WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 10, 2013, 10:15 PM

New product could benefit farmers with flooding problems

Comstock, MN (WDAY TV) - A local Engineer has created a new product that could soon help farmers with flooding issues.

Comstock, MN (WDAY TV) - A local Engineer has created a new product that could soon help farmers with flooding issues.

Today, officials with Cass County and The Red River Basin Commission got a sneak peak at the new technology to see what it can do.

Dave Majkrzak grew up on a farm. He's witnessed several floods. Now after three years, he and a local farmer created this, a side ditcher.

David Majkrzak, Creator: “If it weren't for the snow the water would be moving.”

The equipment is used as an attachment to a tractor to break up ice in ditches around a farmstead.

Majkrzak: “Literally on this farm you have two or three tractors sitting here doing nothing this time of year that could be hooked to a piece of equipment like this doing some good.”

The attachment has a hydraulic system that moves this 48 inch high powered blade through snow, creating a path for water to flow.

Majkrzak: “We're not trying to clean the ditch out. We're just trying to lead the water through the snow that's blocking it. Once the water starts to flow it will cut through to the bottom of the ditch and drain the remainder of the water behind you.”

It can cut into snow with one single pass up to two feet and with multiple passes, up to nine feet. The hydraulic arm can stretch out 27 feet from the center of a tractor.

Majkrzak: “If more and more people started to do it, it could potentially have an effect on a watershed area or maybe even a river crest.”

The blade can be controlled by GPS. This will allow the driver to know exactly how deep the cut is at all times.

Majkrzak: “We can then control the bottom of the cutter within an inch.”

After a day of demonstration of turning ditches like this, into flowing ones like this, it seems Majkrzak's invention is catching attention.

Lance Yohe, Ex. Director, Red River Basin Commission: “It could have real benefits where areas have ice jams building up.”

Red River Basin Commission Executive Director Lance Yohe sees a lot of potential with the new creation and hopes it can help not only farmers in the future but the entire community.

Yohe: “Maybe down the road we can do a pilot project to see what we can learn from it and see if we can actually use it and control the peaks, and the flow, and the timing, and get some advantages that way.”

The attachment costs about $35,000.