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    Tumbleweed Terminator……Final Solution
    Category: Weekly Thoughts

    Tumbleweed control:  The tumbleweed menace has gone unanswered for ranchers, farmers, cities and counties for decades. Companies in the land management business have been unable to design a machine to shred and control the menace. To dispose tumbleweed has been pure man power with pitch forks and rakes to make a tumbleweed pile to crush or to burn. Counties have used their snow plows to gather and then crush tumbleweed under the truck wheels with limited success. This can also be counterproductive. Crushing can help spread seeds from fresh tumbleweeds that are still alive.

          The tumbleweed (Kali-tragus) is an amazing plant……..  it harvests it’s-self. In the fall as the ground loses moisture the lower stalk dries and becomes brittle and with a gust of wind the tumbleweed breaks away from its roots and travels with the wind. At this point the tumbleweed stem and branches are full of moisture and nutrients and one plant can have over 100,000 seeds to spread over the countryside. The tumbleweed plant is still very much alive. It is tough-you can bend it-twist it and try to crush it but it will not break. You can only cut into smaller pieces. As the tumbleweed gathers along fencing the human eye cannot discern the difference between the fresh and the old. To gain control of the tumbleweed menace all tumbleweed must be shredded with cutting blades. A powerful vacuum blower will then gather all cuttings and move the shredded tumbleweed into a container later to be processed. Tumbleweed is a great fuel. It could be processed into pellets and used in a wood burning stove or heater. In some parts of our world tumbleweed is used for cooking.

          There is no existing agriculture harvesting machinery that can shred Tumbleweeds. To swath or harvest for centuries a scythe (sickle) was used to cut roots. Our modern day Combines use the same principle………rotating scythe blades or scissor operating parallel to the earth surface. Similar concept used in lawn mowers. Tumbleweed is a mass up to four feet in diameter. A single blade will not shred tumbleweed. It will take multiple blades working together ……….like two lawn mower blade assemblies with mulching tips mounted vertically and interleaved rotating over 3,000 RPM. The shredded tumbleweeds then pass through a sizing grid with the action of a vacuum created by a metal impeller that then blows the shredded tumbleweed into a storage container or just blown into the country side.

    Posted by Josh P. on 03/01/2016