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Acta herbologica
2016, vol. 25, iss. 2, pp. 69-80
article language: English
document type: Review Paper
published on: 08/02/2019
doi: 10.5937/ActaHerb1602069K
Flame weeding as an alternative tool for weed management in agronomic crops: Revisiting the old concept
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, Northeast Research and Extension Center, Concord, Nebraska, USA

e-mail: sknezevic2@unl.edu

Abstract

Flaming as a vegetation control method is dating back to mid-1800s. This type of weeding is based on the concept of utilizing heat as a source for vegetation control. Various levels of heat can either damage plant tissue or kill a plant. The critical temperature for leaf mortal­ity ranges from 55°C to 70°C. The mechanism by which heat injury affects the plant varies from species to species and is complex. In general, plants die from the loss of membrane semi-permeability and cuticle breakdown (resulting in plant desiccation), denaturation of proteins, water boiling, and other chemical decomposition. The general principle behind flaming is to cause plant death by raising temperatures high enough to boil water inside the plant tissue, which further expends helping disintegrate the plants' cellular membranes. Flaming has a potential to be used effectively in organic crop production systems in at least 6 agronomic crops (field maize, sweet maize, popcorn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower) when conducted properly at the most tolerant growth stage. It is important to mention that propane flaming should not be the only method for non-chemical weed control; however, it could be part of an integrated weed management program. Other measures are still needed to control weeds that emerge throughout the growing season.

Keywords

References

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