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Duck Foot Looks to Solve Swathing Headaches

By Spencer Myers
Staff Writer

If you’re growing soybeans or lentils, chances are one of the problems you’ve faced during harvest is knife clearance while swathing. Even in crops like wheat and canola, flat crops or uneven stalks can lead to all sorts of clearance issues that can cost you valuable time. Another problem is pod-shattering from the swather reel. The operator usually has to speed up the reel to help the plant clear the knife, but this can lead to increased pod-shattering and a potential yield decrease.

While yields and prices for new crops like soybeans are encouraging more planted acres, with new crops come new problems to solve. The Duck Foot is trying to help producers who are encountering these emerging harvest hiccups.

How does the Duck Foot help?

Pictured above, the Duck Foot has a wide paddle-like design that helps sweep the plant towards and over the knife. The wider design allows the operator to set the reel at a lower speed, and this combined with the wide design helps to “scoop” the plant over the knife.

As the Duck Foot has a wider surface area, it helps to push the plant over the knife, versus traditional swather fingers that have a much slimmer profile and less surface area available to push the stalk towards the tractor.

It clips onto the existing swather reel by sliding over the finger and clamping onto the reel. Inventor Steve Kastning says that they work great by themselves, but adding a zip-tie for added security will add some extra stability.

This product was featured as one of the new inventions at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina, SK earlier this year, where I talked with the inventor Steve Kastning about why he and his wife invented the Duck Foot and how they’ve tested it on their own farm.

(Without the Duck Foot): “I was finding that in lentils it was stripping or else it would just sit there and take two or three bats, you have to run your reel so fast just to get it to go through.”

(With the Duck Foot) “It threshed way better, it wasn’t stripping, I didn’t have the loss of kernels because of the fingers, and it just cleared the cutter bar way better.”

The Duck Foot is on sale now online at the link below for a retail price of $8.50 USD per unit. They are designed to fit MacDon swather components but will work on reels with similar designs or diameters.

To see how it works, click HERE to watch our AgDealerTV video where Scott Garvey interviews Steve Kastning from CFPS 2018.

To learn more about the Duck Foot or to place an order you can visit