What is flame weeding?

Weed control by means of fire was born and developed in the United States where in 1852 John Craig of Columbia (Arkansas) used a duly patented flame weeding equipment for the first time.

The development of flame weeding equipment and the setting of application methods became popular only during the first years of 1940/50.

However, this new method was not accepted by most farmers due to its high costs.

Until 1943 all burners shared in common the type of fuel, benzene or oil. The situation changed radically when great quantity of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) became available at significantly low costs.

In 1947 the first time equipment using butane gas was designed and built, fitted with burners with flame stable in shape and size.

These innovations had an immediate general acceptance and already in 1964, it was estimated that more than 15,000 pieces of equipment were being used in the United States only.

Through the analysis of research studies conducted in Europe, we can confirm that the quantity of equipment used was equivalent to the in America.

In fact, in England and Holland, during the second half of the 50’s, equipment using oil was employed. Afterwards, equipment using liquified petroleum gas was manufactured: more than twenty pieces were being used in Holland (particularly to remove leaves at pre-harvest) in the cultivation of seed or consumption potatoes.

Officine Mingozzi has been building, researching on and expanding the applications  of flame weeding technology since the second half of the ’80 when equipment was marketed under the Tecnoecologia brand.

Over the years and through continuous joint work with different Universities and Research Centres, the company has improved its knowledge on the effects of applying this technology to control weeds and fight plant diseases.