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New Weed Wiper Goes In Circles
There are dozens of weed wipers on the market but none like the one designed and built by Kentucky farmer W.A. Johnson, of Louisville.
The rope-wick applicator (3 in. dia.) is built in 6 ft. sections, each of which spin in circles like giant-size mower blades as the wiper goes down the field to apply Roundup to tall growing Johnsongrass, volunteer corn and other weeds in soybeans, pasture, hay and other crops.
Called the Heliwick, it's designed to mount on the front of a tractor loader. It uses a hydraulic motor with a belt drive to power the center shaft of each rotor. A valve in the hydraulic line controls rotating speed of the rotors.
"For full width coverage over the row, each 6 ft. wiper section should rotate at about 100 rpm. At this speed, the ends of the applicators are traveling at 21.5 mph," explains Johnson. "The majority of the contact with weeds is made with the outer 12 in. of the applicators. With a ground speed of 4.5 mph, the applicators make contact with each weed three to five times as they pass over them assuring virtually 100% coverage and control."
Johnson field tested the Heliwick last year on 250 acres of soybeans. "The operation was smooth and trouble free. I used a mix of 1 part Roundup to 4 parts water, with approximately 1 gal. of Roundup per 50 acres," he points out. "On an acre basis, I used about the same amount of chemical as you'd use with a stationary wiper bar. The difference is that this machine, with its spinning action, wipes the entire plant, rather than simply spot treating it."
He's applied for a patent and would like to hear from interested manufacturers. Meanwhile, he's custom building units in a 15 ft. model (three 6 ft. overlapping sections) and a 20 ft. model (four 6 ft. overlapping sections).
The 15 ft. model sells for $1,995 and the 20 ft. for $2,595. For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Heliwick Mfg., 12406 Taylorsville Rd., Louisville, Kty. 40299 (ph 502 267-5263).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #2