Take an in-depth look at how we helped Hi-tech Aloe Vera develop a holistic, sustainable weed management plan for their organic farm.
We cover the problems they were facing, the steam weeding set up we used, the plan we developed together and the impact that had on their business.
Hi-tech Aloe Vera is based in Bundaberg, QLD and, as you can probably guess, they specialise in growing Aloe Vera.
They had a problem with Kikuyu grass continuously growing over their weed mat at the base of their Aloe Vera plants. As they’re an organic farm they used whippersnipping and hand weeding to deal with the weeds, however, this was a costly process. Not only did they cause physical damage the Aloe Vera but it was very time consuming adding to the production costs, they’d have to go weeding with three employees every two weeks!
The Set Up.
Adrian, the owner of Hi-tech Aloe Vera, went all in and purchased the SW900. He used it to run two hand-held applicators or two 40cm Rowtech heads. He also bought the mini-skid and attached the SW900 to the front of his tractor using a fork setup.
He then set up the water tank in a trailer behind the tractor and, using a sureflow electric pump, transferred the water from the tank to the SW900 up front. Adrian created hydraulic arms to mount the Rowtech heads onto his tractor.
You can check out the set up below.
For the first treatment, Adrian went through with the handheld applicator heads and steamed the Kikuyu grass that was growing over the weed mat right up to the base of the Aloe Vera.
That first treatment killed off a lot of the grass and then through subsequent treatments the Kikuyu receded all the way back to the grass strips where it first came from.
The rest of the treatments were done using the rowtech heads which reduced the labour from 3 people to 1.
They also got into the routine of running through the plantation every 3-4 weeks (depending on the time of year), doing this they were able to reach speeds of 3-4 km/hour increasing from the initial application speed of 0.5km/hour.
Post Note: Hi-tech Aloe Vera changed its operations to import organically grown Aloe Vera from Mexico and the property was then sold. Hi Tech Aloe Vera became solely a manufacturer of Aloe Vera products.