Award-winning electrical device welcomed by those who hate weeds

For those who hate weeds, the Touch Pro professional hand weeder will be of interest, after it won an innovation awards at the recent LAMMA 2017 machinery show in Peterborough, England.

The Farm Machinery and Equipment Innovation Award went to Ubiqutek’s device, which uses electricity to kill weeds.

Touch Pro uses electricity to boil weeds from tip to root, turning any water content in the weed into steam, but without damaging surrounding plants or soil.

Touch Pro is effective on all species of weeds, including perennial, biennial, annual and invasive weeds, and the troublesome Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam, and ragwort.

Designed for the horticulture and amenity sectors, it is ideal for growers, gardeners and maintenance staff to spot weed, and for ongoing weed management.

According to Ubiqutek, there has also been a lot of interest from organic farmers, and from those struggling to combat weeds with a high resistance to chemicals.

The next step for the Birmingham-based firm may be to extend the concept to a field scale machine, so that commercial growers can take advantage of electrified weed control.

Award judges were impressed by the product’s potential to reduce use of pesticides. This would help the environment, and it is suitable for areas where some chemicals are banned.

The Touch Pro uses a 32-amp electrical feed, either from mains power or a generator, and touching the weed with the electrified probe causes near instant destruction of plant cells.

Innovation competition judges at the LAMMA machinery show in England said Prolan, the overall winner, is an environmentally friendly lubricant for “incredibly long-lasting” protection of metal, wood, rubber and electrical components from rust and corrosion.

The IAgrE Ivel Award for the environmental new product or innovation went to Witham Oil & Paint for Prolan lubricants, which are made with lanolin derived from sheep’s wool.

Lanolin is a powerful natural non-toxic moisturiser and protector proven to be extremely effective for preventing corrosion.

The product range is approved as a food-grade lubricant.

Judges said it has multi-industry worldwide application potential for protecting against rust, corrosion and galvanitic attack. Developed from an agricultural waste,the Prolan range is available from heavyweight greases to super-fine sprays.

The proof of its long-lasting credentials is that steam or degreaser are needed to remove it.

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