in the early 1980's UK TV had a programme called "Tommorrows World" where they demonstrated inventions.... which included an electric weed zapper, powered by a battery on the belt... you just have to get the amps right.. yes it basically bursts the cells of the plant, and it dies... all the way to the tip.
I believe the abuse of the item was what caught the attention of the Police, who banned the product (I think) but took the principle on, to create the Tasar (or however it is spelt).
Unfortunately tasars are also illegal in the UK (except for police officers) and as I have just paid £160 (circa$300) per KG for the wildflower seed for 50 acres of land, I cannot use sprays.. and want to target Thistles and dock, for which this would be ideal.
Consequently i am trying to design something for a tractor which can target weeds higher than the surrounding crop, but you can imagine the sparks flying, and the picture of such activity done at night! (dew would help conductivity at the top)