A Chaplin area farmers invention is moving closer to manufacturing.
Organic producer Ron Gleim developed the X-Steam-inator as a way of trying to control weeds in his organic crop without the use of chemicals or tillage.
The unit is a high temperature steam process that in trials has proven very beneficial.
"We're able to spray at two or three miles an hour. We just have a 10-foot boom on it but it kills everything. We did some Canada Thistle on August 8th and 50 days later when we looked at it, it was still fried, black, and there was nothing coming up yet."
Gleim notes X-Steam-inator Agricultural Products (XAP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Honey Bee Manufacturing to build the machine booms and trailer.
He says they're excited to work with Honey Bee and are pleased to be able to keep the jobs and economic activity in the province.
"You know they're building State-of-the-Art combine headers that hug the ground and that's kind of what we need to do. So we had conversations over six months and we came up with this Memorandum of Understanding. We kind of see life the same, kind of on the same page."
"The potential for the X-Steam-inator is huge," notes Jamie Pegg, General Manager of Honey Bee. "It’s gratifying to work on a project that promises such a huge benefit to agriculture and to society as a whole."
XAP is developing a software control system for steam generation, steam flow, temperature and water saturation at indoor facilities over the winter and are hoping to have seven demonstration units available for testing next year.
For organic farmers, additional weed control options are urgently needed. On conventional farms, herbicide resistance is increasing within weed populations. As well, consumer concern over herbicide residues will likely curtail use meaning new weed control options can’t come soon enough.
While the X-Steam-inator won’t provide selective weed control within crops, with proper boom design it seems particularly well suited to controlling weeds between crop rows.
Beyond agriculture, other applications for the X-Steam-inator include parks and roadsides.Click here to see more...