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Fwd: [SANET-MG] Microwaves to deliver chemical-free weed control?

From: Melissa M
Sent on: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 10:46 PM
This proposed "solution" to a perceived "problem" fits nicely into - what I like to call the- "what could POSSIBLY go wrong?" Category. The 🐴ess! 
!
Don't these researchers have better things to do, like play 1st person shooter video games or something?
Restoring balance to the ecosystem, I guess, has never occurred to these "brilliant scientific minds". Good god- what, exactly, ARE they teaching "scientists" in college these days?
I went to an Ag school for Biology but, at least my Science Profs understood Natural systems and, Science. 
"When Doctor Brodie put down the crack pipe long enough to speak, he said..."
You have to laugh or .. you'll cry 😊

~Melissa
Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

>> http://www.ecosma...­
>> Published: 17 January 2013
>> Microwaves to deliver chemical-free weed control?
>> 
>> *
>> 
>> The technology that heats the common kitchen microwave oven has been
>> adapted to deliver a chemical-free solution to Australia’s weed problems.
>> *
>> 
>> Dr Graham Brodie, of the University of Melbourne, has developed a fully
>> operational prototype machine that can successfully focus microwave energy
>> at ground level, killing weeds within seconds.
>> 
>> ‘Herbicide resistance and environmental concerns already limit the chemical
>> options available for weed management,’ Dr Brodie said.
>> 
>> ‘In looking for alternative weed treatments, we have found that microwave
>> treatment is immediate, chemical-free and leaves no residue at the
>> treatment site.’
>> 
>> Weeds are one of the major threats to Australia’s primary production and to
>> the natural environment. It has been estimated that weeds cost Australian
>> agriculture more than $4 billion dollars each year, including control costs
>> and lost production.
>> 
>> Dr Brodie’s research was conducted as part of the Australian Government’s
>> National Weeds Research and Productivity Program, administered by the Rural
>> Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).
>> 
>> Interest in the effect of microwaves on plant health dates back to the
>> 1920s, but it was not until recently that studies shifted away from
>> attempting to treat seeds in the soil and instead targeting plant
>> seedlings.
>> 
>> The concentration of microwave energy collapses the structures within the
>> weeds that carry water through their stems. Depending on the amount of
>> energy applied, irreversible wilting and subsequent death occurs within
>> just seconds of the microwave exposure.
>> 
>> Dr Brodie’s research initially tested a 600-watt kitchen microwave, before
>> developing the 8-kilowatt field unit that has been tested in the paddocks
>> at the university’s Dookie campus.
>> 
>> A series of four microwave horn antennae, each just 11 cm wide and
>> transmitting 2 kW of microwave energy, were fitted to a trailer to focus
>> their transmission solely onto the weeds in the inter-row space of
>> agricultural field crops.
>> 
>> Dr Brodie said that in a broadscale agricultural operation, numerous
>> antennae could be mounted on a tractor trailer at intervals in line with
>> whatever crop was being treated.
>> 
>> Treatment could take place regardless of the weather conditions, would
>> successfully kill herbicide resistant species, and would not limit
>> production schedules with withholding periods at the site once treatment is
>> completed, he said.
>> 
>> ‘There is potential to develop an industrial 15 kW unit which could operate
>> in broadacre situations at near the speed of current chemical spray
>> applicators, with each weed requiring less than a second of exposure to the
>> microwave transmission,’ Dr Brodie said.
>> 
>> ‘Microwave weed management has the potential to be applied throughout
>> Australia to manage weeds not just in agricultural enterprises, but on
>> public land, sporting facilities and in landscape gardening.
>> 
>> ‘A smaller 1-2kW unit could also be designed for use by householders if the
>> market supported the concept.’
>> 
>> Source: RIRDC
>> **
>> 
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> 
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> 
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> Questions? Visit http://www.sare.o...­.
> For more information on grants and other resources available through the SARE program, please visit http://www.sare.o...­.
> 
> This listserv is hosted with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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