Some background to electromagnetic radiation and radio waves, Electropaedia: www.mpoweruk.com/radio.htm
Q.8 How safe is ER?
There is need for precaution wherever possible. In our daily lives we are increasingly surrounded by sources of low intensity radiofrequency (RFR) radiation used in wireless communications. A recent study in Japan has discovered that low intensity RFR can provoke metabolic changes leading to oxidative stress in living cells. This is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and defence mechanisms. Long-term exposure can lead to headaches and fatigue and could be linked to health risks such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Igor Yakymenko, Olexandr Tsybulin et al. Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low- intensity radiofrequency radiation. Electomagnetic Biology and Medicine. Doi:103109/15368378.2015.1043557 Online 7 July 2015 .
Q.7 How can ER reduce food waste?
The target of the System MISYA (microwaves system for Agro-food) is to kill insects and mites in food products prior to storage, thereby reducing food waste and the application of expensive chemicals and fumigants that can also leave potentialluy toxic residues.
Food passes along a conveyer inside a cyclindrical tube where the irradiation provides LT lethal temperatures of 55-60°C that kill all stages of insect pests in an effective and clean manner (0.3 – 2 tons/h) without changing the physical, organoleptic or nutritional properties of the food. The modular equipment is easy to transport and maintain. To date the system has successfully treated legumes, cereals (including rice), pine nuts. It can also be used in the dessication of fruits. See brochure in Italian by EMitech www.emitech.it The system was presented at the MiDI (Milan Demonstrative Initiative) organized by CREA Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria on 8th September 2015 on the occasion of EXPO2015.
Q.8 How important are electric fields to plant growth and development?
Biological information is shared throughout the plant by action potentials (AP’s) and chemical messengers. Some cells are electrically sensitive. David Wechsler of Electricfertilizer writes on his blog www.electricfertilizer.com. Cell walls are made to react and respond to electric fields created by the inflow and outflow of electrically charged nutrient ions. When a sufficient charge builds up on the outside of the cell, there is a rush of ions from the outside to the inside of the cell and back out again. The net effect is the creation of a voltage spike that affects all of the surrounding cells that are sensitive to these signals. AP’s can travel to most places within a plant in a fraction of a second. Following the release of the AP’s there is also the release of the chemical build, creating a slower chain reaction amongst the surrounding cells. These electrical and chemical changes are signals that impact strongly on plant metabolism.
Electrical fields also produce secondary effects on the soil. They are capable of increasing the size of soil aggregates thereby providing greater surface area and porosity that increase a soil’s fertility. Some scientists are working on creating ‘electric fertilizers’ that can control the mobility of nutrient ions by electroosmosis. www.electricfertilizer.com
The rhizosphere is electrical. Plant roots create electric fields within their internal structures due to the movement of ions and water when absorbed by root hairs and conducted through the cells and tissues. At the same time other charged compounds can be released by the plant roots such as the exudates that serve as chemical messengers, food for soil microorganisms and ‘antibiotics’ (e.g. onion root exudate that suppresses the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia). Book entitled Electrohorticulture by David Wechler Amazon sales: Electro-horticulture by David Wechsler
Magnetic fields affect plant growth and development
In-vitro plantlets of Phalaenopsis cultured in a film-culture system for 3 months were exposed to a magnetic field (MF) of varying intensity and time. Each culture vessel was positioned at the North or South Poles of specialized magnets. All MFs tested had a positive influence on shoot and root development. Constant exposure to a slightly higher MF of for 3 months at either Pole significantly enhanced plantlet development. The effects of permanent magnetic fields on in vitro growth of Phalaenopsis plantlets by Pham Thanh Van, Jaime A. Teixeira Da Silva, Le Huy Ham and Michio Tanaka. The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology Vol 85, nr.5, pp. 473-478 www.jhortscib.com
Q.1 How can invisible electromagnetic radiation help to reduce insect pests?
Zapping with invisible ER radiation
Energy in the form of invisible electromagnetic radiation (ER) exerts an important influence on plants and ecosystems. Invisible ER ranges from gamma radiation to microwaves including cosmic radiation and telecommunications (TV, Internet, Wi-Fi, GPS and Radar), to radio waves. The latter include musical notes and sequences. For the first time in the history of evolution, all forms of life are being exposed to varying degree, to manmade electromagnetic pollution.
Plants themselves have been seen to radiate electromagnetic fields that vary in accordance with external factors such as climate conditions, cosmic disturbance and ER resulting from other sources and reactions from other living organisms. These emissions can be grouped under the term bioplasmic radiation.
Recent research demonstrates that microwave ER is effective in eliminating aphids. When aphids are subjected to microwaves at a particular frequency, they start to vibrate as they absorb the energy and then explode. The frequency needs to be calibrated to body size and eventually to each given species of insect pest. This radiation can also be used to interrupt communications betwen insects thereby disrupting their breeding. National Physics Laboratory, UK www.npl.co.uk
Q.2 How can invisible electromagnetic radiation help reduce plant diseases?
Sterilizing Seeds with electron treatment
Seeds are home to moulds and fungi, bacteria and viruses. Seeds are normally treated chemically to kill these diseases and to prevent them from spreading. Permits for some chemical agents have been withdrawn and the granting of permits for new products has also declined. Lastly, the severe case of E-coli infection caused by contaminated bean-sprout seeds resulted in calls for alternatives. Scientists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP in Dresden, Germany, have developed an environmentally friendly method for killing pathogenic agents from seeds. Seeds are treated with electrons which within milliseconds destroy the DNA of the harmful organisms. Due to a special device, the elementary particles only act on the surface and in seed coat. The embryo in the interior of the seed is not affected. Researchers are working with the company Nordkorn Saaten GmbH that has been testing a prototype. In 2012 the quantity of seed treated by this demonstration unit reached about 11,000 metric tons. Researchers and partners are looking for further industrial support to make such units more compact and mobile. www.fep.fraunhofer.de/en/html
Soil disinfestation using ER in microwave range achieved an almost 100% kill of weed seeds, sclerotia and resting stages of a nematode worm. A field microwave treatment unit used 2.45 GHz delivering about 1KW of power. 40-50 seconds with a resting period of 3 minutes worked down to a soil depth of 2.5m, 90-120 seconds to work down to 5m. This experiment (Fr272) was conducted in 2005 at the Pollution Research Unit, School of Life Sciences and School of Engineering, Napier University, Edinburgh, supported by the then HDC – Horticultural Development Council. www.horticulture.ahdb.org.uk_ER soil disinfestation
The Clean Light Crop Protection System uses low dosage UV light to suppress fungal, bacterial and viral diseases. It has been used successfully in protected horticultural crops such as roses, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, in field crops such as grapes and potatoes and in golf course grass against the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. It has also been found effective in the sterilization of trays (up to 50mJ/cm2) together with rinsing in water and hypochlorite solution. Rose farms in Kenya find that the Clean Light system reduces fungicide application by up to 65% and renders plants stronger and healthier. On a new rose farm near Kiev, Ukraine, the UV treatment system is mounted on a cart that rides along the isle of the greenhouse. By controlling its speed, plants receive an adequate dosage to kill plant diseases such as mildew and Botrytis, but not the beneficial insects used against insect pests. The treatment leaves no residues and has been approved by various regulatory agencies in Europe and US as being safe to use. In the hobby sector there is a kit available, together with protective gloves and mask for use against pests and diseases on plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit and culinary herbs. More information from Clean Light, Email: www.cleanlight.nl
Bi.Elle Srl, a microwave engineering company, Modena, Italy, have developed and patented the Ecoplam Ring to control the devastating red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. Microwave radiation is trasmitted through an open circular ring that closes round the upper parts of the palm trunks. High frequency radiation penetrates the plant tissue where it is rapidly trasformed to heat that completely destroys all stages of Rynchophorus, including the pupa that are difficult to kill by chemical means due to the protective cocoon. Another advantage of the microwave system is that all other pests and diseases subject to the radiation are also destroyed, including other insects, batteria, fungi. The treatment is totally sustainable, does not damage the plants, environment or the people operating the system. The ring is fixed to a moveable boom carried on a lorry. Another product, the Ecopalm Box is designed to irradiate wood and infected plant material to eliminate pests and diseases, and is also good against woodworm. Further information, contact Luca Bernabei www.ecopalm.it
Q.3 Can invisible electromagnetic radiation be used to kill weeds and unwanted plants?
Research in Germany has used a CO2 laser in the infrared range with a wavelength of 10.6 µm to fight weeds at an early stage of growth. By using a scanner with a flexible mirror system the laser beam can be moved quickly from plant to plant and focused with high precision on plant meristems near the surface. A minimum dose of around 35 Joules is necessary to kill seedlings and this laser energy can be calibrated to the plant species and growth stage. The best results for large areas can be provided by using field robots working in a stop-and-go mode. This ER technique could further reduce the use of chemicals againsts unwanted plants or weeds and has the advantage of being extremely accurate and selective. Investigations on the Effect of the Laser Beam on young Plants for Weed Control using Image Processing. Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH), www.lzn-hamburg.de and Biosystems and Horticultural Engineering (BGT), Leibniz Universität www.bgt-hannover.de
Q.4 Can invisible electromagnetic radiation in the general environment be dangerous to plants?
Probably yes. Research in the Netherlands suggests that Wi-Fi radiation could be responsible for the damage and death of the upper and lower epidermis of Ash trees leaving a lead-like shean. A high percentage of urban trees in the Netherlands show similar symptoms. However these results have not been confirmed in repeat experiments. www.pcb.wur.nl Other research suggests that high frequency shortwave radiation (e.g. ground radar) can damage trees. It is thought that tree leaves absorb electromagnetic radiation, inducing a flow of electrically charged particles that are able to migrate to the soil through the roots, causing a type of electrolysis. This in turn leads to soil acidification causing the stunting and death of trees. (AlfonsoBalmori Revistaecosistemas).
Q.5 How might invisible electromagnetic emisions by plants be used to improve cultivation techniques?
Specific musical sequences have been found to influence metabolic processes in plants. In tomato plants for example, this technique has been used to stimulate the synthesis of a natural growth regulator and the inhibition in the production of certain enzymes needed by mosaic virus to infect plants. www.rexresearch.com/agro/1strnhm.htm Physiological changes in plant growth and development can also be provoked by different types of music; rythm, timing (notes and pauses) and pitch translate to wavelength, frequencies and energy.
Affecting plant growth with sound waves
Mitch Goldsmith, working together with the University of the Pacific (San Francisco) and Dr. Dave Koranski, a young-plant consultant (now Prof. Emeritus Iowa State University) identified specific tones and musical modes that impact on plant growth. He has called the technology PlantVibe. Various frequencies affect seeds at the molecular level making them vibrate. These vibrations cause a number of positive effects the most noticeable being faster germination. It is like priming or scarifying seed from the inside. Treatment of seeds not only speeds up seed germination it also increases seed germination by 2-5%. Ultra-high frequencies are used well above the range of human hearing. PlantVibe treatment can also make plant growth more compact in place of plant growth regulating chemicals but this time using low frequency sound waves. The technology under development consists of a computer connceted to an array of speakers positioned throughout the greenhouse. The sound waves used are not audible so do not affect the workers. The PlantVibe invention has been filed for patents. www.ballpublishing.com/growertalks/Newsletter.aspx?article=1161
Q.6 Weak ER radiation emitted by plants can be measured. If this could be translated into plant requirements it would help growers provide optimum conditions for growth. Is there any more recent research on the above subjects subject?
The influence of invisible ER pollution on plants might also help us better understand its effects on animal and human life.
Edward Bent ©2012 | HORTCOM