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Beetle Eater Blows And Sucks Bugs Off Plants
"We've totally eliminated the need for chemicals," says Jimmy Szynal, the Florence, Mass., inventor of the tractor-powered "Beetle Eater" that blows bugs off crops and then sucks them up to kill them.
Szynal got the idea when a local potato grower came to him for a machine that would get rid of beetles in his potato fields without the use of chemicals. His prototypes have worked so well he's now testing the machine on insects in other crops.
"When I first built the machine I had trouble because I tried to pull bugs off the plants only using vacuum. The problem was that bugs hide under leaves or down in the middle of the plant. That's when I got the idea of blowing them off the plant before sucking them up," says Szynal. He says the Beetle Eater now gets 85 to 90% of all bugs in the crop, which is as good or better than the chemicals commonly used on potatoes.
Two large, pto-powered 28-in. dia. fans provide the blowing and sucking power. One fan blows air to each of the four rows through a 3 by 10-in. rectangular duct while the other sucks air in from the four rows through a 12-in. dia. flexible plastic tube.
Air travels at about 300 mph coming out of the blower tubes, blasting up under the plants. As the insects are dislodged, they're blown toward the large vacuum tube that's positioned over the top of the row. Bugs are sucked through the tube and right into the fan blades which kill the bugs and then blows them back out onto the field.
"We can get right down close to the ground so we remove beetles off the entire plant. Requires only about a 60-hp. tractor and we can travel fast at 6 or 7 mph," says Szynal.
This summer Szynal has been testing his two 4-row prototypes in soybeans, edible beans, pepper, cotton and other crops, in addition to potatoes. "We think it'll compete effectively with chemicals in many different crops. There's very little to maintain or go wrong on the machine. Interest has been tremendous by everyone who's seen it work," he says.
The Beetle Eater is patented and Szynal is looking for a manufacturer.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, James Szynal, 88 N. Main St., Florence, Mass. 01060 (ph 413 584-2859).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4