An Agricultural Game Changer to benefit farmers and the entire food system
An Agricultural Game Changer to benefit farmers and the entire food system.
Through a patented process, the X-Steam-inator sprayer uses electricity to generate high-temperature steam on demand to kill weeds and soil pathogens. Invented in Saskatchewan, the X-Steam-inator has obvious applications for both conventional and organic farmers. Steam has long been used in a limited fashion for weed and pathogen control, but existing machines use boilers. The X-Steam-inator system of steam on demand is more efficient and versatile allowing wide use of the technology.
The highest-value, initial use for the machine will be in vegetable production. By applying high temperature steam to the band of soil where crops such as lettuce and carrots will be planted, weed seeds in the top couple inches of soil are destroyed. This eliminates the need for expensive hand weeding between the vegetable plants.
In addition, pasteurizing the soil with steam eliminates disease pathogens while leaving beneficial bacteria largely unaffected. When disease pressure is high, this leads to dramatically higher crop yields.
Another very promising initial use of the X-Steam-inator is the desiccation of potato crops prior to harvest. An application of high temperature steam eliminates the need for one or two applications of chemical desiccant.
Watch the most recent video for further insights.
Hand weeding between vegetable plants is hot, hard work that costs about $300 an acre. This labour cost can be eliminated with the X-Steam-inator and since the weeds are controlled underground, the seed bed remains weed free for weeks or even longer. Robotic weeding machines are in various stages of development, but they are very costly and they can’t remove weeds that are close to the vegetable plants. The other cost advantage to the X-Steam-inator is that it pasteurizes the seed bed killing harmful disease pathogens while leaving beneficial soil bacteria largely unaffected. Yield advantages in lettuce crops have been documented at over $3,000 per hectare.
Herbicide residue risK
Eliminated with the X-Steam-inator. No soil residue to hurt subsequent crops. No residue in the crops to create safety and trade concerns. Reliance on glyphosate and other herbicides will be dramatically reduced.
Not a problem with the X-Steam-inator. In fact, its widespread use will slow the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds.
High temperature steam has long been known to control weeds and soil borne pathogens, but up until now adoption has been minimal due to the limitations of boiler technology. The X-Steam-inator uses a patented electrical system to supply steam on demand, a much safer and energy efficient system than heating large volumes of water in a pressurized container. Constant flow pumps from the heat exchangers of the X-Steam-inator allow even distribution of the high temperature steam to the booms.