Pneumatic Conveyance Technology for Native Seed Harvesters

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$296,000.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
2006-33610-17326
Award Id:
72530
Agency Tracking Number:
2005-00100
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
100 Poly Drive, Suite 155, Billings, MT, 59101
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
LeeArbuckle
President
(406) 294-2995
arbuckle@bresnan.net
Business Contact:
MaggieArbuckle
Treasurer/Secretary
(406) 657-2995
arbuckle@bresnan.net
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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