Chemical-free steam sprayer kills weeds, bumps production

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A steam-sprayer company is currently conducting trials researching the efficacy of steam-spraying to new depths, which so far, has produced promising results.

The X-Steam-inator is a spraying system that utilizes steam to kill weeds and thanks to research being done in Yuma, Arizona, could produce a sizeable increase in production.

Ron Gleim, founder and CEO of X-Steam-inator, talks about the promising research being done south of the border that looks to up the ante on steam-spraying.

“The University in Yuma has 500 acres that they they use for test plots, they have their own boiler down there and so we went down and looked at that – they were doing lettuce and they’re burning an inch and a half into the ground. And they’re getting two to three months, where there’s no weeds, and they also increased production by 24 per cent. Because it also killed the pathogen. So that was extremely, I mean, that was unbelievable news when they got that,” says Gleim.

Because of this new development and possibility for steam-spraying, Gleim says they are confident that they’ll be able to compete with chemical applications on high-value row crops including potatoes and other types of vegetables.

Although steam-spraying has been around for approximately 20 years already, Gleim says their system allows for greater efficiencies over the traditional, or original, systems.

“The difference between what they’re doing and how we’re doing it is that they’re all boilers, and they all heat to 50, or 100 or 150 gallons of water before they can even start spraying.  We’ll have 150 degrees C of steam within 10 seconds. We only heat 2, 3 or 4 ounces a second, depending on how big the machine is. So that makes us probably 10 times more efficient,” explains Gleim.

Not only does the ‘steam-on-demand’ system create better efficiencies, it also uses approximately 20 per cent less water that the traditional systems, he says.

Learn more about the environmental and production benefits of the X-Steam-inator by listening to the full interview from Ag in Motion 2022, below.

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