Rolling Alfalfa with the Farmall F-30 N

Farmall F-30 Pulling Roller with Mountains

Each spring we cultivate alfalfa fields. This is typically done with some sort of danish harrow (spring tooth), drag harrows, and a heavy liquid-filled roller. This is due to our long winters and the damage that is done to the alfalfa fields, as well as the large amounts of rocks that we have in our fields.

On a typical setup, the cultivator levels out the mice mounds and breaks up last years stubble. Then, the roller flattens it out and pushes down rocks, as to make the field less bumpy and to have less rocks for the swather (windrower, mower, or whatever your area calls them) to have less rocks to damage the cutting bar. However, this alfalfa field was only planted last year. Due to the plants being young and the roots not deep, we don’t use a digger on the fields for the first full year of the crop growth.

That being said, needing to only pull the roller made for a great excuse to get out and use one of the old tractors. Where the F-30 hasn’t had a lot of tasks on the farm as of yet, we thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to put it to work and have a few hours of enjoyable (though bumpy) seat time. It also made for a good opportunity to take some photos and videos. The video also contains a John Deere 2010 Utility, which we eventually finished out the field with.

Rolling Spring Alfalfa with the Farmall F-30

Spring Update

My cousin being a boss on the 2022 Ski-Doo Summit Edge

Time sure flies, as oddly enough my last post was on the first ride of the year, and now we’ve most likely concluded the snowmobile season for 2021-2022. That being said, I was fortunate enough to be able to go out most every weekend this winter. It was a much needed break, as summer bring with it a lot of work with two jobs (the day job and farming), and winter has lots of cold darkness… So, being able to get out and enjoy some outdoors with good friends was a very needed activity.

This year I was fortunate to go riding with my cousin. Having a constant riding companion made it a lot easier to get out each weekend, and he is a super good rider, which made it easy to go places and do some exploring & not have to worry about constantly getting someone unstuck.

I did take some photos and videos this year, but my cousin started a whole YouTube channel for his motorsports activities. Please feel free to check out his channel & subscribe!

Sam Bateman’s YouTube Channel

Video from one of our last rides

First Snowmobile ride of 2021-2022 Winter Season

This year we are VERY low in snowfall (for late December). However, we had enough to go on the trail up Black and some up Baldy (a neighboring mountain). I took the opportunity to take my cousin Sam out, and we were able to get some throttle time, despite not having a lot of snow.

Sam took out the Ski-Doo 850, and I had the maiden voyage of my new Timbersled on a Honda 450x. For those unfamiliar, a Timbersled is a Polaris-owned track kit for dirt bikes to turn them into snow bikes. They are a very different experience from snowmobiles & pretty fun to ride on.

It was also Sam’s first time on a modern/large sled, so hopefully he was able to enjoy it and have a great time as well.

December 14th Update

It’s now December 14th, 2021, and there is still no snow on the ground (as of when I went and fed). I had to do that insert as when I started to write this it finally started to come down. But anyway, this year has been pretty unusual for it being nearly mid-December. The other odd thing is that it was quite muddy. Usually by this time it’s been so cold for so long you couldn’t imagine seeing mud on the ground.

Anyway, I really just wanted an excuse to do a quick post and post a few photos from today. I’m **trying** to update the blog more frequently.

Here are some photos of the John Deere 630 with the 3×4 large square bale, as well as my German Shepherd Tristan, and a random portrait iPhone portrait mode of an old Hereford.

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 largeโ€ฆ

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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