If you've ever driven down South Ingram in Sedalia, just as you're heading south out of the city limits of Sedalia you've probably seen just to your left a line of these contraptions sitting in the graveled parking area south of some storage units.

I've seen them myself and wondered what in the heck is a "Weed Zapper"? Now I know.

Two brothers in Illinois with backgrounds in farming and engineering designed The Weed Zapper machine. A different pair of brothers purchased the technology and manufacture Weed Zappers at a plant in Sedalia on south Ingram..

Now you're probably wondering like me, why would you zap weeds? It turns out it's a shocking (No pun intended) new method of weed control. It turns out this might be the answer to Missouri’s growing waterhemp problem. A prolific producer of seeds, waterhemp is Missouri’s No. 1 weed problem and one of 14 weeds that are herbicide-resistant.

In a news release written by Linda Geist from the University of Missouri Extension, according to MU Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley:

As more weeds develop resistance to herbicides, electrocution may be the weed management approach of the future.

The new method was demonstrated at the 2021 Pest Management Field Day at the University of Missouri Bradford Research Center in Columbia.

The Weed Zapper model used in MU research has a copper boom that attaches to the front of a tractor. Driven by a PTO, it hits weeds with 15,000 volts of electricity from a 110,000-watt generator on the back of the tractor. Models cost between $42,000 and $72,000.

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