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.
Over the weekend I acquired a 1950 John Deere MT single-front. I already had two parts MT machines, so I thought this would be a fun one to add to the collection. In this video we load it up with the Ford F-350, haul it home, and run it for the first time.
The MT was the row-crop version of the John Deere M. The M is unique as it was a two-cylinder vertical engine with a foot clutch. The M also replaced both the models H and LA. The H was the smallest of the horizontal two-cylinder machines.
As I mentioned earlier, the MT was the row-crop version of the M. The M was considered a “standard”, meaning non-adjustable wheel tread and a lower stance. One of the things that interests me about the M is that we used to have a model M on our farm. The photo above is the model M that was once on our family farm. They were popular utility machines, as they were small and easy to use as they had a standard clutch to operate. In the photo above, you can see it connected to a manure spreader. Back then they had an old dairy barn with the large large rounded-roof loft. The cows would be milked and also were fed in the barn. This created a good deal of manure which needed to be removed daily. The M in the photo shows it hooked up to a manure spreader. This would have been the daily task of the tractor–to drive through the barn and haul out the manure. I recall my grandfather talking about the process, mentioning how they would manually shovel the manure into the spreader each day. There’s plenty of manure to be seen on the tractor as well.
Shot in 4K HDR Dolby Vision. If you have an iPhone 12 or later (or HDR compatible Android phone), then the color and brightness should really pop.
Mowing hay (a mixture of alfalfa and grass) with a John Deere Model A and Number 5 sickle mower. We have a nice rotary swather, but thought it’d be fun to spend some time and shoot some video of the A and No. 5.
I was a little later getting to the feeding tonight, but it gave me a good opportunity to use my newly installed LED lights. They are a lot brighter than the originals, yet still fit in the same housings (and look “original”). Also, the snow is getting deeper. It’s been pretty cold lately, so the tractor still goes through it okay. It was around 10 degrees F when I was feeding.
Last year, I used the 630 to feed with. However, I thought it would be fun to try the A as well. I think the A is one of my favorite two-cylinder models.
In this video I’m feeding beef cattle (Herefords and Angus) with the A and a custom-made feeder. The feeder used to be a round bale bagger. I converted it to work with the 3x4x8 large square bales. Bales are loaded with a 3020 PowerShift.
I was flying my drone (DJI Mavic Air) up a canyon to get some nice shots of the beautiful mountains. While I was reviewing the footage, I was surprised to see a Peregrine falcon had decided at the last moment to not try to have the drone for lunch. I’d say they both got pretty lucky!
I as fortunate, however, to get some footage of such a beautiful animal!
Balancing a day job, running a farm, and restoring/using old tractors and equipment takes a lot of resources! Unfortunately, the process to create the videos of these old classic tractors does take some cold hard cash. If you’d like, feel free to support me on Patreon. I’ll still continue to create them without it–but a little help would be much appreciated!
This video is a compilation of different days feeding cattle and driving through the snow. The 630 makes a good feeding tractor, and with the extra weight of the bale feeder on the back end, it handles the snow nicely. That being said, this year we are nowhere near normal snow levels–had we received the snowpack we normally receive, I would have most likely had to switch it up to a bigger tractor.
This video is a summary of the activities on the farm for 2017. It covers cultivating the Alfalfa, disking, sprinkling, cutting hay (swathing), raking hay, baling hay, hauling hay, and feeding the beef cattle.
Tractors in use are a John Deere 4230, 4640 FWA, 4020 Diesel PowerShift, 3020 Diesel PowerShift, 630 gas, and 730 Diesel. Also shown are models 420 Utility, 435 Diesel, and a Model A.
Videos are shot with an iPhone and DJI Phantom 4.
2017 was a very busy year, with a lot of accomplishments, and a few failures. This was also the first full year with the new Reinke center pivot, which greatly increased the farm yield.
Hopefully, 2018 will be a successful year, filled with many new adventures and prosperity.