Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

Winter 12-2013


Strahinja V Stepanovic. 2013. MS Thesis: Positioning an Innovative Flame-weeding Technology Into Crop Production. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agronomy, Under the Supervision of Professor Stevan Knezevic. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Strahinja V. Stepanovic


Propane flaming has a potential to be utilized for effective PRE and POST weed control in both organic and conventional farming systems. Field studies were conducted at the Haskell Agricultural Laboratory of the University of Nebraska in 2010, 2011, and 2012 to: (1) describe dose–response curves for propane when flaming selected weed species at different growth stages, (2) determine corn and soybean tolerance to single and repeated flaming by utilizing the equipment designed to selectively flame weeds in row crops with torches positioned parallel to the crop row, and (3) determine the effectiveness of flaming and cultivation for weed control management under two manure levels in organic corn and soybean. Results from these studies indicate that single application of broadcast flaming can be adjusted to effectively control tansy mustard, henbit, and common lambsquarters and temporary suppress of cutleaf evening primrose, field pennycress, and dandelion. Hood technology on four-row flamer protected the major portion of the leaves from any heat damage, thus minimizing crop injury when flaming was conducted at V5 stage of soybean and V4 and V6 stages of corn. Results suggest that that both corn and soybean were able to tolerate up to two flaming operations with propane dose of 45 g ha-1 without any yield reduction; but, for best results, soybeans should be flamed at VC and after V4-V5, while timing of flaming in corn is less critical. Combination of banded flaming and between row cultivation applied twice in the season was the most effecting weed control treatment in both corn and soybean. Same treatment is some cases yielded statistically similar to weed-free control and compared to cultivation twice there was a significant improvement in weed control efficacy. Alternatively, broadcast flaming could be employed to provide satisfactory weed control when conditions are too wet to cultivate. Flaming should be combined with cultivation and other non-chemical weed control practices to increase overall effectiveness of weed management programs.

Adviser: Stevan Knezevic