In 2016, a local farmer went big with his hemp crop. Hemp for CBD products has been profitable in Colorado, but until then, the harvesting had been accomplished by hand. CBD is found primarily in the flowers and growth at the top of the plant. Our customer planted hundreds of acres of hemp for both seed and for CBD. The seed was harvested with a combine, with the header set as high as possible. But in normal grain harvesting, the vegetable material stripped away from the seeds is spread back on to the field. Our customer needed a way to capture the chaff material where the CBD was found, rather than spreading it. We developed the Grasshopper. With some minor modifications to the combine, we can collect the chaff at the back end of the combine, direct it onto a conveyor, and capture it in a 45 cubic meter bin trailer.
- Inlet conveyor and off-loading conveyor
- Live bottom conveyor to move the harvest within the bin.
- Independent, diesel powered hydraulic system
- Variable speed control
- Remote control from the combine cab, or local control near the hydraulic unit.
- 4 wireless cameras, viewed in the combine cab
- Upper bin panels fold down to reduce overall height to legal highway limits
- Large tires
The concept can also be used for weed control. If wheat fields become laden with rye grass or other tares, spreading the chaff back on to the ground just perpetuates the cycle. By catching the chaff in the GrassHopper, the chaff can be disposed of in a controlled manner, preventing the weed seeds from falling back onto the field. Users in Australia (where the trailers are known as “chaff carts”) estimate a 60% seed capture, allowing farmers to greatly reduce their herbicide costs
Other uses might include:
- Capturing non-CBD hemp (and other crop) chaff and flowers for cattle feed
- Distributing feed to the field
This first GrassHopper was designed to be the largest capacity unit that can be transported over-the-road on a low-boy trailer, and to handle the CBD flowers gently. Call us to discuss:
- Using the hydraulic system of the combine to power the belts
- Smaller capacities
- Other bin unloading options (dump doors rather than conveyors)