Microwave weed killer by 2021

Presented by

AgTech startup launches with million dollar investment for using microwave energy to kill weeds

Microwave weed killer by 2021
The University of Melbourne's Graham Brodie, with the Growave technology

 

Australian AgTech startup Growave has secured a significant seed investment to commercialise technology that, it says, could revolutionise the agriculture industry and remove the need to use harmful chemicals to control weeds.  

The Growave technology, invented by researchers at the University of Melbourne, harnesses microwave energy to kill weeds from the inside, ridding soil of emergent weeds and dormant seeds as well as reducing pathogens and their impact. The technology should be commercially available in 18 months, Growave says.


Updates to another weedkilling technology, the International Harrington Seed Destructor, performed well earlier this year. Click here to read more


"With the economics of the solution so compelling, the technology has the potential to have an impact on a broad range of agricultural markets including horticulture, broad acre and viticulture," says Paul Barrett, Growave director and head of physical sciences at IP Group.

The seed investment came from IP Group, Grain Innovate and Artesian and will be used to take the novel, chemical-free weed treatment to a global market. 

"This represents the fifth investment by IP Group in ANZ with its partnership agreement with the Group of Eight and University of Auckland," says Barrett. 

"While there is strong international interest in the technology, Growave will firstly focus on domestic markets with new trials commencing on farmland at Dookie in Victoria and in Southern Queensland in the Lockyer Valley on an organic vegetable farm.

"Herbicide resistance is a growing problem worldwide so people are looking for alternative ways to manage weeds.

"The modular design of the technology means Growave can be integrated into existing farming operations, not only reducing or eliminating the need for herbicides, but also saving labour associated with weed management," says Dr Graham Brodie from the University of Melbourne.

"It can be mounted onto a tractor or trailer, and used in wet or windy weather, unlike herbicides and soil fumigation.

"As no chemicals are used, treated crops and fields do not require isolation.

"It is environmentally friendly and less expensive per hectare than most alternatives." 

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook