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Pneumatic Conveyance Technology for Native Seed Harvesters

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Arbuckle Ranch, Inc.
100 Poly Drive, Suite 155 Billings, MT 59101
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Pneumatic Conveyance Technology for Native Seed Harvesters
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2006-33610-17326
Award Amount: $296,000.00


Native grass seed is important to restoration or reclamation of burned, mined or otherwise disturbed lands. The native seed industry is growing rapidly to meet increasing demand for more seed species in commercial quantities. However, the morphology of the seed of many important species of native grasses makes them difficult to harvest resulting in limited supplies and high prices. Combines and other conventional harvesters such as strippers are often unable to effectively carry out one or more of the key steps of harvest: 1) dislodgement, 2) separation, 3) conveyance, and 4) offloading. This creates an opportunity for new devices such as the pneumatic conveyance system on the Arbuckle Native Seedster that improve seed handling efficiency and overall productivity. The Arbuckle Native Seedster patented technology achieves a high level of seed recovery by plucking seed with almost no impurities thus simultaneously carrying out the first two steps-dislodgement and separation. This makes development of an effective system to convey and off-load harvested seed crucial to development of a high productivity continuous flow native grass seed harvester. The premise of the PCS is that the increased seed flow is most effectively handled by a system of pneumatic conveyance that seamlessly engages dislodged native grass seed in flight and conveys it to a bag. This is because many species of native grass seed have seed morphology that often coheres and clogs if it comes to a stop. Pickup velocity of air flow is several times the saltation velocity that moves seed already in flight.

Principal Investigator:

Lee Arbuckle

Business Contact:

Maggie Arbuckle
Small Business Information at Submission:

Arbuckle Ranch, Inc.
100 Poly Drive, Suite 155 Billings, MT 59101

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No