Blasting the Competition Away: Air-propelled Abrasive Grits for Weed Management in Organic Grain and Vegetable Crops

This webinar was recorded on February 17, 2015. Watch it on YouTube at

About the Webinar

This webinar will provide an introduction to the concept of weed management with air-propelled abrasive grits, or "weed blasting", in organic cropping systems. We will present information about the design of the first abrasive-grit applicator and initial field studies in corn, soybean, tomato, and pepper crops. Lastly, we will outline ongoing and future research objectives recently funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Extension Initiative.

About the Presenters

Dr. Sam Wortman is an assistant professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He studies urban and local food production and the goal of his research is to develop cropping systems and cultural practices that maximize productivity and profitability with minimal environmental impact.

Dr. Sharon Clay is a weed scientist with a 20% teaching/80% research position at South Dakota State University. Over her career, she has worked in many aspects of weed biology and weed control including cover crops, resistant weeds, biocontrol, crop/weed interactions, and exploring critical weed free periods in many types of crops.

Dr. Daniel Humburg is an Agricultural Engineer and Professor in the department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at South Dakota State University. He has 23 year of experience teaching engineering design of agricultural machines, and oversaw the design and fabrication of the first abrasive weed control system to be mounted on a tractor.

Slides from the webinar as a pdf handout



Published October 1, 2014

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.