Powered Wheelbarrow Makes Sweet Corn Harvest Easier
Art Linsenmeyer says his 1-acre sweet corn patch is a lot easier to harvest thanks to the powered wheelbarrow he built. At 74, and with arthritic knees, it was getting more difficult for the Nebraska market gardener to push a wheelbarrow to pick corn for his vegetable stand.
He used an old lawn mower to push a new 6 cu. ft. wheelbarrow tub on a tricycle-style frame. Linsenmeyer sits on a seat on top of the lawn mower’s engine and controls the speed with a hydrostatic rear end.
“I wanted a hydrostatic rear end because it has a foot control that adjusts the speed and it stops automatically (when you take your foot off),” he says.
Though the 11 hp engine is more than he needed, it’s what he had available and works well. The mower is 32 in. wide so it fits easily between the rows. In order to irrigate two rows at once, Linsenmeyer plants double corn rows, 12 in. apart, on 4-ft. centers.
“The corn pollinates better. It lets more light in and I get lots of corn on a 1-acre patch,” Linsenmeyer says.
The wheelbarrow holds up to 10 dozen ears, and Linsenmeyer takes his load right to his vegetable stand, where he can tilt the tub and dump it.
“It’s pretty handy, and now I use it for a lot of other jobs around here,” he adds.