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“Gopher Getter” Clears Up Hay Fields
Murray Pask had a gopher problem in his seed alfalfa fields until he came up with his “Gopher General”. Its 20-in. cutting disk and torpedo-shaped shank deliver fumigant tablets to gas gophers in the ground. It covers 20 acres an hour and provides control at less than $10 per acre.
“Before we came up with the Gopher General, you could cross the farm from one side to the other, just stepping on gopher mounds,” says Pask. “We tried traps, manually placing fumigant tablets, and various machines that claimed they could control them, but nothing else got the job done.”
The Gopher General is designed for ease of use and safety. One lever controls everything. Activate it and the disk goes into the ground, followed by the shank with a torpedo shaped tube at its end. The fan also starts immediately. It blows slow-release fumigant tablets from the sealed hopper out the end of the torpedo and into the newly formed tunnels.
“The disk cuts through roots to keep them from wrapping around the shank,” says Pask. “It is important that it stays clean so it leaves only a narrow slit above the tunnel. Two pneumatic packing wheels seal the slit behind the shank.”
Push the lever and everything happens in reverse. The fan stops and tablet dispenser stops, followed by withdrawal of the shank and the cutting disk. As the shank comes out of the ground, scrapers automatically remove mud in preparation for the next use.
The heavy-duty Gopher General is built to handle rocky soils. An actuator system allows the disk to ride up as much as 14 in., and the shank and torpedo can pivot back and up as much as 18 in. to clear obstacles before reentering the ground.
The packer wheels move independent of the disk and shank, maintaining preset pressure provided by the actuator system. However, they too can move as needed to clear obstacles.
“Gopher tunnels are usually 4 to 6 in. deep,” explains Pask. “We create new tunnels at 10 to 12-in. depths. When gophers enter the new tunnel, they are exposed to the gas being released by the tablets.”
Pask recalls the not-so-good old days of gopher control. “Gopher General means no more hand labor trapping or being exposed to fumigant gas,” he says. “Instead of finding 10 gophers on every acre, now we see only about 10 per 160 acres.”
The Gopher General is a heavy-duty machine, but only requires about 50 hp. to pull it through a field. It is priced at $22,000 (U.S.) Check out the video at farmshow.com.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pask Farms Ltd., P.O. Box 40, Atwater, Sask. Canada S0A 0C0 (ph 306 745-2412; gophergeneral@gmail.com; www.gophergeneral.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2