Novel weed control system unveiled

Pull-type models will be first with self-propelled versions to follow. Photo: Spencer Myers

Submitted – A new approach to weed control is being launched at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina. Through a patented process, the X-Steam-inator uses electricity to generate high temperature steam on demand to kill weeds and terminate plant growth.

This unique sprayer has obvious applications for both conventional and organic farmers. Weed growth can be controlled prior to spring seeding. The sprayer can be configured to provide weed control between crop rows. And chemical free crop desiccation prior to harvest will be explored.

“When you spend thousands of hours in the field trying to control weeds, you get thinking there has to be a better way,” says Chaplin, Saskatchewan farmer Ron Gleim, founder and president of the company. “I started with the idea of using hot water and eventually progressed to high temperature steam.”

With the rapid increase in herbicide resistant weeds and with glyphosate under attack, it’s imperative that other weed control options be developed. – Kevin Hursh

As it turns out, this approach is already being used on small acreages in some high value crops. By combining the best technologies available, the X-Steam-inator will be viable in commercial grain crop production. While the concept has been proven, work must still be done to determine the interaction of steam temperature, travel speed, plant size and plant density for effective control.

The potential for the X-Steam-inator has attracted many individuals to start working with the company including Scott Sander, an organic farmer from Beechy, Laird McLeod, who has worked with many Saskatchewan short-line equipment companies and Kevin Hursh, a farmer, agrologist and agricultural commentator.

First units of the X-Steam-inator will be available for sale to farmers for the 2021 growing season. Photo: Spencer Myers

“With the rapid increase in herbicide resistant weeds and with glyphosate under attack, it’s imperative that other weed control options be developed,” says Hursh. “The X-Steam-inator has the potential to be an agricultural game-changer here in Canada and around the world.”