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Can You Use This Disc Weeder
An innovative new "disc weeder" built by watermelon grower Melvin Buzbee, Monticello, Florida, might be just the thing for in-row weeding and thinning of other more conventional row crops.
Buzbee says that although his disc weeder has not been used in any other crop, it has been so successful on his farm and been copied by so many other melon growers, that he'd like to see farmers adapt the idea to other crops.
"We can now weed and thin 10 acres of melons a day, a job that routinely takes 10 workers to complete," says Buzbee.
The machine consists of a V-shaped, two-wheeled rig 12 ft. long that trails behind the tractor drawbar. The wheels are mounted on an "overhead axle" that loops 6 ft. over the operator's seat in the center. Just below the seat are two horizontally-mounted discs each equipped with it's own hydraulic motor as well as hand and foot controls. The spinning discs move in and out and up and down, each controlled independently by the foot and hand action of the operator. One disc turns clockwise and the other counterclockwise.
"The operator has his left foot and left hand on the left disc assembly, and his right hand and foot on the right disc, moving them in and out to weed or thin plants. Each disc assembly has a depth control wheel that swivels to make control easier," explains Buzbee.
Watermelons are spaced in rows 6 ft. apart but Buzbee says the wheels of the disc weeder could be spaced to fit any row width and the 10-in. discs could be down-sized to get into any crop. The machine could also be automated with electronics, he adds.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Melvin Buzbee, Rt. 3, Box 45A, Monticello, Fla. 32344 (ph 904 997-2481).

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #5