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Canadian researchers looking into using sandblasters to kill weeds in potato fields

Scientists are running experiments at a Harrington, on the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island field to see if they can better manage weeds by using a sandblaster filled with crushed walnuts, corncobs and baking soda.

The research is part of a federal program looking into environmentally friendly ways to kill weeds in high-value crop fields.

As Emma Clow reports for CBC News, using a commercial sandblaster, corncob and walnut grit are blasted at 100 PSI onto the sides of potato rows. Baking soda is sprayed afterwards to help kill the weeds.

Andrew McKenzie-Gopsill is a weed scientist and researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“We found that the grits alone didn’t really give us total control, but they did stunt the weeds,” he said.

“We were able to get full control of all of our species when we hit them with grit and then hit them with a low rate of herbicide. We’re able to reduce the volume of product that’s going out in the field and get really good control.”

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: Andrew McKenzie-Gopsill is experimenting with using a sandblaster to help manage weeds. Credit Ken Linton/CBC

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