December 1, 2020
X-Steam-inator Agricultural Products (XAP) and Honey Bee Manufacturing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding paving the way for a new weed control technology to be manufactured in Saskatchewan.
The X-Steam-inator generates energy efficient, high temperature steam for non-selective weed control. Development of the technology has advanced to the stage whereby commercial manufacturing is on the horizon.
Honey Bee Manufacturing based at Frontier, SK, well known for its innovative combine headers, will assist in the development of ground-following spray booms as well as the trailer to carry the component parts for the X-Steam-inator. In return, Honey Bee will have the rights to manufacture the retail models.
“The X-Steam-inator is a breakthrough in the control of weeds without chemicals and without tillage,” says Ron Gleim, the organic farmer from Chaplin, SK who invented the X-Steam-inator and founded XAP. “We’re excited to explore all its potential applications and we’re pleased to be working with a Saskatchewan manufacturer so that the jobs and economic activity can remain in the province.”
“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.”
A working prototype of the X-Steam-inator and an explanation of its component parts can be seen at www.xsteaminator.com. XAP is developing a software control system for steam generation, steam flow, temperature and water saturation at indoor facilities over the winter. The company plans to have several working prototypes available for field testing during the upcoming growing season.
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.
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