2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4, Page #44[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Corn Cannon A Hit At Arkansas Farm
“Our corn cannon gets shot 1,000 times or more between Friday and Sunday,” says Peebles, who runs the agritourism business with his wife on their Augusta, Ark., farm.
The cannon is one of the farm’s most popular activities each fall (Sept. 26 to Oct. 31, 2012).
Peebles credits Jim Burton, a former neighbor who farmed and was an engineer, for building the cannon a decade ago for his own agritourism business. When Burton stopped running his business, he sold the cannon to the Peebles.
The cannon is made out of 4-in. pvc pipe with a 2-in. pvc pipe chamber to hold the corn. It’s fitted with a backflow valve and spray rig valve.
“I have a set of handlebars to hold it with a button connected to the spray rig valve. It dumps part of the air, and the rest pushes the corn out the 2 in. pvc pipe,” Peebles says.
He sets his air compressor between 50 to 60 psi and runs a hose from it to the cannon, which is set up facing an open field, pointed at a target 100 yards away. Visitors pay $1/shot and if they hit the target, they win a pumpkin or other prize.
“It’s more a matter of luck,” Peebles says about hitting the target. “You’re shooting corn so the ears weigh different and aren’t shaped the same. No two bullets are alike. We have more 5-year-olds hitting the target than anyone else.”
He has also used golf balls in the cannon, which are more accurate. But corn fits in with the farm theme – and the Peebles have plenty of corn. The cannon has been used for eight years, and Peebles tore it down once to learn how it works. He has replaced some parts and does minimal maintenance each year.
He emphasizes that a worker always loads the cannon and turns on the air for safety.
The corn cannon is just one of the many activities at Peebles Farm, which has a U-pick pumpkin patch. It’s also unique for its 3-acre U-pick cotton field. Many school groups visit the patch each fall to learn about and pick cotton to take home with them.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Peebles Farm, 76 Woodruff 249, Augusta, Ark. 72006 (ph 870 919-6162; www.peeblesfarm.com).
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