Super A_sepa

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About Super A_sepa

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    Advanced Member

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    Southeastern Pa
  • Interests
    Farming... Anything IH... FFA

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  1. How bout some good ole Kentucky tobacco

    Around here it is all done by hand. I believe in the south there might be some but won't claim to know much about how it is done down there.
  2. How bout some good ole Kentucky tobacco

    Here are some from various stages of tobacco here in PA. A close look at the finger-type planter we use. Each plant is started in a bed or a greenhouse then transplanted into the field. I had an acre of no till tobacco to experiment with this year. Here is a picture of cultivating some conventional tobacco. Though the summer we go through and hand hoe each row to get any weeds that the cultivator missed. As the tobacco matures and starts to push flower, you have to go through and break the tops out of each plant, this forces the plant to put more energy into filling out the leaves that are there instead of making new ones, resulting in bigger leaves, which you want so that when you strip over winter you have leaves big enough to sort out as 'wrappers,' the highest paying leaf grade of PA tobacco. About 3 weeks after topping it is time to cut. We use shears and cut each plant off at the ground. We let it lay to wilt before we spear it. How long we let it lay depends on the intensity of the sun and the size of the tobacco. Once it's wilted, we go back and spear each stalk onto a lath, 5 per lath . After spearing, we pick each lath up and load them on to a ladder wagon, just a running gear with two long rails. We use these to be gentler on the leaves and not bust them up as much as just a flat wagon would. Then each lath is pitched one by one up into the barn and hung on rails to cure down. Like was said above, the top is the place to be! Some days at least, its the hottest and the riskiest, but you don't get any dirt or sweat falling down on you, or any stalks that split off the lath and fall, and you don't have to pitch the lath up two tiers to the next man. There isn't much harder work than pitching up big tobacco. And once all the 'fun' is done of harvesting, you get to get ready to take each lath down by hand in a few weeks to strip it, where you have to take each leaf off every stalk. For PA tobacco to sort out wrappers you have to open each leaf and inspect it for any imperfections that exclude it from being a wrapper. Then get done stripping and a few weeks later get ready to seed the greenhouse and start the whole process over again.
  3. Cordless Impact driver Milwaukee or Snap On??

    We bought a Snap-On 1/2" maybe 5-7 years ago, thought that was really good. Needed it for this one bolt that no amount of heating or leverage would take care of. I think we went through a battery and some run time trying to get that bolt, but it got it then. Once we had it, we kept finding uses for it, and it was handy. About two years ago we got a Dewalt 1/2" and a Milwaukee 3/4" Fuel. Didn't notice the Dewalt had a pin to keep sockets on so I put an adapter on the Milwaukee abd used that and got used to it. Never went back to the Dewalt. Very impressed with the power of the Milwaukee. Dad tried to change a pickup tire with the Snap on the other week, maybe the batteries are close to dead, maybe the batteries are wore out, I can't say, but he said that thing didn't seem to have anything than he tried the Milwaukee the next time and that had power! We have the 4.0ah batteries, they do run a very long time, and you can see how much they have left which is nice.
  4. 300 farmall question

    SJ is I think Rockford clutch and TA with provision for live PTO, at least that's what's sticking in my mind. If you do a search on here I think you might find it. We have a 300 with and without a tach but I can't say if the one with it came factory that way but I think it did. What's the serial number on the tractor?
  5. horses are pricey also

    There was a mule sale in this area yesterday, heard the top pair went for $5600 each, $11,200 for the pair. Told the Amish man that told me that you can buy a pretty decent tractor for that! In Harrisburg there was a work horse sale a month or so back I think that they said a pair of work horses went for $6,000 or $6500 each I think.
  6. 2355 loader

    Saw one sell at an auction a few months back, not sure where it went, didn't sell real well, was in good shape. Might've brought $1500 is the number sticking in my head for some reason.
  7. Tennessee Tobacco

    There are a few small Deeres around here too I guess. The first Deere I ran was the neighbor's JD M, for the same job, loading tobacco. Was rare that I got to drive since I started helping just past that age, but got to a bit in the first years when I was still among the younger ones. Yes transplanting is sloooww. But as slow as you're going it still keeps your hands moving really fast. It's fun once you're in the rhythm but when you get a bit out of sync you have a few plants to walk back for. The Farmalls are also nicer to listen to in the field than those popping 2 cylinders, at least I think so. My buddy always put a chrome straight pipe on his M for the last day, man that got loud. Could almost hear him half a mile away when we were going farm to farm!
  8. Tennessee Tobacco

    I don't save any, don't use the stuff. Nobody that I work with on the crew saves any or uses any, ironically. I'm sure there are many people that save some though.
  9. Tennessee Tobacco

    Yes small equipment certainly found a home raising tobacco, lots of Super A's, C's and cubs around. Good cultivating tractors and nimble enough to maneuver wagons in tight spots, turn around on a dime on a Super C. Even if they were a John Deere farm, for tobacco it wasn't unusual to see a couple red ones hiding away. Lots of guys are putting up greenhouses around here too. Cheaper to build than a tobacco shed and can make them to have one or three tiers in them to hang tobacco in, can grow their plants if they choose too. They also can be used as sheds when there's no tobacco in them. A lot of the plants now are hydroponically grown, as opposed to in beds. We planted some bed plants this spring alongside plug plants and the bed plants were bigger at planting time but till harvest you couldn't tell a difference. I much prefer plug plants, but its all what you're used to. I helped seed the greenhouse this spring and we planted I think about 40 acres of seeds in about an hour and a half. Amazing how much more time it takes fully grown compared to just seeding.
  10. Tennessee Tobacco

    Yea I heard Phillip Morris was taking tobacco already and that was surprising, not really sure what the reason is either. I know Lancaster is taking Green river now, don't know that they are taking any other types. I think Phillip Morris is strictly burley tobacco but am not positive. Interesting observation on the wagons-around here I can't think of many English that don't use ladders, and though the Amish still use a lot of flat wagons, some are getting some side load, walk on wagons. They're handy some places but are pretty wide compared to a regular double ladder. Took a bunch of 41 down today, finally got some damp weather that let us take down, has been awhile since it's been good and fit, "here." Most guys in this area with burley "shock" it, like corn shocks. They take two speared lath and lean them against each other and let them stand for three dews, this lets it lose some weight so its easier to hang and they can hang it a little closer from that I understand, never worked with burley so I don't know haw that works with sun burn and other things. Some Amish are getting away from shocking a well. Found some pictures of planting. These were some long rows in this field, when we cut it it seemed like we were never getting to the other end! Then found this picture from on the planter. When dad farmed tobacco, they had bought a self propelled tobacco cutter, don't know of too many others around and haven't seen any in the field. He remembers it cutting about as fast as you could walk, and could cut both ways. I don't know if it would work today or not or if it would beat the tobacco up too much. I rebuilt the motor in shop class the other year but the output shaft on the gearbox is sheared off and didn't get a new shaft made yet.
  11. Tennessee Tobacco

    It is definitely hotter at the top of the barn but the alternative is being at the bottom and watching where you step and trying to to get a mid day shower from the guys above you! Also the rails (hopefully) don't move and shake like the wagon does, but some rails shimmy too and I've seen them twist and that isn't fun, hasn't happened to me though. The wagons are generally a bit wider spread too. We load the lath in the field onto ladder wagons, can't use flat wagons for 41 too well on account of breaking ribs easier from what I see, usually English use ladder wagons more and Amish use flat wagons more. Flats are fine for Burley, what most of the Amish grow around here. This was 41 tobacco that was unruly big. It broke up really easy if you weren't careful, if you look at the middle of the plants you can see some broken mid ribs, they can't be wrappers. Generally hang the lath 6 or 8 inches apart. This is the same shed, hanging the lower tiers is about the nicest, not so high and still a the top of the chain. This part of the barn was scaffolded over the hay mow, but you can see the whole scope of things. For 41 tobacco, the wrappers get counted into handfuls of about 18 leaves and then are wrapped with a leaf of lower grade into "hands." Then so many hands go into a bale to get to about 50 pounds then we tie it and take it out and wrap white paper around it, more than one way to skin a cat. We also have lath holders bolted to some 1x's running from floor to ceiling, and stick the ends of the lath in them and stip it without having to pull the stalks off individually, then once all the leaves are off we push the lath through to get the stalks together and pull back and down to put the lath against a sickle mower knife and slide the stalks off and put them in a stalk box to carry out to the spreader. You can see the holder on the last lath in the picture.
  12. Tennessee Tobacco

    Could be, I won't say they don't. I guess thinking more now I think on Lancaster Leafs website they have I think a couple Connecticut and Wisconsin tobacco types too but I don't know anything about them. I try to learn something new about it everytime I help them, lots more to learn though.
  13. Tennessee Tobacco

    No need to wear gloves or anything like that, I've never heard of being able to get a buzz from handling it. Sometimes if during curing it molds it is smart to wear a dust mask because of the mold knocking off but nothing to prevent a buzz. Yes tobacco is contracted, can't just grow it, you are correct. Tobacco likes warm/hot weather, part of why it was primarily a southern crop, but it grows well in our area generally too. Not sure how much further north you could grow it, I think I've heard of some in the middle of PA but can't say I've heard of any more north. So I guess that encompasses both of those, growing season, sun, climate is probably the biggest one though.
  14. Tennessee Tobacco

    Around here it really varies on the acres. Some guys have 1 or 2 acres all the way up to 30-40 but the majority are probably between 5 and 15 I would guess. The neighbor I help had about 18 or 20 acres this year I think. I think we got rained out one evening but didn't miss much time at all cutting, and with the smaller than years past crew it took just over 30 days I think going off memory, maybe 5-6 guys steady with some help here and there. I don't know any hard numbers on what a guy gets paid an acre and there are a lot of variables, like any crop I guess. Most all depends on the quality of the leaves. You might gross $5-7k/acre but then you have all your expenses to subtract. It is an interesting crop, one day can make huge differences in it. I know there were a lot of people that had "suckers" this year, (offshoots of the main plant, worthless, can hinder curing, add lots of weight, etc) and it seemed what was topped before a certain day was fine, but a lot of the stuff after that had suckers. You couldn't hardly cut fast enough to keep ahead of the suckers, some farmers fared better than others tho. In theory big would equal better but not so much with the 41, once it gets too big it gets hard to handle and a lot more leaves get busted up in handling it, losing money. Some of the bigger stuff one green lath might weigh as much as 40 pounds or so, when it gets real big we will only spear 4 plants on a lath. I know some farmers north of our area simply put 6 plants on everything because they pay people to strip by the lath and 6 plants equals less lath. I know 5 big ones really gets taxing pitching the lath up two tiers in the barn all night! Help was a big problem this year in our area, was hard to find people and that has some guys cutting back. When it was up to 95-100-110 a couple days this summer it was just about unbearable to be cutting, and if you cut you had to be careful to watch for sunburn on the tobacco, and that didn't take long at those temps!
  15. Tennessee Tobacco

    That looks like no-till? 75 acres!? He will be busy awhile.