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Soils Lab scientist Frank Forcella and Jim Eklund (on ATV) test the concept of sandblasting weed seedlings for selective control in corn. In place of sand, the grit was comprised of dried corn cobs ground to pass through a 20-40 mesh sieve. The gerry-rigged system is meant to simulate an imagined implement that would treat multiple rows simultaneously through pairs of nozzles aimed at the base of either side of each crop row. Submitted photo.

Forcella's idea may make controlling weeds a 'blast'

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By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

ARS Soils Lab scientist Frank Forcella calls himself a "weed guy" who sits around with colleagues trying to figure out how to kill plants. The discussions get pretty creative, and sometimes they sound downright goofy.

That was the first reaction when Forcella got this idea: "I was sitting around thinking, 'I wonder if we could use a sandblaster to kill weeds?' "

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