New Machine Provides Cheap Insect/Fungus Control for Potatoes
California-based Agrothermal Systems has introduced a new machine for produce. The Agrotherm XR1 offers low-cost Thermaculture to control most insects and fungus for row crops including potatoes.
Thermaculture is a solution to reduce or eliminate chemical applications in an attempt to meet the growing demand for sustainable agricultural production.
The machine design is self-contained and can be pulled by an ATV or Gator type vehicle when in trailer mode. Alternatively, it can be lifted in three-point hitch configuration by a conventional farm tractor.
Commenting on the launch Tim Matson, director of field operations at Agrothermal said that the XR1 “with a horizontal vent configuration can be used to cover two 80” (2 meter) beds for many row crops like potatoes, but also celery, leafy greens and more. These are items that can use Thermaculture to reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides and at a fraction of the cost.”
The XR1 can cover crop configurations that the company’s previous Agrotherm XT was unable to treat. Moreover, the new machine weights 750 kilos, which is little more than a half of the XT.
“The Agrotherm XR1 burns propane to create heat at a rate of approximately 4 gallons per her pour at costs of USD6-USD8 per hour of use. We get 10 hours of continual work for each propane refill. This cost per acre works out to about USD3 or USD4 per acre per treatment, which is way less than a typical fungicide or insecticide treatment at upwards of USD40 per acre per pass or more. Not only is Thermaculture inexpensive, but it also eliminates the need for hazmat suits, respirators and complex clean up at days’ end,” Matson continued.