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New Rope Sprayer Nails Tall Weeds

More and more farmers across the U.S. are using direct methods of applying herbicides to tall growing weeds (such as volunteer corn) in low growing crops (such as soybeans). We've told you about carpet-type applicators, such as the Quacker Whacker and the Weed Wiper. Now comes a new sprayer made out of rope.
New rope-wick applicators we've chased down use 112 in. nylon rope to draw herbicides from reservoirs and into direct contact with weeds. Ropes are suspended over crops in different ways to brush or wipe chemical on tall growing weeds. The new-style applicators are most effective when weeds are higher than crops, but units are also available for "wiping out" weeds between rows.
Much of the research into rope applicators has been done at the USDA's Southern Weed Science Laboratory, Stoneville, Miss.
Jim E. Dale, plant physiologist at the laboratory who developed a rope-wick applicator, has a set of plans available for interested do-ityourselfers.
He also has an experimental triangular-shaped rope applicator for use between rows. It has ropes down two sides, which are pointed down the row's center.
Dale shared his ideas with several interested companies. At least one company, Sprayrite Manufacturing Co., West Helena, Ark., is now manufacturing an applicator patterned after Dale's. Other manufacturers FARM SHOW talked to have taken a "wait and see" stance on rope-wick applicators.
Sprayrite Manufacturing came out with a commercial Wick Weeder last year and is offering an improved model for 1979.
Sprayrite recommends that its Wick Weeder be used with their Spray Sickle, a recirculating type sprayer.
Sprayrite's customers have experimented with both Roundup and 2, 4-D through the Wick bleeders, applying it primarily on Johnsongrass in cotton and in soybeans. Solutions are heavy, with Roundup mixed two parts water to one part chemical.
Another rope-wick applicator, not connected to the Southern Weed Laboratory, has cropped up in Texas. Inventors Bob Boyd and Jim Barton, of Hale Center, string nylon rope over a metal frame to make their new BoBar Rope Applicator. It's a gravity-fed system and reportedly can apply herbicides while traveling at speeds up to 8 mph. They're excited about the simplicity of the machine.
To give an idea of the size, the 6-row, 24 in. wide broadcast model weighs 325 lbs. Prices on the applicators range from $800 for the 4-row, over-the-row applicator, to $1250 for the 8-row model.
For more information on either of the commercial rope-wick applicators, or for do-it-yourself plans, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Moore, president, Sprayrite Mfg. Co., Box K, West Helena, Ark., 72390 (ph 501 572-6737).
FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Boyd or Jim Barton, BoBar Company, Box 341, Hale Center, Tx 79041 (ph 806 839-2542, or-806 879-2168).
For do-it-yourself plans, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: FARM SHOW Followup, Jim E. Dale, USDA Southern Weed Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 225, Stoneville, Miss. 38776 (ph 601 686-2311).


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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #1