August 2022