1996 - Volume #20, Issue #4, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Kills Gophers With Anhydrous Ammonia
It's the "Gophinator", built last summer by Unity, Sask., seedsman Keith Maze. "I use it to inject anhydrous ammonia vapor, which is heavier than air, into pocket gopher holes and rat holes under grain bins. It gives you virtually 100 percent kill," Maze says.
It consists of a 25-gal. propane tank retrofitted with metal fittings to handle anhydrous ammonia. The tank mounts on a frame that's lifted into the box of Maze's 1/2-ton pickup with a forklift. Fifty feet of ammonia hose is fitted with a 3 1/2 ft. wand made of 1/2-in. dia. pipe with 3 ft. of flexible hose on the end. Valves on the tank and each end of the hose control flow of the gas.
To operate it, Maze first locates the tunnel with a rod or stick. Then he inserts the flexible hose into the hole and turns on the gas. A 20-second blast of vapor, which sinks down into the tunnel system and under-ground dens, is enough to do the job in most cases, Maze notes.
It costs $30 (Canadian) to fill the tank, which is big enough to take care of 300 to 500 holes, Maze says.
"I used to be an anhydrous ammonia dealer so I'm well aware of the risks involved in using this product," he emphasizes. "I always wear goggles and gloves and check the wind direction to make sure it's blowing away from me before I use it."
Out-of-pocket expenses were $1,500 (Canadian).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Keith Maze, Box 985, Unity, Sask., Canada SOK 4LO (ph 306 398-2869 or 2637).
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