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Street Sweeper Brush Strips Hemp
Matt Westenhaver needed to strip flower buds and leaf material from fresh cut hemp. Fresh or wet hemp is especially hard to strip by hand, so he decided to build a motorized “shucker”.
  “We needed something faster and more ergonomic,” says Westenhaver. “I had seen a mobile unit with 2 brushes mounted to rotate in opposite directions, but at $75,000, it was hard to justify.”
  Westenhaver did an internet search and came up with an 8-ft. street sweeper brush from Repurposed Materials (www.repurposedmaterialsinc.com; ph 877 282-8733). He cut it into two 4-ft. lengths and mounted one section in a framework made from 6 by 6-in. posts. He set up the brush with a direct drive for an electric motor. He recognized that running it off a tractor pto would have been simpler, but he wanted to be able to run the machine inside if necessary.
  “I couldn’t find an electric motor that would run it on my circuits in time for harvest,” recalls Westenhaver. “I had a 2 hp. motor, but it kept popping breakers.”
  Unable to get his stripper set up in time, Westenhaver contracted with a company to harvest, pick, dry and bag his crop. However, when a freeze threatened, he cut down all his hemp earlier than planned. With 5 years experience growing hemp and medical marijuana before that, he knew that extreme heat or cold could boost resin. While that increases CBD oils, it can also raise the THC content beyond legal limits.
  “I needed a quick way to strip my plants,” he says.
  A friend loaned him an actual street sweeper with a hydraulic drive. He put it to work, running the plants between the brush and plywood sheets. The set up was similar to how he planned to complete his stripper with the brush running against a plywood shelf.
  “It separated the material to be bagged or burned,” says Westenhaver. “It worked great, so I know mine will as well.”
  Westenhaver noted that commercial machines to shuck or strip whole hemp plants can run from the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
  “I’ve spent $250 so far on mine,” he says. “After adding the motor and platform, I plan to attach a tarp to direct the buds and leaf material into a bag. It’s a low cost option, but I believe it will work.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matthew Westenhaver, 3430 W. County Rd. 54G, Laporte, Colo. 80535 (ph 970 310-0884; matthew@quatrix.us).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1