Grapevine Management Study

Over the course of this year, we were privileged to take part in demonstration trials funded by Wine Australia, evaluating alternative weed control measures undervine in vineyards compared to current practices.

Satusteam was applied using a Sumo (SW2800) travelling at 1km/hr, with two – three steam treatments 4 weeks apart.

Other alternative measures examined were acetic acid, pine oil, flame and mulch.

Unsurprisingly, our Satusteam treatment was one of the only options which didn’t impact soil chemistry in some way.  This is something we already knew from our own experience, and a recent study by Hort Innovation.

What was surprising, was the cost/hectare comparison chart. (all prices given are in Australian Dollars)

Now this of course doesn’t include the initial outlay of purchasing a Sumo set up.
But it does give us a great reference for how long it would take to recover the initial cost and reap savings, versus other treatment options.

Let’s say you’re currently treating a modest 10 hectares with pine oil, and your particular climate and weed species mean you’re treating three times per year. That’s $13,080 per year, versus the equivalent Satusteam running cost of $2610.  With a yearly saving of over $10,000 your Sumo set up could have paid itself off within a handful of years.  These savings of course magnify, the larger the area being treated.

We also had a really positive result in terms of the NVDI, a measure of how much live vegetation is present (the lower the better).
Repeatedly, straw mulch gave the best result.  And as every horticulturalist from any background knows, mulch is the penultimate solution to soil health and weed control.  However if we revisit the costing table above, we’ll see it’s also prohibitively expensive! Ouch!

So it was a pleasant surprise to see Satusteam coming second place, in two of three trial sites.

An added bonus, is that Satusteam and organic mulches supplement each other nicely.
Without solely relying on it to control weeds you can spread that mulch a little thinner, to still gain the soil health benefits but save some $, and any weeds that do push through can be instantly knocked back down with Satusteam – our treatment is depressurised right at the point of contact, so the mulch isn’t disturbed in any way.

Plus, any irrigation generated from the Satusteam treatment (nearly 400ml/second over approx 2.5sqm) is locked in by that mulch to provide maximum benefit to the crop.

What a win-win-win situation!

SW3800KD Set Up for Row Crops

Our largest machine, the SW3800KD is what you’ve been waiting for in terms of weed killing productivity.

These units have fast heating and high volume delivery of 30L/minute, with the power to run nearly 300cm width worth of heads.

Fully customised set ups and trailers for these machines are available to order, including single or dual axle trailers suitable for towing behind tractors.

Give your cash crop that organic competitive edge today, without harming your soil biology.

View the product information or contact us for more info.

The Green Ninja Stealth – More than a Weedkiller!

Jeremy demonstrates the full range of capabilities, of our hybrid electric Green Ninja Stealth.
Sold with a braked trolley and the ability to run direct from mains power and water, this unit can also be mounted on a trailer and draw from a small generator and water tank for ultimate accessibility.
Quieter and cheaper to run than other models, this is the ultimate tool for maintaining and cleaning those outdoor spaces!

View the product information sheet or contact us directly for more info.

Thermal weeding gets up a head of steam

Citycare Property is steaming ahead with plans to reduce its use of herbicides by adopting thermal weeding.

As one of New Zealand’s leading providers of maintenance and facilities management services across New Zealand, Citycare Property’s contracts currently include a five-year contract to maintain and manage all community-owned buildings and parks in South Auckland, as well as a range of landscape, facilities management, graffiti and water contracts in Christchurch and all around the country.

Many of Citycare Property’s contracts include maintaining reserves, cemeteries, parks and playgrounds. As every home gardener knows, weeds are a constant battle, and it’s no different for Citycare. Our open space maintenance staff work to keep the weeds down while also keeping a keen eye on the environment.

Thermal weed control involves spraying weeds with a fine jet of water at 120 degrees Celsius. After just a few seconds the weeds change colour, start to die and a couple of days later the full effect of the treatment can be seen.

Read the full story… 

 

Report on New Weed Control Technologies

Hort Innovation, Australia’s representative body for their horticulture industry, have released a new report examining up and coming weed control technologies.

Benefits and drawbacks of each technology are noted, and each is rated out of 5 for Soil Wealth (impact on soil health, biology etc) and ICP (minimising risks to environment, crop, growers and reducing chemical use).

We’re thrilled to announce that our Satusteam technology topped the charts with full 5/5 ratings for both criteria!
The other technologies are well worth investigating as well, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing chemical use in horticulture.

Check out the other alternatives and full report HERE.