Steve Koch, Director of Agriculture Division of Flame Engineering, Inc., demonstrated a propane burner that can be used both to prune and sanitize your fields for insects and disease at the Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. The machine has been used to kill potato tops, but he demonstrated its use to prune wild blueberries (see http://www.flameengineering.com/Potato_Vine_Flamers.html).
The flamer uses both vaporized and liquid propane gas to produce a flame of 2050 degrees F. It has a 250 gallon propane tank with 8 nozzles that burn a 10-foot swath. The cost of the unit delivered is about $12,000, but would be less if multiple orders were made. They have kits that will cover 6’ at $2700.00 and the flamer can be constructed to cover up to a 65’ width.
The local distributor will be No Frills Oil Company in Hancock, Maine. For more information, please contact Bill Birdsall at 207-422-3581.
15 growers attended the demonstration where the flamer did an excellent job despite the moist condition’s from the previous day’s 4.5 inch rainfall.