Posted by: HortAlaska | September 14, 2017

Weed control with abrasives

Abrasive Weeding: A New Tool for Weed Management in Organic Agriculture

Organic Agriculture September 06, 2017

Frank Forcella, USDA-ARS

Sharon Clay, South Dakota State University

Daniel Humburg, South Dakota State University

The attached fact sheet is a summary of research using abrasive products such as corncobs and even fertilizers to kill weeds in organic farms. I’m sure it is like sandblasting except the abrasive is not sand. The method is not 100% effective, but the scientists did achieve a fair amount of control to warrant its use. They were working with a variety of crops from corn to raspberries as well as tender seedling transplants of crops like tomatoes, broccoli and peppers. Two applications yielded 50-95% control of weeds around plants. Young annual weed seedlings can be killed outright, but perennials are tougher. It might be interesting to try in peony fields. I would bet that on newly established fields, you might be able to get pretty good control, but if fields have been choked with weeds for a couple of years, it might not be successful.

Abrasives as weed control

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