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Thread: A Time to Sow Apparently...

  1. #1

    A Time to Sow Apparently...

    Its been said that there is a time to sow, and a time to reap, and as a farmer you better know when to do either. Well this week I had a chance to drive Big Blue around some of my fields as the boys did a little crop rotation, that is turning a corn field into a hayfield. They do this every 5-10 years which is better for the soil. Normally in the spring of the year its all out chaos to get the corn seed in the ground, but this time of year things were a bit slower so I got a shot at it.

    It's a pretty big tractor, 400 HP and spends 90% of its life dragging a 33 foot disc harrow. It doesn't sound big, but it covers some serious ground in the end. It also does so very efficiently at about 3/4 of a gallon burned per acre. Its also pretty easy to drive, a seat that is more plush then my recliner and its turned slightly so you don't need to crank your head over your shoulder to look back, or straight ahead. As for creature comforts...its not lacking on anything. You could snap on the GPS if you decided steering should be left up to satellites and microchips and of course has power-shift so you can always find the right gear. It's definitely a nice little tractor and effortless to drive. Last year we timed one of the kids on the farm, and the ten year old knocked out a 7 acre field in 25 minutes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big Blue Small.jpg  
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    As a side note on farm life here, I have once again expanded my flock. I got a line up on 6 sheep, but those 6 sheep soon grew to 14 and so they delivered them on Sunday. For those keeping track I am now up to 24 sheep on the farm. I got a few Montadales, but most (80%) are Hampshires.

    I also got my road completed last month. It was a 910 foot road that ended up taking well over 1000 yards of gravel to build due to the wet weather, but it came out better then I ever thought it would and will help me get crops off the field, and get wood from the forest to the paper mills.

    While we had some equipment there, we ripped out a rockwall that separated two fields making a 4 acre field, and a 2 acre field into a single field. By working the stumps and trees out of the margins, we probably got this field back up to 7-8 acres and its big enough now to work into corn. As you can see from my first post, working in small fields is no longer an option for us...big blue takes an acre itself just to turn around!

    So things are going good here farm wise anyway. Lots of improvements, land clearing and expansion of the flock. What more could you want?
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    10,604
    Man, I would love to drive something like that. All I get to drive is my lawn tractor.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    That tractor looks like a fun ride. 3/4 of a gallon per acre sounds pretty good to this city boy, How to other tractors compare?

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I was reading a few nights ago about the Boeing 747 NASA uses to carry the space shuttle from Edwards AFB in California back to Florida for the next launch. The article said it burns about 1 gallon of fuel for each 230 foot length of the 747 it flies. Not real efficient, and it probably wouldn't be very good at turning a corn field, either.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,099
    That is a little faster than my team of horses and I can disc a field! If I disced with my team (I use my tractor for this job, riding a disc is a very rough day!) it would only be 3' coverage on a 6' disc as the horse drawn disc is a single disc so you have to overlap half if it to get a finish job.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    My dad was a farmer when I was real little... I think by the time I was about 10 he was in town doing carpentry work. We went back to the farm for a short period in '52-54 when I was about 11 or 12... but then back into town to carpentry. I knew by then that farming was a waaaaaaaaaaaaay more work than I wanted to do.

    I spent my working career at a city job doing international shipping.. more money and less sweat.

    Now the biggest thing I drive is my Troy-bilt lawn tractor on about 3/4 acre of lawn. The rest of the lot is woods, rocks and the house and garage.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,833
    "little thing"??
    Different standards for different farms. I think about 50% of the tractors in use around here are still Ford 8Ns.
    That would be fun to drive, for a while.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    I don't know one farm tractor model from another, the last time I drove a tractor I was 19 (1960) and on my way to the Navy. I stayed a month in Barnett, OK with my mother and her husband who had taken a job on a wheat farm... on the way to the job, a guy ran a stop sign, colided with my folks car and broke my step-father's arm. Since I was visiting for that month before I left for boot camp, I offered to work in his place until he got healed enough so he could do some of the work... The farmer put me on a tractor pulling a 4 or 6 row harrow in about a 60 acre field... an experience driver probably could have done the field in half a day... took me all day, but the tractor was old and had a hand lever to control the speed, but the lever spring or catch didn't work... the only way I could maintain any speed was to sit and hold the lever in place... as I said, farming is waaaaaaaaaaaaay to much work for this old boy.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  9. #9
    That's the interesting thing, a ten year old is more then capable of driving it...it really is effortless. And the GPS has nothing to do really with steering, its just that over the course of its life, a farmer might not get 100 coverage from his implement by riding too much to one side over the other, The GPS makes sure it tracks perfect and never repeats itself so it burns less fuel.

    As for the fuel Vaughn...I'm not sure. I know our last disk was half the size, but the tractor was smaller too. But I think it took 1600 gallons of fuel to put in 1200 acres of corn. Now its like 800 gallons for 1200 acres of corn. I think anyway, but we got it when the price of fuel was 4 bucks, now that its cheap again, its going to take longer to recover the cost of the tractor. Its a 125,000 dollar machine pulling a 50,000 disk harrow. That's a lot of zeros when 100 pounds of milk only brings you 18 bucks!

    As for the throttle Chuck...no holding it really. It has load sensors on the engine that gives you the most fuel efficient position based on what gear you are in. You can mash your foot to the floor on the gas pedal, or set the throttle, but it pretty mush says "you are wasting fuel" and adjusts the throttle so its always fuel efficient no matter what gear you are in. You can overide it, and on pto equipment it gets confused, but if you want to save money, you use it as much as you can.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Odessa, Tx
    Posts
    1,813
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    Its also pretty easy to drive, a seat that is more plush then my recliner and its turned slightly so you don't need to crank your head over your shoulder to look back, or straight ahead. As for creature comforts...its not lacking on anything.
    Boy does that "SEAT" sound Comfy. Sure beats those big MM's I drove for a large Ranch/Farm when I was a kid,..........NO SEAT,... you had to STAND drive them, usually at an angle so you could watch the plows and still see where you were going.

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