The XPR is part of the flagship family of XPower of electric weeders by Zasso, distributed exclusively by CNH Industrial.
The XPR is a high-voltage, non-chemical weeding implement for non-selective weed control between the crop rows at competitive working speed. The XPR Concept features a generator and a brand-new applicator specifically adapted to the requirements of row crops and installed on a Kongskilde Vibro Crop frame.
The product features adjustable weeding width from 20 to 40 cm (8-16 inches) and a modular XPower supply unit compatible with other XPower solutions.
Electric weeding allows for action through the roots to prevent regrowth. Without soil movement, it minimizes possible erosion and impacts on soil life, and does not entail label restrictions or allow plants to form resistances.
The XPR inter-row product is designed for safe and effective weed management in row crops, with no negative impact on the environment, and providing better planning and reliability for farmers.
The company feels market opportunity is significant. Special crops, such as vegetables, are an important pillar of agricultural food production. In the juvenile stage, row crops are characterized by wide row spacings and often by low competitive strength against simultaneously emerging weeds. Tremendous yield losses — up to 60% due to inadequate or delayed weed control — are a challenge for every farmer.
Over 90% of the weed management market still relies on herbicides, in which glyphosate is still an active ingredient. Alternatives (e.g., mechanical, thermal) are beginning to appear but do not address the roots of the problem or generate unwanted issues of soil disturbance, stimulation of new seeds and erosion risks.
The XPR inter-row crop solution represents Zasso’s first solution for broad agriculture. It serves as the basis for a more aggressive roll-out over the next three years.
The XPR Concept launch builds on the successful efficacy results electrical inter-row applications presented by Zasso and its Research Partners to a broad audience of research scientists and industry stakeholders at the 30th German Conference on Weed Biology and Weed Control, in February in Braunschweig.
In 2020, together with the “University of Applied Sciences Südwestfalen,” field experiments were conducted to compare the effectiveness of chemical, mechanical and electrical weed control methods of inter-row weeding in sugar beets. For all methods, chemical herbicides were used for intra-row weed control.
As an outcome of the study, it can be concluded that the XPower electrical weeding technology can achieve comparable or higher efficiencies as established chemical and mechanical weeding methods. Weeding efficiencies of up to 95% can be achieved even with a reduced number of passages per season, based on the 2020 weather conditions.
The study also showed that, for sugar beet production, an herbicide reduction of up to 75% can be achieved.