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Pollen-Aider Gives Nature A Helping Hand
An Illinois inventor is out to fool Mother Nature with his new automatic pollination machine.
"We've had yield increases of up to 6 bu. per acre," says Dean Meador, a seed corn grower who farms near Lanark, Ill. His Pollen-Aider machine sucks pollen from male rows of corn and blows it to female rows. He got the idea from watching other growers use airplane propellers to try to improve pollination.
The machine consists of a large vacuum fan at center, fitted with low-lying shaker arms which brush against two male rows of corn. The machine sucks up whatever pollen comes loose and distributes it out along a blower pipe to three female rows on either side of the, vacuum fan. Four drop pipes hang down on either side of the female rows. Pollen blows out the drop pipes, striking "difuser" plates that direct pollen toward the female ears.
"It provides an even distribution of pollen. All rows get the same treatment. When pollination is left up to nature, the middle rows usually yield lower," says Meador.
The 4-bladed vacuum fan is hydraulically powered and runs at two speeds. Meador mounts the Pollen-Aider on a Hagie Hi-Boy. He recommends two trips through fields to pollinate. The first time when pollen first falls, and the second 2 to 3 days later.
Meador plans to market the machine to other seed corn growers and seed corn companies for around $6,500.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dean Meador, Box 94, Lanark, Ill. 61046 (ph 815 493-2690 or 493-6515).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #4