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Cat Whiskers Keep Cultivator On Row
"You get better cultivator control and since you don't need to continually check back to see if you're on row, there's less fatigue. You can also go faster and use larger equipment. I went from using an 8-row cultivator to a 10-row because I had greater control," says Illinois farmer Don O'Neall, inventor of the new "Cat Whiskers" cultivator guidance system.
In addition to cultivators, O'Neall feels Cat Whiskers could also be used on band sprayers, fertilizer applicators, and vegetable crop equipment. He points out that by making cultivating easier and faster, you can cultivate more often and use fewer chemicals.
Key to Cat Whiskers, which are manufactured by Tri-R Innovations, Gibson City, Ill., are the two 40-in. long, tapered, stainless steel feelers that brush between the two crop rows just a few inches above the ground. If the cultivator starts to slip off row, regardless of whether it's steering or side draft pull on a hill, the pressure of the crop row will push the feelers off-center and send a signal to an electronic monitor mounted near the operator. The monitor shows if the cultivator edges too far to the right or left and to what extent.
If the monitor's needle is in the center green zone on the gauge, cultivator position is okay. If the arrow is in the yellow zone just to the left or right of center, you're slightly off the row and may be damaging plant roots. When the needle's positioned in either the red zone on the far right or far left, you're off the row and need to make a quick steering adjustment.
The gauge has a switch for "slow" or "fast" sensitivity response. O'Neall points out that you'd use the slow response mode when cultivating at faster speeds so you don't overcompensate steering and you'd use the fast response made when cultivating high value crops at slower speeds.
You need just one 12-volt powered Cat Whiskers sensor unit for each cultivator. It mounts directly on the toolbar. Sells for $395.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tri-R Innovations, 628 S. Sangamon, Gibson City, Ill. 60936 (ph 217 784-8495).

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1986 - Volume #10, Issue #2