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Sunday, March 6, 2011

In the Heart of the City II

In the Heart of The City was a song by Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds from the 1980. Here is a link to the YouTube video. If you look closely at 1.32 on the time scale you can see future (at that time)  Iranian President Ahmadinejad awkwardly rocking out on the left hand side of the screen. All that time we thought he was in Iran giving Jimmy C. the finger and holding American hostages. This really will upset the exploding Arabs!
Yesterday was a good day.
The 2-155 is nearly finished. Or so I thought. My occasional employee showed up like he had never been gone, so I set him to changing the oil. When I was putting the engine in the tractor the hydraulics on the loader crept down and the oil pan hit the cross member that holds the FWA to the frame. It dented the pan into the oil sump, so badly that the oil would barely drain.
After much standing around and head scratching a plan was formulated. I welded a square nut to the bottom of the oil drain plug. I threaded a chunk of ready rod into the nut and through a chunk of channel iron that I placed across the bottom of the tractor frame. Then I simply tightened a nut until the oil pan pulled back out.
Then I decided to change the transmission/hydraulic oil filter. I know I should have done this months ago... But... Anyway, the filter was full of ground up cast iron. On a whim I put a dial indicator on a wheel hub and jacked up the back of the tractor. There is 20 some thousandths of movement up and down and 3/32nds end play. I figure this is probably not so good.
This is not the time of year to redo the axles. My brother thinks we can do it. I think I'll have a nervous breakdown. I did find a nice 2-135 FWA with 5,000hours for $17,500 in Michiana (sp?), Michigan next to Indiana, it is only 37hrs away by MapQuest and I do not have $17,500 or $4,000 down and $2,500 for trucking.
Then I decided to have a nice soak for my back in the bath. It would appear that our hotwater heater is not what it should be. Cold water is not as relaxing as hot water.
So, I read my daughter a chapter from the Last Battle, which is to 21st century for my sense of happiness, looked at conspiracy theories on the internet and went to bed.
This morning has already started quite well. It is now 8:53 and the  church we want to attend starts at 9:30 a.m. How can you look at a clock on your computer screen and not realize it is time to get ready. I mean stare at it for 45 minutes and not have the time register.
So, if you start your blog reading with the Lazy Farmer today, next go to Frank W. James and read about the future of farming.
Modern Farmers are not the rustic sorts of folks in old farm houses with chickens in the yards. They are businessmen, that know their bottom line, they are sharp fellows.  When it makes financial sense to go organic they will, when the bottom line supports compost and "sustainability" they will do it and they will put the scratchy woolly folks with beards and hippie sweaters out of business in a second.
I don't quite understand why I like the hippie's better.
If I got a grant for five million dollars I'll tell you what I'd like to do...
I would like to farm 500 acres or less.
I would have some cows and perhaps a few sheep to annoy my brother. I would rotate grazing. I would have a mix of alfalfa, grain, and grass hay. Say, 60 acres of alfalfa, 100 acres of grass hay broken up into 50 acres of timothy and 50 of pasture. 100 acres of clover and the rest in grains, row crops, and annual ryegrass.
I would never bale straw from my own farm.
I would save all the poop for compost and fertilizer.
I would build a shed for composting.
I would not steal ground from my neighbors.
I would not allow anything made by John Deere on my Farm.
I would never attend another farm meeting at Wilco.
I would plant for polite young farmers who were just starting out for free. Later they would try and screw me out of rented ground but that is life.

Have a happy day!


  1. Budde, the more I read about the future of farming, the more I believe that I am not a modern farmer. I want to go back to the 1980s when life was simpler but we still had reasonably comfortable equipment to work with and could make a profit as long as we were careful. But I guess that won't happen until I retire and just farm the home quarter, organically of course.

  2. Ralph, I was talking to a neighbor about GPS. He pointed out the savings if you had no overlap with a 35 ft header. He said it would pay the cost of RTK. It is not really farming if you are only in the field twice a year.
    I'd like to have a nice small combine that was comfortable to run. It wouldn't have to have a built in refridgerater and yield monitor. I like having a 150hp tractor. It is a nice size. I'd take a smaller one if I didn't have to no-till 2000 acres in the neighborhood to survive.
    A guy I work with has a fairly new 90hp Massey that is quite easy on the fuel. The gearing is horrible and I hit my head on the roof so I wouldn't buy that one but I like the concept.
    I don't think bigger is better. It is just the direction American Ag is determined to follow.

  3. My comfort zone is 40 to 70 hp with nothing resembling computer circuitry, neighborhoods where people visit and share work, small dealerships that actively support old equipment, and rural towns with confidence in the future. Those things were still to be found in Iowa when I took up farming in '74, but if I'd sniffed the wind a little more carefully I'd have chosen some other path. Those of us who understood pigs never thought they'd go the way of the poultry industry.

  4. Collieguy, I think most pigs are now raised in China where they feed them lead paint chips from the floor of toy factoies.

  5. The 2-135 FWA has problems you will only discover if you buy it.

  6. Will you plant the upper 35 with hazelnut trees for me for free? :-) I'll be very polite!

  7. Collieguy, like an MM M602? And a Studebaker truck?
    Gorges, but of course!
    Muddy, But it is not the tractor I have and it took me 3,000 hrs to find out my tractor was worn out!
    Is this just a cheap ploy to get me to help you dig your nuts?
    Sure...I'll do it, but you have to call the them filberts when I'm around. Now that you've been to the Blue Goat 4 times you are getting a bit Pretentious, they are FILBERTS!!!! !@#$%^&*
    I think I'll buy me a scooter!

  8. Central Oregon GrownMarch 7, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    I see that Farmers wishes haven't changed in the
    last 50 father came out from Albany
    New York not knowing anything about farming to
    raise his family in Central Oregon off the land.
    He worked hard each year just breaking even if
    lucky, my mother went to work just until we started school-she retired at 70-and we always
    joked his best crop was rocks. We picked them
    every year! But it was the best life kids could have, small town, fresh air and good we weren't rich who was? I guess
    you could say he raised a great crop of kids.
    Talk about equipment....isn't that why they
    make baling wire?

  9. Central OR-It is a great life for the kids. Probably a better life education than we could ever afford to give them.
    I guess that is the point.
    Thanks for posting.


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