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Farmers Are Using Flamethrowing Tractors to Get Rid of Weeds and Pests

Farmers Are Using Flamethrowing Tractors to Get Rid of Weeds and Pests

During the frigid winters growing up, I always thought that, instead of shoveling snow, it would be so much cooler if I could just melt it away with a flamethrower. My parents, the reasonable people they are, decided not to fulfill that youthful fantasy for me, but now farmers are starting to step in and fill that fiery void.

Organic farmers have found an effective solution to pesticides thanks to “flame weeding,” which is exactly what it sounds and looks like (via Boing Boing). As seen in the video above, a regular farm tractor is equipped with a row of flamethrowers that… well, throw flames at the ground, to clear any unwanted hindrances to their growing crops.

To be clear, flame weeding isn’t just setting fire to a field of crops. In fact, it’s actually more scientific than it seems. The folks at Flame Engineering, a company that specializes in flame weeding equipment, explain that it’s more about destroying the plant structure in the weed leaves so they can no longer perform photosynthesis and grow:

“Flame weeding is what we like to call a ‘slow kill.’ Essentially, you are destroying cell structure in the plant leaf. The weed will no longer put energy toward growth (photosynthesis) taking the kill though the root system. YES, flame weeding will kill the roots too! Even on big weeds (over 6″), you will see a stunting effect and even a kill within a few days, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.”

Did you realize that agriculture could be so badass? Are there any other action movie-like aspects to organic farming that we should know about? Give us a shout down in the comments!

Featured image: Jamie Gilchrist/YouTube

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