Cool Tools from the GLEXPO 2016 Trade Show

  Hort Snacks - March 2017
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 Harvest or Production Assistance Machinery | Bird Deterrent | Seeders / Planters | Weeding Implements | Spray Equipment | Ultra Low Volume Spray Equipment | Information Delivery

Trade shows are sort of like an epic window-shopping experience, where you go and check out new and interesting things, but don’t really have a huge amount of pressure to immediately spend all your money on the things that you see. You can gather a bit more information, have things explained to you and you can go home to sleep on it. At the most recent Great Lakes Expo trade show in Michigan, I saw a number of things that were interesting, which I thought might be worth sharing.

Harvest or Production Assistance Machinery

The specific purpose of these pieces of equipment can vary quite a bit, but generally, they are meant to allow your workers to be more efficient in completing some tedious but necessary task in the field, in a more comfortable and less draining manner. I’ve seen a wide range of these over the years, ranging from drag sleds, mounted ironing boards and just plain boards carried behind a tractor. These examples represent a bit of a step up, both in quality and comfort, as well as in scale.

Harvest / Production Assistance Machinery
Production Assistance Equipment
Photos by Robert Spencer

Bird deterrent – Fly Away Birdies Humming Line (

There are lots of different ways to scare away birds, but there are a couple of key methods. The first is to
play upon their various fear mechanisms and the second is to make sure that you mix things up (over
and over). This “humming wire” was really simple, but could be a useful tool in the bird-scaring toolbox.

Humming wire bird deterrent system
Photo by Robert Spencer

Seeders / Planters

There are many, many, many different seeders out there, each with similar and unique qualities that you might or might not value for what you are trying to accomplish. This particular unit seemed different to me, mainly in that it seemed pretty robust and had the deep scoops on the wheel, which would certainly get the seed planted into the ground, likely in a range of conditions. You might even get it to work in mulch, but don’t quote me on that. I didn’t see how flexible or adaptable it was, but one could assume that it could be adjusted somewhat to meet your needs.

The potato planter is a mini version that can be used for small scale situations.

Mini potato planter
Photos by Robert Spencer

Weeding implements

Similar to seeders, there are many different types of weeders out there. This one was interesting in its retro appearance and simplicity. I’m not saying that I’d use it, but strap a kid (erm… employee) to it and you’d be cooking with gas.

Weeding implement
Photo by Robert Spencer

Spray Equipment

Shielded or protected pesticide applications are more common these days, in the interest of reducing non-target incidents. There is also lots of equipment and devices for applying pesticides to different crops, such as orchards or whatever. The Dr. Octopus-style model was very interesting, to say the least.

Shielded spray equipment
Directed spray equipment
Photos by Robert Spencer

Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Spray Equipment

I’ve been seeing more of this sort of equipment over the last number of years, as peoples’ interest in spot spraying or precision targeted applications of pesticides (usually herbicides) has increased. This technology works on the basic premise that they apply the product in virtually no water volume (I think). These examples represent improvements to previous versions, with chunkier tires, sturdier frames, adjustable handle bar columns (for people of different heights), as well as spray guards/covers that spring back to hug or go around things. Overall, these look like good options, with a range of choices for different crop scenarios.

ULV Spray Equipment
ULV Spray equipment
Photos by Robert Spencer

Information delivery

Producers are considered to be fairly trustworthy in terms of the information that they provide, with the majority of audiences. There are many opportunities for you to provide information on your industry(ies) to the public and your customers. This was a nice example of information that was being provided by one industry organisation.

Information resources
Photo by Robert Spencer
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This information published to the web on February 27, 2017.