Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2010 Regional Award Winner


Steve Vokes - Lambton County

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Maria Van Bommel and Steve Vokes

Maria Van Bommel and Steve Vokes

You'd think farming on flat land would be easy, but Steve Vokes, who crops on more than 2,000 acres in Lambton County, knows that every terrain comes with different challenges. Flat land needs several municipal ditches to provide outlets for farm drainage systems. But keeping the drains clean and functioning can be expensive and time-consuming for farmers and municipalities. Vokes created a solution in his own farm shop. His excavator device is based on "wicking" principles and involves directly wet-rolling the surfaces of unwanted vegetation with herbicides. This targeted approach prevents spraying herbicide to other plants. By modifying his excavator, Vokes can easily access both sides of the ditches from one location by "rolling" along the vegetation, since pulling out weeds and woody growth by the roots could destabilize the banks. This one man show pays huge dividends with regard to operator safety and maintaining clear, stable ditch banks.

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