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Weed Wiper Takes Out Stubborn Weeds
Smucker Manufacturing Inc. of Harrisburg, Ore., sells sponge weed wipers for cost-effective weed control that’s gentle on the crops growing beneath and has no risk of chemical drift, even in windy conditions. This targeted approach makes it a popular choice with organic farmers, as they have complete control over the type of herbicide used.
The company got its start 40 years ago when grass farmers Willard Smucker and Walter Kropf joined forces to develop a device for drift-free weed control - the weed wiper. Though the tool has been modified over the past decades, it remains a popular choice now considered ahead of its time.
“In the Midwest, the most common use of a Weed wiper is attaching a kit to a self-propelled sprayer,” says Darek Smith, Smucker ag products sales manager. “Farmers use high clearance sprayers to kill pigweed and water hemp in soybeans.”
The key to successful weed wiping is getting enough herbicide on the weeds so that they die quickly. The Smucker Sponge Weed Wiper accomplishes this through pump-fed sponges that can hold and apply a higher concentration of herbicide to weeds through direct contact rather than as a spray that might drip down and damage the crop below. This way, the underlying crops and soil stay safe from contamination. If a few drips end up on crop leaves, it will likely only cause light spotting.
Wheels at each end keep the boom at specific heights, which are fully adjustable based on in-field weeds. The sponges evenly distribute chemicals across the boom to thoroughly coat every weed it comes in contact with. This design means that the tool works best when there’s a significant height difference between the weeds and field crops.
Best of all, the absorbency of the sponges ensures that the tool uses minimal amounts of chemicals compared to other methods. Farmers who use it report less than $1 in chemical costs per acre treated.
Smucker offers three models: pull type, 3-point hitch, and ATV and UTV compatible. Pull-type models have wheels and heavy-duty U-joints that contour to the terrain for uniform sponge height. MSRP ranges from $2,799 for 10 ft. to $6,150 for 40 ft. 3-point hitches that are best for row crop applications and allow for quick height adjustments. The MSRP ranges from $2,469 to $4,629 for 10 ft. to 30 ft. ATV and UTV models that are great for pastures, orchards, and other areas that require versatility. MSRP ranges from $399 to $1,799 for 5 ft. to 15 ft. Finally, the front bucket models have quick attach brackets for simple mounting. The MSRP is $1,175 to $2,159 for 10 ft. to 20 ft. The company also offers kits for sprayer booms and DIY frames.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Smucker Manufacturing, Inc., 22919 N. Coburg Road, Harrisburg, Ore. 97446 (ph 541-995-8000; info@smucker.net; www.smucker.net).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6