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Big Brush harvestor
A big brush harvester developed by an Idaho inventor "sweeps" grain off stalks and into a platform auger that screens out trash and fines on-the-go.
Ida Man Inc., Burley, Idaho, has built 40 prototypes of the new brush-type harvestor for inventor Ray Anderson. Hesston Corporation provided much of the research and development funding for the 40 test models, which have been operated extensively throughout Western states this year. Although developed primarily to harvest grass and wild herb seeds, the company has also tested it in small grains.
"It's a cross between a swather and a street sweeper. Costs much less than a combine to own and operate," says Gary Graber, Ida Man Inc., representative. "It'll harvest many tiny-seeded crops that conventional combines just can't handle. It can also harvest crops without causing damage to the plant so you can go through a second or third time to get seeds as they mature."
In addition to successfully testing the brush harvester in oats and rice, the company has been harvesting valuable wildland seeds such as crested wheat grass, sage-brush, wild rye, fireweed and many other wild crops that are in demand for wildlife habitate improvement projects around the country. The crops bring as much as $3 or more per pound.
The brush harvester uses a 14-ft. long, 3-ft. dia. nylon bristled "street sweeper" brush to comb stalks against a bar beneath the brush. As seed is combed off the stalks, it's pushed into an auger running across the back of the head. It augers the seed across a cleaning screen and blower that sucks the seed away from the auger to a clean grain tank. Trash, fines, or larger variety seeds that don't pass through the screen are augered off the end of the header onto the ground. The hydrostatically-powered header has just three moving parts and weighs less than a swather head. "The Poor Man's Combine", as one company representative called it, mounts on a self-propelled swather base but could be modified to fit a bi-directional tractor.
Ida Man hopes to have the brush harvester on the market by next year together with Hesston Corp.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ida Man Inc., P.O. Box 1251, Burley, Idaho 83318 (ph 208 678-1223).

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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #5