Saturday, June 08, 2013

Plantin' Milo

Ya ever wanna know what it's like running one of those big four wheel drive tractors? This is a Ford New Holland pulling a planter seeding grain sorghum, or milo. I've talked about this crop before - it's mostly used as cattle feed and there is anADM  plant in Dodge City that mills milo into flour that is mostly used for making sheetrock. It can be used as a food item which is more popular these days since it it gluten free.

At any rate, you get to see the various controls, gauges and the GPS system at work. The planters have folding marker arms that leave a trail for the next round, and since the planter is so wide, they have to fold. Our old planter markers just picked up and rode vertically, but these things would be quite unable to clear power lines if they did not reduce their vertical presence. You get to see the graphics showing the large band of freshly planted ground moving next to what is already planted and is not - plus the warning when he reaches the end of the row.

He's pretty busy then - folding up the marker arm, lifting the planter out of the ground, unfolding the other marker arm, and resetting the GPS. You can also see he is rocking around in that seat - that ground may look smooth, but it is assuredly not, and tractors have pivot articulation on the front axle only - the rear is completely solid. About all that does is make sure the tractor has all four sets of wheel on the ground when it really gets uneven - if the front did not pivot, one or more corners would be off the ground and the tractor would be stuck right there.

And compared to what I ran, this puppy is livin' in the lap of luxury. It's all pushbutton, super quiet well sealed and extremely temperature controlled cab, better seat, and some real legroom. I'd hate to pay the fuel bill, though.

Hope y'all enjoy this peek into farming on the prairie!

Blatantly stolen from Joey Woods on Facebook


Chas S. Clifton said...

I had no idea that milo went into sheetrock. The things you learn ...

Frank W. James said...

I'm surprised he didn't have auto-steer on the tractor. Planter markers around here are an endangered species...

All The Best,
Frank W. James