Satusteam™: An Effective Weed Control For Vineyards
Vineyards produce some of the most significant agricultural crops. Not only are these crops profitable, but they’re also an essential part of culture and heritage. However, vineyards are also one of the highest cost-intensive yards due to their long growing season and highly skilled labour requirements. Weed control for vineyards are important to maintain its quality and productivity. You can accomplish it by using various methods such as mechanical tillage, herbicides, and so forth. But in this article, we will focus on the use of Satusteam™ as an effective weed control method for vineyards.
The need for weed control for vineyards
Vineyards are an essential part of the wine industry, so they need to contend with several pests and diseases that can affect the health of the vines. One of these is weeds, which can grow between rows and compete with the vines for nutrients and water.
Weeds compete with vines for nutrients and water supply during their early growth stages. This can result in reduced yield, poor fruit quality, and increased susceptibility to diseases. In addition, some weeds may contain harmful chemicals that can affect humans and animals when ingested. Weeds can also harbour insects and diseases that can harm your vines. It may result in decreased yields or even a yield loss from your crop.
Types of weeds in vineyards
The main types of weeds that you will see in your vineyard are grasses and broadleaf plants (such as dandelions). These weeds compete with your vines for water and nutrients, so you must get rid of them quickly.
One example of a weed in vineyards is the morning glory vine. These vines can multiply and cover an entire row of grapevines in just one season. Morning glories are easy to spot because they have purple flowers that open early in the morning.
Other weeds that can threaten your vineyards include dandelions, chickweed, and bindweed. These types of weeds are difficult to control without using chemicals or other methods that harm the environment or nature itself.
The following are other types of weeds that can grow in vineyards:
- Annual grasses
- Biennial grasses
- Perennial grasses
- Broadleaf plants (plants with broad leaves)
- Woody plants (plants with woody parts such as stems and branches)
The effect of weeds on vineyards
Vineyard weeds can quickly infest and choke out your vineyard. But what happens to your vineyard when you don’t remove the weeds infesting it?
The first thing that happens is that the vines stop growing. The competition for water, nutrients, and sunlight is so fierce that the vines don’t get enough of these elements, causing an impediment to their growth. If you do nothing about this problem, you’re putting yourself at risk of losing an entire crop.
The second thing that happens is that your grapes will be small and unmarketable. They will look unattractive when they come into the market because they compete with the weeds for light and water. The grapes will also develop a bad taste because they cannot get enough nutrients from the soil or sunlight during their growth cycle. This can lower your profits for you as a winemaker!
Efficacy of using steam instead of chemicals
A good application of steam can achieve the equivalent of a chemical spray at half the cost and with fewer side effects. Many vineyards have already switched to using steam, with some achieving an 85% reduction in herbicide use per hectare.
The main benefit of steaming is that it kills weeds when they’re still small and actively growing. Therefore, it’s much more effective than spraying and it prevents weeds from reproducing. It also leaves no residue on the grapes or soil and has no impact on beneficial insects such as bees or butterflies, unlike many other chemical methods.
Another advantage is that you can use steam to control weeds without harming the crops. This means that you can target specific areas or times of the year where weed problems are likely to arise, such as during renovation work or when there is a lot of rain. The cost-effectiveness of steaming makes it an attractive option for vineyards looking to cut down their herbicide usage without compromising on weed control efficacy.
The efficiency of Satusteam™ for weed control in vineyards
Vineyard spraying is one of the most significant expenses you will face as a vintner. Chemical weed control can be expensive and often ineffective. On the other hand, Satusteam™ is a practical and environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical weed control for vineyards.
Here are the benefits of using Satusteam™ for weed control in vineyards:
- It’s Effective – Satusteam™ kills almost all plant material that it comes in contact with, including weeds, grasses, mosses, and other fungi. This includes exotic invasive species such as Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) and Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula), which are becoming more prevalent in British vineyards.
- It’s Safe – Unlike pesticides applied directly to plants, Satusteam™ doesn’t directly contact the plant or fruit itself. The moisture from the steam penetrates deep into the soil, where it can kill off unwanted plants without affecting desirable ones like grapes or vines.
- It’s Non-Toxic – Since Satusteam™ doesn’t come into contact with plants, there is no risk of toxicity or poisoning to your workers or animals who may graze near your vineyard after treatment has been completed.
- It’s Economical – With a relatively low upfront cost and an average treatment time of only 30 minutes per acre, you will see significant savings on your pesticide budget compared to traditional methods of weed control.
- It’s Quick – Satusteam™ kills plants rapidly by using high temperatures (above 100°C) and pressure to penetrate through their cell walls. The saturated steam destroys their vital organs like leaves and stems, causing them to die off quickly.
- It doesn’t leave any residue – Unlike pesticides or herbicides, which remain in the soil after use, Satusteam™ uses boiling water and saturated steam under pressure which evaporates, leaving no harmful chemicals behind.
Our implements for weed control for vineyards
Vineyard weed control is vital for keeping your vineyard healthy and productive. It’s essential to eliminate weeds while they are small and keep them from coming back. At Weedtechnics, there are several tools and implements that you can use to manage and control weeds at your vineyard.
The Sumo trailers of Weedtechnics represent our milestone for medium and large horticultural properties. The Sumo trailers run on a Power Take-Off (PTO) shaft to run at maximum efficiency. The PTO shafts reduce the complexity of weed control in vineyards and reduce your costs. With a water tank capacity of 4000 L for Sumo40 and 2400 L for Sumo24, you can ensure that no weeds are left undisturbed in your vineyard.
Weedtechnics’ orchard heads are undeniably effective in controlling vineyard weeds. There are three orchard heads currently available: Rowtech 55 and Orchard Head 120.
Rowtech 55 serves as a more horticulture-focused applicator head. Its circular shape can reach along verges, in between hedgerows, edges, irrigation sprinklers, and even under tree trunks and vines. This capability makes Rowtech 55 suitable for vineyards.
The orchard head can reach the most untouched areas in your vineyards: under hedges and rows, in between fences, and under vines.
On the other hand, the Orchard Head 120 is another tool designed for horticultural applications. You can use this orchard head to control weeds regardless of the ground contour with its unique shape. It can overcome any obstacle as it maintains close contact with the ground, allowing it to follow the contours of your vineyard. You can partner it with our Tracktech to optimise this orchard head to its maximum potential.
Whether vineyards use conventional or organic weed control methodologies, the risk to their crops is real. Satusteam is an effective alternative to toxic herbicides like glyphosate that has minimal impact on people and the environment and can help vineyards succeed in a crowded marketplace.
Martin Solomon loves both writing and researching. He graduated with a degree in Chemistry but decided to pursue his lifelong passion of writing about astrology, technology, science, and finance. He believes that if you can't excel with talent, then triumph with effort.
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