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A review and assessment of microwave energy for soil treatment to control pests

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Reports of experimental work on controlling pests such as insects, nematodes, weed seeds, and fungi in soil with microwave energy are reviewed. The assessment of the practicability of microwave radiation for soil treatment to control pests involves estimation of energy costs for heating soil to lethal levels for devitalization of weed seed consideration of parameters affecting microwave energy attenuation in the soil, conditions for selectively heating organisms in soil, and other factors that need to be taken into account for practical use. It is concluded that probability exists for practical application of microwave energy for field control of these pests without major new discoveries of lethal mechanisms other than heating. Reasons include the severe attenuation of microwave energy in the improbability of effective, selective heating of organisms, and the extremely high costs of energy and equipment for such applications.
Nelson, S.O.
Includes references
Transactions of the ASAE Jan/Feb 1996. v. 39 (1)
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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