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Julie Mancini/Riverland News
Carroll Meridith walks alongside a mower while Ron Cannon operates a tractor and demonstrates how the “CannonLift” works to lift objects and place it only a nearby trailer. Cannon invented the device seven years ago, obtaining a patent in 2014. A year ago, the product was designed for full-scale production.
Agricultural Innovation

BY JEFF BRYAN
Riverland News

DUNNELLON, FLORIDA – Years ago, Ron Cannon found himself in a familiar quagmire, one in which he, his family and thousands of others in the agriculture industry have been in countless times before.

Opposed to the “wing-and-a-prayer approach,” the fifth-generation Dunnellon, Florida, farmer opted to combine his knowledge of welding and agricultural equipment to develop a solution to a decades-long issue: how to get the most out of a hay spear without additional equipment or putting costly tractors or, more important, others in harm’s way.

Hay spears have no practical mounting surface for attaching ropes, chains, cables, come-a-longs or the like to lift objects, Cannon explained. When an attachment is wrapped around the hay spear, he said, there is potential for slippage that can damage the object or equipment while creating an extremely dangerous condition for the operator and others nearby.

“It would either slip forward or slip backward and eventually slam back into the front of your tractor or slip off and could potentially fall and hurt someone,” Cannon said.

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