Duck Foot puts pulses in their place

Sask. farmers who invented the rubber paddle tines say they reduce cutter bar loss by as much as 60 percent

BRANDON — Watching lentils bounce around on the cutter bar and then disappear is like watching loonies and toonies disappear.

One Saskatchewan farm family decided to stop the loss.

Chrisa Kastning and her husband, Steve, were at Manitoba Ag Days explaining to farmers how their rubber Duck Foot tines help reduce pulse losses.

“We were harvesting lentils, and we were watching how many lentils were just sitting on the cutter bar and not moving. That’s money. So my husband Steve designed these paddle tines specifically for lentils,” says Chrisa Kastning.

“We wanted something to help clear the cutter bar and move the lentils into the combine and create a nice even feed. And it had to be easy to quickly attach and remove.”

That was in 2016 and after some testing and tweaking, they launched the latest version in 2018.

A farm shop start-up project doesn’t have anywhere near the development budget of a major equipment manufacturer. The cost of experiments and prototypes has prevented many good products from seeing the light of day. But things went somewhat more smoothly for the Kastnings.

She says they started making their prototypes in Edmonton, then switched to making prototypes on a 3D printer in Saskatoon.

Steve Kastning explains that the Duck Foot tine paddle sweeps more crop into the header, thus reducing losses in lentils, soybeans, wheat, canola, chickpeas, straight cut canola, edible beans and other crops. | Ron Lyseng photo

“We’re satisfied that the design we have now is doing what it’s supposed to do. The Duck Foot clears the cutter bar and feeds the crop. Our tests in specialty pulse crops have shown the Duck Foot reduces cutter bar losses by 50 to 60 percent.

“You don’t have to remove the original tines. You just snap the Duck Foot onto the reel pipe. It slides over the existing tine. Originally, we used a zip-tie or cable-tie to hold it on. Now we’ve got a clip that holds them securely. Since we’ve come out with our Duck Foot, there have been other people copying it. But we are the originators of the slip-over paddle tine and we are design patented.

“We’re building them in Edmonton and Saskatchewan, not in China. We chose not to go that route. We want a high quality product, made with good materials, that will be durable.”

The six-inch-wide paddle lifts crop the regular tines leave behind. The paddle allows the operator to run a slower reel speed and a faster combine speed.

Kastning recommends that a Duck Foot be installed over every second tine. The Duck Foot lists for $12.95 each.

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