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!

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.

1936 Farmall F30

About a year and a half ago we picked up a non-running 1936 Farmall F-30 tractor from someone over in Eastern Idaho. The F-30 is the predecessor to the popular Model M tractor. Where I already have a Model M and the successor Super M, I thought the F-30 would be a good addition to the lineup.

The F-30 is a hand-start only tractor with no battery or lights. It also originally shipped on all steel wheels, so the four speed transmission tops out at around 5 MPH. It’s not exactly the tractor to take if you want to get somewhere in a hurry… However, it was considered a big tractor for the time–almost too big, as the smaller Model F-20 was the top seller (by a long shot).

The John Deere tractor that competed with the F-30 was the Model G. The earlier G did not sell as well either, where the smaller Model A has significantly higher sales. The John Deere A was even outsold by the even smaller Model B. I guess farms at the time just weren’t ready for the larger equipment yet.

Anyway, I’ve been slowly working on the machine for the past year. I finally took the plunge and purchased new back tires, which was the last thing it really needed to be able to get it out and use it some. Where tires are so expensive I was procrastinating the purchase for a while.

I hope you can enjoy this old piece of history.

Feeding the beef cattle with the 630

If you just read my post about the 730, then know that the 630 is the little brother to the 730. It came in only two fuel types–“all-fuel”, which is for lower-grade fuels, and gasoline. This machine is a gasoline only model, 1958 model year.

The 630 was the direct replacement for the “Model A”. I’ve always enjoyed the A, and the 630 is basically a late-style A.

In this video I’m taking a hay bale over to the beef cattle with our custom made bale feeder. It’s a conversion from an old round bale bagger (which would put the round bales into plastic sacks).

John Deere 730 Diesel

The 730 Diesel is a pretty impressive machine. It was Deere’s largest row-crop two-cylinder, and also happened to be the last series to feature the two-cylinder before their introduction of the “New Generation” machines in 1960. The 730 was about the same size as the 3010, which according to Deere literature at the time, was its direct replacement.

Driving a 730 Diesel is unlike any other machine, before or since (with the exception of the 720). This particular machine is a direct-drive electric start. The 720, which was a near-identical model before it, had more pony engine starters than electric starters. The Pony, or cranking engine, was a small gas engine that you would start up first, which would then be used to turn over the large diesel engine. The electric starters were large 24 volt starting systems.

Since not everyone will have an opportunity to drive a 730 Diesel, I thought I’d share this video to replicate the experience as well as I can.

Summer 2015 Update with Videos

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog last. Basically, as far as farming goes, my spring/summer can be summarized as the following.

The first project was the restoration of the 1957 John Deere 420 Utility. I went to Utah and picked up another 420 parts tractor. I was pretty fortunate to stumble across one online for a good price, so I jumped at the opportunity to take it. I brought it home, and used it to fix my current 420 utility. They were both the same year, too, so it worked pretty well.

After that, the crank of my 1959 John Deere 630 was finally fixed. I brought it home too, but then had the 420 project come up, so I spent time getting that done instead. Once I was finished with the 420, I spent some time working on the 630 and was able to get it working as well. The 630 project was completed after spring planting and alfalfa cultivating, which cut into the projects time, but was a priority.

Afterwords, it rained. It rained and it rained. The good thing was, we never had to use the sprinklers for first crop. It did stop raining, and instantly went to very hot/dry temperatures, so I was able to cut the alfalfa with the John Deere 4230 and 945 MoCo (mower conditioner, aka swather). We then waited about 3/4th of a week, then raked the hay. I used the newly restored 420 Utility for most of the raking–and it worked great! It was fun spending some seat time on a machine that I spent so much time with the restoration process.

After the raking came the baling. With all the rain we had, there was a very good high yield of bales. The yield was much higher than last year. I used the JD 4640 and Hesston 4790 3×4 big baler for the baling.

Anyway, that about sums it up. I’ll post some videos here and in future posts. Enjoy.

 

Feeding Beef Cattle December 2013 GoPro

Here’s a video I recorded with the GoPro mounted to the back of the feed wagon.  Sorry about the loud sounds–the GoPro is pretty bad about picking up bangs and such.

Here we’re feeding 3×3 Alfalfa and grain hay bales to a heard of Herefords and Angus.  The wagon is being pulled by a John Deere 4020.  The cows are mostly Herefords, but the bulls are Black Angus, so it’s starting to get a mixture of both.

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