MacFarlane’s New Weed Wicker

Published On: May 21, 2015Categories: Farm Management

We’re always looking for ways to do our jobs more efficiently on the pheasant farm and maintain the quality of the environment for our birds. It’s not that we shy away from work, but working smarter is always better.

That brings us to our new weed wicker – yes, wicker, not wacker. Ragweed, as anyone with allergies knows, grows quickly in the spring so it’s great in the flight pens because it provides excellent cover early on. But as it grows, it shades out and kills the lower cover, like lambsquarter and, if left alone, it will soon grow large enough to tear the nets over the pens.

You can drive ATVs through the pens and spray herbicide, but the mist goes everywhere and affects a lot more than the ragweed. The team did a little research and discovered Vogel’s – a company in Canada that produces custom weed wickers.

Our new 15-foot weed wicker, three lengths of five-foot PVC pipe, is pretty slick. The herbicide saturates a rope threaded through the pipes which have holes drilled at set intervals. The pipes are set to the height of the ragweed, which always grows taller then the rest of the cover.

The herbicide wicks through the rope, through the holes, and it rubs on the top of the ragweed. It dries almost instantly affecting just the ragweed, not the birds and not the lambsquarter. After a couple of days the ragweed dries and crumbles to the bottom of the pen.

The PVC lengths can be popped off so it’s easy to get in and out of the pens. There is less use of herbicide, less waste of the herbicide used, no excessive herbicide floating around in the pens and the PVC pipe is a lot lighter then lengths of metal pipe. It also saves time because we can cover 15 feet of pen in one pass.

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