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He Built His Own 36-Row Rotary Hoe
"It works as well as any factory-built rotary hoe and saved me a lot of money," says David Sylvester of Crookston, Minn., who built his own 36-row rotary hoe.
  Sylvester bought two identical used 12-row rotary hoes at an auction for $1,700 each. Both models were equipped with 5 by 7 toolbars that were 22 ft. long. He added new material to lengthen each toolbar to 33 ft. and spaced the rotary hoe wheels out so they till a strip 12 in. wide over the row, with a 10-in. wide untilled strip in between. Then he bought a used Melroe folding harrow cart, minus the harrows, and mounted the toolbars on it.
  "The rotary hoes were in like-new condition. We paid $240 for the harrow cart and spent another $460 for steel, bolts, paint, welding rods, etc. Our total cost was about $4,100. Commercial 36-row rotary hoes sell for about $18,000," says Sylvester. "We use it primarily for weed control and tillage in our sugar beets, which we plant in 22-in. rows. However, I think the same idea would work with any row spacing because the rotary hoe wheels can be moved wherever you want.
  "The harrow cart is equipped with a center-mounted axle that can be narrowed or widened by adjusting a pair of telescoping tubes. By sliding one tube in 11 in., and the other one out 11 in., we can till a 10-in. wide strip between the rows without going over them. We do that when the beets are small and we want to break up the crust between rows."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Sylvester, Rt. 1, Box 71, Crookston, Minn. 56716 (ph 218 281-6708).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5