El Paso County Unveils "Tumbleweed Eating Machine"

People in southern Colorado know what a nuisance tumbleweeds can be, blocking roads and nearly burying homes. Now, El Paso County has a new machine to help combat the problem.

It's a John Deere 6910 Forage Harvester that has been modified to grind up tumbleweeds. It came with a $86,000 price tag.

"It was not designed to go into dirt and heavy tumbleweeds, but the modifications that we made, have made it into an ideal tumbleweed eater," said El Paso County Operations Manager Max Kirschbaum.

Kirschbaum said the county expects to see a quick return on its investment in the machine.

The county said the machine is more efficient at removing the nuisance plants and takes less manpower to operate. Previously, the county had to pull people off other projects in order to do tumbleweed duty.

Chaffee County has a similar machine.