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Thread: Conserve Fuel: Buy the SUV of Tractors???

  1. #1

    Conserve Fuel: Buy the SUV of Tractors???

    I guess we were surprised by all these facts more then we thought. As everyone knows, dairy farming is being as impacted by the high fuel prices as anyone else. In talking with my Uncle today, I found he made a few purchases over the winter to beat the fuel costs.

    The first and biggest purchase was a combination 400 horsepower tractor coupled to a 33 foot disc harrow. In putting 300 acres of corn this year (with another 120 to go) it has consumed just 300 gallons of fuel. We all figured it would burn more and those over the long run ended up costing more in fuel. Instead its dramatically cut down on fuel consumption by getting so much more done, so much quicker.

    The third purchase was for a haybine. The old one was only 10 feet wide while this new one is 16 feet wide. For every two rounds we make now, the old one would have required three passes. Considering the acreage we knock down (both for ourselves) and for custom chopping, this is a HUGE reduction in fuel.

    With the FSA Loans being dwindled down to nothing this year, it means a sizable chunk in capital investment (debt) but milk prices are rising and the milking cows are over 400 head now, so it should pan out.

    I got a chance to drive the new tractor today, and while it was just pushing haylage, it was sweet!!



    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Central (upstate) NY
    Posts
    1,457
    Travis - I hope things end up working out with you and yours. Neat toy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    kennewick wa
    Posts
    31
    Don't know how new that tractor is, but some of the new tractors have computers on the motors that change the horse power in different conditions. The boss says its made a different with fuel consumption. I use to run a small Michigan with a Detroit diesel. I was pretty much deaf at the end of the day. Wish I would of had that tractor to play with.
    Stacey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Quote Originally Posted by stacey martin View Post
    Don't know how new that tractor is, but some of the new tractors have computers on the motors that change the horse power in different conditions. The boss says its made a different with fuel consumption. I use to run a small Michigan with a Detroit diesel. I was pretty much deaf at the end of the day. Wish I would of had that tractor to play with.
    Stacey
    Ear plugs now or hearing aids later. Plugs cost about fifty cents a pair. Aids cost about $5,000.00 a pair plus incredible amounts of aggravation.

    Travis, that is some impressive tractor.

  5. #5
    It is a nice tractor. Coupled up with our silage chopper, we are starting to get really serious about crops. Right now the buzz word phrase in farming is "if it rusts, its depreciates and thus don't buy into it." It makes sense, but someone has to get the crops in and feed the cows, so over the years we have found ourselves doing more and more custom chopping and other farm work for other farmers.

    To be honest with you, we kind of figured it would be a fuel hog, but it gets so much more done, so much quicker that even though it consumes more fuel then the other tractors, it doesn't need to run longer to do the same job,so its saves on fuel. A lot of fuel!!

    The haybine, or a mowing machine that gets dragged behind the tractor is a whopping 16 feet. Everyone knows how long a 16 foot 2x6 is, so knocking down that much hay in a single pass makes a big chunk of real estate flat in a hurry. Just for time trials we took on a 28 acre field and had it down in 65 minutes.

    Its a lot of money, and a lot of big iron just to feed some hungry cows, but the white stuff is where the money is. We are hoping to buy another farm in the next few months. Its in foreclosure so we are really hoping to get it for a steal. That will allow us to milk a few hundred more cows in its 1 million dollar state of the art milking parlor. (You can milk 32 cows at a time instead of our current 12). If we don't do that, we'll have to build a new barn here at home. We are just getting too big.

    It all boils down to milk and money. Sometimes the two don't meet up, but we just keep going. Here is a picture of our silage chopper.

    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 06-10-2008 at 12:37 AM.
    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!"

  6. #6
    It was kind of funny, yesterday we got one of the trucks stuck in the mud, so I grabbed a chain and tugged it out. No big deal, but as we did it, My Uncle told me about a story regarding my Great Grandfather and that very same spot.

    Apparently he was a Farmall Man back in the day when he got one stuck in the same spot. Well this John Deere salesman always wanted him to buy a John Deere and he happened by and said a John Deere would not have gotten stuck there. So My Great Grandfather told him if his John Deere could pull out his Farmall and then power through the mud without getting stuck, he would buy it.

    Well sure enough the John Deere did it, so true to my Great Grandfather's word, he bought the darn thing, but as I said, he was a Farmall man, so he never liked the John Deere ever after he bought it.

    Well a few months later the John Deere salesman wanted him to speak at the Potato Farmers Board up in Bangor. My Great Grandfather tried to get out of it but they insisted and even came down and got him and took him to the meeting. They introduced him by saying that this was Mr Johnson and he farmed x amount of acres, had 5 tractors and was one of the biggest potatoe farmers in Waldo County and that he wanted to say a few words on his new John Deere tractor.

    He said "Well boys, I think you are a bit confused on your facts. I have 4 tractors and one John Deere."

    Needless to say they were not to happy about that.
    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!"

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