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Loader Mounted Combine Harvests Native Grasses
An Oklahoma rancher, fed up with the price for native grass seed, has invented his own grass seed harvester that uses suction and brushes to gather the tiny seeds.
Aaron Beisel, of Fargo, Okl., says he likes pasturing his cattle on native grasses but that at prices of up to $20 a pound for seed, he had trouble justifying the cost.
His harvester is a big rotating nylon brush mounted on his front end loader. At 1,000 rpm, the brush creates an upward air flow. That suction, combined with the gentle flailing action of the bristles, removes ripe seed from the plants and blows them into a triangular bin behind the brush.
"I wanted something different because grass seed doesn't scoop or auger very well. This does a good job of harvesting and, in my opinion, the seed is cleaner than from a combine or stripper," he says. "Wild grasses ripen unevenly, and only a third will be ripe at any given time. We try to pick the optimum day and make one trip over the field."
Beisel notes that while a crop like Old World bluestem may produce 300 lb. of seed per acre, the going average is generally less than 50 lbs. He says his harvester will harvest at least half of the crop.
He has made two prototypes with 7 and 9-ft. heads and expects production units to have a price tag of $4,000 to $5,000.   
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Aaron's Engineering, Rt. 1, Fargo, Okla. 73840 (ph 405 698-2613).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #4