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Artillery for Farmers

September 23, 2008

Fruits are among the hardest crops to grow organically on a large scale, owing to the fact that an apple orchard amounts to an entire field of genetically identical plants that are easily susceptible to any number of fungi, bugs, or other irritants. This may be why fruit growers have come up with some of the most bizarre, Rube-Goldberg-inspired machines that they swear make their jobs somewhat easier/ more fun.

Introducing the hail cannon – an agricultural howitzer that blasts extremely loud noises in order to disrupt the formation of hail stones, or to perform a backwoods Vermont version of 1812 overture.

The AP recently picked up this story in Bennington Vermont, which is doing its best to be a sleepy little town were it not for the constant cannon fire.

VT Orchard wakes the neighbors with hail cannon – AP

Despite utter dismissal from scientists, the farmers swear that these things get results. It should be considered, however, that most farmers I know would be seriously excited about any way that they could legally incorporate a cannon into a fruit-growing operation.

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