Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cropapult- Crop Catapult

Cropapult- Crop Catapult Saves Energy
  [vote for,

Ordinary farming practices require harvesting machines to haul thousands of kilos of potato, corn, apples and what-not from the field all the way to storage silos. Every unit of crop picked up during harvesting adds to the total load on the harvester's engine, thus fuel consumption increases over time. "CROPAPULTS" or Crop Catapults, lightweight harvester tractors rigged with cannons capable of launching fruit hundreds of feet in the air, would take aim at funnel-shaped nets poised over open silos. Crop can now be planted on extremely uneven terrain.

Cropapults should be lightweight and cheap. Cannons may be powered by compressed air. An even lighter Cropapult can be a robotic launcher that follows fruit pickers around- all the worker has to do is throw and orange into an opening, and the launcher does the rest. Cannons always point to the silo. Soft crop (ripe tomatos) may have to be launched from a closer distance than hard crop (potatos).

Five FISHBONES and I'm throwing this out the window!

mailtosalonga, Apr 01 2004

spud gun http://platinumchro...aphy.com/potato.htm
don't try this at home. [bneal27, Jun 03 2006]


       Why do you feel this will save money? Putting aside the expense of developing such a system and it's cost to purchase and maintain, there is physics to contend with. Why do you think it would be cheaper to run a compressor on a moving vehichle and to expend that energy to throw produce than to use the vehicle to pick up and deliver the goods to a certain point. You are still expending energy to move the goods either way. The catcher would still have to move the produce out of the area of the field. HOW would cropapults be light and cheap? If you don't know, then it's fantasy. Besides, except on small farms the distances from the middle of the fields to the edges where a catcher net could set up would be extreme for such a setup unless you are interested in vegetable soup.
Nitehawk, Apr 01 2004

       This is (somewhat) baked. Somewhere in the states, this town has a big contest to see who can build a catapult that will throw a pumpkin the furthest. I Believe they call it "punkin' chuckin". They also use air cannons.   

       of course they don't aim for silos, but they can get the pumpkins pretty far this way. I think a tomato or any other //soft crop// would bust if launched from that sort of a catapult.
echo, Apr 07 2004

       Originality overcomes feasibility problems: thumbs-up! One minor suggestion, though. During harvest, farmers work well into the night. Too dark to shoot. Therefore, in about 5% of plants include a luminescence agent to create tracer bullets, er, tracer vegetables.
booleanfool, Apr 07 2004

       I once knew a guy who would launch potatoes toward downtown Atlanta with a spud gun. /see link/   

       I don't think he was trying to feed anyone though.
bneal27, Jun 03 2006


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