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Rubber Mounted Rotary Hoe Wheels
Illinois farmer Fred Kestel has come up with a way to get more "ground action" out of the tines on his rotary hoe. It worked so well he's patented the idea and plans to bring it to market.
Kestel put small blocks of rubber between the tines so that as they go into the ground they're bent back slightly - about 1/8 in. - and when they leave the ground they spring backwards, kicking weeds and crust up into the air.
"They're more gentle on the crop be-cause they don't work as deep as regular fixed wheels but do abetter job on weeds, which grow closer to the surface," says Kestel. "The tines have more `float' - moving forward and back and from side to side. In two years of hard use, I've never had a bent tine, even on rocky ground. Because of its effectiveness in killing weeds, it's the best alternative to chemicals yet developed.
"These new hoe wheels are a lot easier on corn and bean crops because they flex and float as opposed to conventional rigid tine wheels and do most of their digging in the top inch or two of the soil, where most weeds are. Corn and beans are usually rooted deeper than one or two inches, which prevents them from being dug out."
Tines attach to a center metal plate with a 1 1/2-in. rubber block between each pair of tines. Prototype wheels are about an inch larger in dia. than standard hoe wheels.
Kestel is looking for a manufacturer or he may produce them himself.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frederick Kestel, Rt. 1, Box 44, New Lenox, Ill. 60451 (ph 815 485-5613).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #3