Feeding Beef Cattle Dec 1

Tristan the German Shepherd on a hay bale

Now that the cattle have eaten most of their fall pasture, it’s time to start feeding them again. Feeding the cattle at this time of year is nothing unusual, but having no snow on the ground and being able to wear a baseball cap is!

In this video I’m using a John Deere 630 with a custom built bale feeder to feed my father’s Hereford and Angus beef cattle.

Also, my less than two year old German Shepherd was absolutely loving it. He was pretty small still when we were feeding last year, so I didn’t take him out too often and he mostly tried to hide. This year he knew he was in charge, and he was happy to show that off to those cows!

Putting Equipment Away for the Winter

I had to move the ’39 A out of where I had it currently being stored (it’s a long story), and since it’s not running great and is a hand start I most likely won’t be getting it out this winter, so I put it behind everything else in the side of the barn. I’ve had the carb rebuilt, and it still isn’t running too well. Anyway, since I had it out and had some of the other tractors started and moved out as well, I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a short video.

We’re fortunate that it’s been this warm with the weather as good as it has been. Typically by this time of year we’re already accumulating some snowfall and the temperatures are rarely above the mid-20s.

Hopefully next year I’ll be able to get it running better. But the list of machines I have to work on is getting pretty large…

Winter Is Knocking

Farmall Model A with snow-capped mountains

One thing about living in Star Valley–as the saying goes, we’re not sure if we’ll get summer, but we’ve never missed a winter. This year seemed unusually hot and smoky, but when it comes time switch to fall, it always tends to go right into winter. We’ve received a few light dustings of snow already, but I don’t think it will be very long until the snow is here to stay.

With the change to winter also brings a few changes on the farm. Though we still work on and tinker on tractors, not having a heated shop and the lack of daylight makes it a little harder and somewhat less desirable. Instead of working in the fields we turn to the chores of feeding the cattle on a daily basis (photos and videos to come, I’m sure) and having to move and shovel snow. However, winter also brings the winter activities of snowmobiling and other winter sports. This year I’ve also purchased a Timbersled (a track for my dirt bike), so that should be fun and a new adventure as well.

The photo above is a photo of a Farmall Model A. I’m not exactly sure of the year, but it is a tractor that is currently being used as a decoration on my uncle’s farm on my mother’s side in Etna, Wyoming.

If you’ve been following the past few blog posts or YouTube videos, you’ve seen pictures and videos of the Farmall B. The Farmall A is basically the same tractor, but in a different configuration. Where the A has a wide front, the B has a narrow front and a slightly wider rear end.

John Deere MT and Farmall B Side By Side

John Deere MT and Farmall B Side By Side

In this video I give a brief comparison of the Farmall B and John Deere MT. The B and the MT were both targeted at a similar market, are around the same age, and pretty similar power-wise. This video is not a full in-depth review or a comparison of each tractor, but I thought it would be fun to show them off and have them be parked next to each other.

Model:John Deere MTFarmall B
Years Produced:1949 – 19521939 – 1947
Total Built:30,47275,241
Original Price:$1,200$770
Drawbar HP:14.0816.21
Belt HP:20.7818.39
Engine Size:1.6L 2-cylinder1.9L 4-cylinder
Dry Weight:3,183 lbs2,400 lbs
Transmission:4 forward, 1 reverse4 forward, 1 reverse
Ref Links:Deere MT TractordataFarmall B Tractordata
John Deere MT and Farmall B Comparison Chart (According to tractordata.com)

As you can see from the table above, the two tractors are pretty similar in many ways. In my own opinion and from my own reading, I would guess that the John Deere Model M was designed to compete against the Farmall A. Keep in mind that tractor development takes several years, so the two years between the two doesn’t mean the one wasn’t influenced by the other. Plus, no development is done in a vacuum (completely independent thought from the other). Also, given that the JD M may have been in response to the Farmall M, I would guess that the MT was in response to the B (as the M and A are both wide front “standards”).

Since the MT was developed later, they were able to make some improvements over the B, such as a better live-hydraulic system and a quick-attach system that was also hydraulically controlled. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a standard three point system (due to patents having yet expired), so the system Deere came up with for the MT was quickly abandoned once Deere was able to implement a standard three point system. However, the hydraulics introduced on the M would remain with Deere throughout the remainder of the two-cylinder tractors era.

Though the Farmall A continued to live on for several more years as a “Super A”, the B was to be no more. It was replaced by the C, which physically more resembled the layout of the Deere MT than the B that it replaced. The Super A and C would live on for many more years, and the M would see direct replacements until the 430 was eventually discontinued in 1960.

John Deere MT Update

John Deere MT with Series H Number 47 Manure Spreader with Sunset and Mountains

The John Deere MT that we picked up has been a fun little tractor. However, although it looks nice on the outside, it still has a lot of work to do before it will be a good and reliable tractor. The biggest item with it at the moment is the transmission. When I first picked it up, the transmission housing was rusted and the back axle was seized when placed in gear. Upon draining the housing, it was about half oil and half water. Sadly, it hadn’t been drained out in years and years and condensation eventually overtook oil content.

Due to this, the bearings in the transmission housing were rusted, and even though we freed it up and replaced the oil, they still needed to be replaced to make it function properly.

Fortunately, the MT is a pretty easy tractor to work on and split (separate the front from the back). I’ve got all the parts I need, so hopefully I’ll be able to get them swapped out and replaced pretty quickly this weekend. I’m sure I’ll have some more YouTube videos of it running once I do. 🙂

Fall Disking with the John Deere 5020

John Deere 5020 Disking

If you saw my pervious video on chisel plowing with the John Deere 4640, then you saw how we plow the fields each fall. This is followed up by disking the fields, which we typically do in the springtime. After we disk, we then drill (plant) the field. When we plant, I use a spring tooth (danish harrow) with a roller to break up and smoothen the field out before planting. We have a lot of rocks in the valley, so the roller is a necessity to push down the big rocks.

However, this year I decided to try disking in the fall instead of the springtime. Springtime in Star Valley have few open windows of good, dry planting, followed by several days of rain. If you can get your crop planted early enough to beat the rains, then your crop usually does better, especially given that not everything we do is under irrigation. So, I thought this may be a good thing to get done in the fall while we have time, then skip in the springtime to allow for more time to get the seed planted before the arrival of the rains.

I guess I’ll find out next fall if it was a success or not. 🙂

The tractor is a John Deere 5020 with a John Deere BW disk. Yes, I know the disk is old and small, but it’s all that I have at the moment. Upgrading takes time and money. 😉

Blade work with the 2010 and 435

John Deere 435 with mountains

I never passing up an excuse to drive the tractors on a beautiful fall day, I used the opportunity to do some blade and box scraper work to fill in the pivot tracks. Though not a necessary task, it makes working up the ground in the springtime much smoother and is better on the equipment.

I used the John Deere 2010 Utility to fill in the tracks with an Allis Chalmers three-point blade, and I then used the John Deere 435 (2-53 Detroit Diesel) to finish it with a box scraper. Looking back, I should have used drag harrows and will do that next time instead. It tended to clump up some, so I’ll know how to do it better next year.

Fall Update

It’s just about October, which seems pretty crazy to me. This year has just flown by! It seems like just yesterday we were starting with the spring work, then the summer rush, and now the hay season is all completed. The only big tasks left to do on the farm now are putting things away and plowing a few fields in preparation for next year.

I thought post a few photos that I’ve taken over the past few weeks, as the colors have changed quite nicely this year. I’m sure all of that color will be gone though once we have the next big storm…

Kyle Weber

2021 Star Valley Antique Tractor Show

Video footage from the tractor show

On the 25th of September, we hosted the 2021 Star Valley Antique tractor show. This year was pretty busy farm wise, and we had some rains that pushed us behind a bit getting some crops in. As such, we were a little late getting invitations and announcements and such sent out. I think that hurt the attendance somewhat. However, despite all of that, I’d say we had a pretty good turnout overall.

Some of the equipment that was at the show included:

John Deere 7520 with chisel plow
John Deere 5020
John Deere Model R Diesel
John Deere 5 bottom pull behind plow
Oliver Super 55
John Deere 70 Gas
John Deere 630
John Deere A
John Deere No. 5 Sickle Mower
John Deere MT
John Deere Model H Series 47 Manure Spreader
John Deere 420 Utility
John Deere 430 Utility with Oliver Loader
John Deere 435 Diesel
Case Model L 1937
Farmall F-30 1936
Farmall F-20 1937
International Hay Rake
Farmall Super M
Farmall Super M-TA with IH plow

I had a lot of fun, and I think those in attendance did as well. Currently we plan on hosting it next year as well. It will be the last Saturday in September. Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!

Loading Straw Bales with the 5020 and 3020

View of the homestead from the dry farm
John Deere 5020 with straw bales on wagons

My father needed some help hauling some straw bales to his barn for his winter cattle bedding, so I took the John Deere 5020 over with the two old truck wagons to help haul the straw bales. He brought over the 3020 to load them. Straw bales are quite light compared to alfalfa bales, so the smaller 3020 did okay hauling them.

Being on the dry farm is always bitter sweet, as it’s currently up for sale. It’s a long story, but basically my father and his brother are still here in the valley, and the siblings that are out of the valley keep doing all they can to get whatever they can out of it. They changed the original trust while my grandparents were in ill health from the land going to the ones here to splitting it up with an equal share among themselves, which has left little for my dad and my uncle in return. They also continue to ‘move the target’ of what is going to happen to the land as to maximize their own return, with little to no regards for those here. Rather than follow through with what the trust says and settle things (which still isn’t right), they continually change dates and plans according to the market to try to get the most of what they can out of it. If you ask me, that’s quite the investment plan–move away and do nothing with the farm from right out of high school and come back years later to reap the rewards of those that stayed and labored to keep and preserve the farm. And they call themselves good Christians…

Anyway, now I’m just ranting. I guess when something you’ve cherished all of your life is being taken away by others and you’re helpless to do anything about it–you just have to vet little in a blog post.