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Maple Hill Farm 2023 Crop Season


nepoweshiekfarmalls

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Tonight was the first field work of the season for me.  Finished tightening the last bolts of the repaired disk gang and headed for the field. Tonight's team was the 826 hydro and the 15' model 37 disk.  We no-till, so not much disking except for washouts, weedy patches,  gopher mounds and holes etc. It still amounts to a couple days work.

I had not used the 826 in the field before and it impressed me.   The 358 was smooth and powerful and sounded great under load.  The hydro is stout and handled the disk well, even up a steep hill fixing washouts along the waterways.  I am now a believer that a hydro can easily handle appropriate fieldwork!

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Farming like it is 1970!

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The engine sounded good when I let it cool down. The workout was good for the 358.

 

 

 

 

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I had not used the 826 in the field before and it impressed me.   The 358 was smooth and powerful and sounded great under load.  The hydro is stout and handled the disk well, even up a steep hill fixing washouts along the waterways.  I am now a believer that a hydro can easily handle appropriate fieldwork!

 

Agree! Dad bought a new 826 hydro in 1971, the year I graduated from Cornell. We had a 550 plow that had been pulled behind the 806, and the 826 got the plow, and the 806 got moved to applying Sutan, pulling a 12' Allis disk with a mounted 125 gallon spray tank and mounted spray nozzles, and followed by a 12' JD drag to apply and incorporate the Sutan. I plowed with the 826 and 5 bottom plow for the next 8 years with no hydro problems at all. Of course, the 826 was used for haying, chopping, manure spreading, everything we could think of, too.

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Same song, Second verse.  Finished all the ground going to corn and a couple fields that will receive soybeans.  The steep hillside where we had tile installed last spring needs some work to be smooth enough to farm.  It was all the 826 could do to pull that 15' disk spool deep uphill.  Too slow to do a nice job cutting the soil.  Will use the 1486 to finish the disking.  But, I will change directions and spray the fields going to corn first.  The 826 used just under a third of a tank of diesel the last 2 evenings.  Maybe a little thirsty compared to the 856 doing the same job.

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Installed a new John Blue squeeze pump on the planter.

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Removed the adapter tongs off the fast hitch of the 656.  They were a little snug- had not been out for a while.  Lengthened the draw bar out.

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Hitched up the water tanker to the 656 and filled it up with water. 

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Rebuilt the recoil on the transfer pump with new spring, center spool and rope.

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Finished up the last preparations on the sprayer and made sure the tips and lines were clear.  Ready to spray if the wind dies down. The first time some of these tractors have been photographed together. 

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The ground going to corn is all sprayed.   Sprayed 2 loads today on ground going to soybeans.  Then a thunderstorm rolled in.  Just barely parked the sprayer and planter safely in the shed.  Then the rain came and also some pea and marble size hail.  Thankful for this recent rain. We needed it badly.

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While waiting for the fields to dry this morning,  I filled the planter with seed, fertilizer and nitrogen.   All ready to go when it dries up again.

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20230510_183010.thumb.jpg.2c78a1a75c91e6c4646298630d218c6f.jpgTonight, Dad was running the planter when I arrived home.  I took over and planted until 9:30.  Have 2 fields planted tonight.  Feels good to start finally!  Would be nice if the weather would let me stay at it.  Was a little damp in places, but planting well. 

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The stupid transfer pump that was running so well, refused to start today, so I could not refill my nitrogen tank on the planting rig.  Elected to keep going, with such a late start.   The first field received nitrogen and the end rows on the second.  Plan to side dress those places twice to make up for it.

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Dad tried to plant today, but apparently we planted the only dry fields we had.  He packed the row units up and had to stop.  I came home and he had one row left that was worse than the others.  Upon inspection,  the bearings were bad on both disk openers.  So, I scraped all the mud out.  Discovered the seed tube was off the lower pin and corrected it. Installed new openers and adjusted the gauge wheels.  Ready to go now!  Raining tonight and more forecast for tomorrow.  So, we wait....

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Dad tried to plant after dinner today, but it was too wet.  Supposed to rain tonight again.  I had a hunch that the fuel from 2 weeks ago went out of condition and the little Briggs and Stratton would not run on it.  So, I removed the fuel from the tank with an electric pump and refilled with fresh non ethanol from town.  Put a splash in the spark plug hole. 3 pulls of the rope and the engine sputtered to life.  Eureka!   With the transfer pump back online I filled the nitrogen tanker on the planting rig. Ready to plant and spray when it dries out again.

Spent a few moments playing with my heifer girls when I brought them their corn.  They are such pets!

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There is a place that sells E-15 close to me. It is the only kind of gas that I buy and use it in everything. My Briggs pump sat with E-15 gas in it since late summer 2022 and started right up no problem whatsoever in April 2023. The gas in your pump went bad in 2 weeks?

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12 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

There is a place that sells E-15 close to me. It is the only kind of gas that I buy and use it in everything. My Briggs pump sat with E-15 gas in it since late summer 2022 and started right up no problem whatsoever in April 2023. The gas in your pump went bad in 2 weeks?

Yep. Would not run on it. Would run with a whiff of carb cleaner until it ran out.  I have had that trouble with small engines before.  So, we only use fresh non ethanol fuel from the station in town in them.  I was surprised that this fuel went bad as soon as it did......

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Not a fan of E-15 either. It's 10 cants a gallon cheaper than E-10 here but the fuel economy hit is bad. For those of you that have good luck running ethanol in small engines, good for you. I'll pay the extra for real gas! While I was unemployed I 'fixed' a number of lawnmowers and snowblowers and even an Atlas Copco jackhammer that wouldn't run. These were jobs my mother found for me. Only thing I did to any of them was dump the skunk gas and put fresh in!

As an aside, it seems like anytime I have free time people around me are trying to find something for me to do!

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1 hour ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

Yep. Would not run on it. Would run with a whiff of carb cleaner until it ran out.  I have had that trouble with small engines before.  So, we only use fresh non ethanol fuel from the station in town in them.  I was surprised that this fuel went bad as soon as it did......

I have heard many people say the same thing as you. I wonder if it is because it has already been sitting around when you bought it or what? The place I get it is along the interstate and I know they sell a lot. Maybe the high volume keeps it fresh? The 1969 C50 and the 1980 F600 I haul seed in also run on E15 and all started good and run good after sitting almost a year. My 1993 F350 with a 460 is also running E15. I just buy it because I view it as helping my cause. There must be something that is different in some areas because I just have never had trouble. They also sell E30 and E40 and E85 but I have never tried the others. 

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19 minutes ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

I have heard many people say the same thing as you. I wonder if it is because it has already been sitting around when you bought it or what? The place I get it is along the interstate and I know they sell a lot. Maybe the high volume keeps it fresh? The 1969 C50 and the 1980 F600 I haul seed in also run on E15 and all started good and run good after sitting almost a year. My 1993 F350 with a 460 is also running E15. I just buy it because I view it as helping my cause. There must be something that is different in some areas because I just have never had trouble. They also sell E30 and E40 and E85 but I have never tried the others. 

We use ethanol in the trucks, pickups, tractors and don't have condition issues for 4-5 years.  Just the push lawnmower,  power washer, transfer pump, etc.

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6 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

I have heard many people say the same thing as you. I wonder if it is because it has already been sitting around when you bought it or what? The place I get it is along the interstate and I know they sell a lot. Maybe the high volume keeps it fresh? The 1969 C50 and the 1980 F600 I haul seed in also run on E15 and all started good and run good after sitting almost a year. My 1993 F350 with a 460 is also running E15. I just buy it because I view it as helping my cause. There must be something that is different in some areas because I just have never had trouble. They also sell E30 and E40 and E85 but I have never tried the others. 

Well now you will, just the way the world works. I never had trouble with small engines until I did. Had always just run 87 test out of the farm tank. Generally speaking we have the poorest quality gas in the lower 48 from many mechanics reports(Calif).

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Finally dry enough to get back into the field again yesterday.   Dad has pulled himself back out of retirement to help me finish spring work.  He finished spraying the  last of the pre emergence on the ground going to beans while I was at work.   Then he took the 826 and disk out to hit some washouts caused  by that 2" rain we had last week.   Wish I had my phone, I  missed a couple nice photos of him on the 826. I planted another field of corn.  2 fields to go!

Today,  Dad will run after the last of the seed corn from Pioneer.   Should be able to plant tonight.

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I planted 6 acres last night before my evening ended in disaster. Finished the west half of the north field.  I had filled up the tanks and seed boxes and headed out to the east end of the northern most field on the farm.   Started on end rows.  North side of field along fence has a grass strip up a 45 degree hill.  Raised the planter and proceeded to drive up the hill. Suddenly, the planter slammed to the ground!  Forward momentum stopped abruptly and I started to roll backward.  A quick pump of the brakes- nope.  No steering either. Helplessly,  I rode along as the 1206 shoved the planter backwards down the hill. The planter slid over against the fence and the tractor jackknifed against the toolbar of the planter. But, I had stopped.  RH marker snapped the the pivot pin and yanked the end with the blade out of the tube.  It took 7 gallons of Hy-Tran to fill the 1206 back up.  Hard way to discover that the planter lift cylinder had lost that much hydraulic fluid over the last 2 seasons.  I had not checked the level since the rock shaft seal and hitch lift repair February before last. Lesson learned.   Other than the damage to the marker,  2 seed tubes were busted during the backwards journey down the hill on the ground.  Could have been much worse....I think my hair gained a few more grays on that one!

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Repairs made this evening.  Back to the field. Knocked out a few more acres.

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The soybean stubble visible just above the pre cleaner is the last field to plant.  About 6 acres wrapped around the center of the hillside. Have almost 30 acres left in the field where I am currently.   

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Filling the planter with 10-20-10 fertilizer. 

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Saturday after work I planted corn. I thought I was going to get done for sure.  Have 3 places on that narrow 6 acre piece that you have little triangle sections to finish when the long rows are done.  Finished 2 of the 3 and driving toward the last one. Was just going to beat the darkness too. Then I felt warm hydraulic fluid spraying on my right shoulder and the fender/tire of the 1206.  Planter was dropping to the ground.  Upon inspection,  a hydraulic hose from the tractor to the hydraulic coupler had ruptured. 

20230521_140348.thumb.jpg.e73ec7d39273b6fc817730e32fc90a35.jpg  Ruptured hose and replacement. 

I locked the markers up.  Then moved the lift cylinder hoses to the other set of couplers and drove to the shed.

Sunday morning,  I determined I did not have a replacement hose.   Drove to work and picked one up. Replaced the hose and added 2 1/2 gallons of hy-tran.  Went out and finished the corn.   Dad arrived as I was driving on from the field.  We proceeded to change the planter over to soybeans.   Planter is filled with seed and fertilizer and ready to go.  Calling it quits for tonight. If the weather holds and the equipment cooperates,  I will finish planting this week. 

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First 2 fields of corn I planted are up.

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20230523_201049.thumb.jpg.a39df8f7d62b534f19523d3640eff916.jpgCompleted the first field of soybeans last night.  A quarter of the beans are planted.  While I  was out planting, Dad ran the 1486 and disk over some washouts and the tile lines I had not leveled out. 

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He plans to go out and spray the areas he disked today with the spray left on the sprayer.

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Tragedy struck again tonight.  Made 3 rounds on the second field of soybeans and the clutch suddenly went south on the 1206.  It will pull itself downhill and on level ground, but the slightest uphill grade and it stops in its tracks.   Dad is coming out to rescue me as I type this.  Plan to pull it up the hill with the 826 and drive it into the buildings.  Then hook the 826 onto the planter to finish soybeans. 

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Tractor traffic jam by the back shed!

 

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I limped the 1206 down the hill and along the waterway, but the moment the waterway started uphill.... no joy.

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