Published: October 4, 2022

Category: The Bright Side, The Non-GMO Blog

The perennial question—do the benefits of a solution outweigh the price? The cost for weed-killing superstar Roundup (main ingredient: glyphosate) is an increasingly steep one—glyphosate has been linked extensively to cancer, biodiversity loss, and environmental harm.

A potential replacement beckons—a biodegradable hot foam, called Foamstream V4, made from a blend of plant oils and sugars derived from corn, wheat, oils, and potatoes. The heat creates a suffocating bubble that kills the plant.

Already commercially available, the foam performed well in a study done in Greece at Agricultural University of Athens and the University of Patras. The research involved four plots in two olive groves dominated by five weed types. One weed plot was mowed, a second buried in mulch, a third doused with hot foam or pelargonic acid, and the fourth received no treatment.

Glyphosate has dominated other weed killers by far in Mediterranean olive groves recently, the researchers wrote in the journal Smart Agricultural Technology. But overuse of it in this arena or for other major perennial crops isn’t a sustainable practice.

“The foam acted very quickly, and the weeds looked stunted within an hour after treatment…. [showing] signs of complete breakdown two days after treatment,” the researchers wrote. At one site, hot foam application resulted in 70% and 78% lower weed biomass than glyphosate and mulching, respectively.

Hot foam and glyphosate were nearly equally effective in killing weeds. The authors suggest a combination of the alternative strategies for best results.

Source: Salon

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights October 2022