Tag Archives: John Deere

A New Addition to the Farm

19 Sep

We said goodbye last week to our John Deere tillage tractor. This 8400 has been around the farm for quite sometime and was one of my favorites to get to jump into to take to the field.

But as things go, an update was in order…meet our new green machine. A John Deere 8260R. Equipped with GPS and auto steer this is going to be a great addition to our farm.

Thanks to Pape Machinery for setting us up with a tractor we will enjoy for a few generations! And happy Friday!

John Deere in Moline, Illinois

27 Jan

Last week a group of young farmers headed back to the freezing cold weather to Moline, Illinois to enjoy some good old John Deere hospitality and see where all these green machines that we tend to favor (on our farm at least) get their start.



We were able to tour the Harvester Works Factory, Tractor Works, and Engine Works while on our three day adventure.  While I was there I realized that John Deere isn’t too different from our own farm back here in Oregon, for instance we both are the World Headquarters…

IMG_0693aPhoto outside what they call the “Rusty Palace”IMG_0723Photo of the front of our farm office….the door also reads…

IMG_0722Also another thing we have in common, they employee over 67,000 employees all over the world.  We employee 4 employees, who all love to travel all over the world!  Wow what similarities!  But in all seriousness I do have to say that John Deere started out in 1837 as just that, a family company.  And in many ways they are still holding true to core family values, even as such a large company that builds equipment for so many industries.

IMG_0709I was impressed by the thought to the future of prodcution.  It was something that was mentioned everywhere we went.  How do we feed the world in the safest and most prodcutive way possible?  They had displays with research showing what they were tracking and what they cared about.  A lot of is as you can see in the pictures below go over how to reduce our use of natural resources, and how do we continue to use technology to our hungry populations advantage.

IMG_0711 IMG_0712 IMG_0714 IMG_0715Another subject that was continuously seen was John Deere’s commitment to be always be linked to the land.  Linked to those farmers who are using their products, relying on their products, and then going out and feeding the world.  Throughout their headquarters even they had artwork that displayed just that message, like the mural below depicts.  It all started with some dirt, a plow sheer, and an idea of how something could be done just a little bit better.


I don’t have any photos of the actual manufacturing being done, they didn’t allow for photos to be taken while in the factories.  I will say though that the level of efficiency and production was truly incredible.  And if you ever find yourself back in Iowa or Illinois I would take the time to check out what is happening in those small little towns with such large factories.


IMG_0689Also I wanted to extend a big thank you to Pape Machinery & John Deere for hosting such a great event.

Swathing Demo…or Roller Coaster Ride??

23 Jul

A fair warning…my nerdy farming side comes out in this blog post a bit.  I get quite excited about new equipment so bear with me…

For most farmers harvesting equipment doesn’t come cheap and it isn’t something that you buy without a “test drive”; it’s such an integral part of getting our seed crops to market that usually buying something is no small venture.  So when it comes time to check out what is new and exciting in the world of seed production harvesting equipment we usually jump at the chance to try out some new toys.  This week we got to demo a new swather.

Maybe I should start at the beginning, seeing as many of my readers aren’t necessarily farmers.  Swathing is the first step in grass seed harvest.  It is basically “windrowing”, or cutting the crop into rows that can then be picked up by the combine.  In the area where I live this all done through the night; with seed production it is very important that the seed stays on the straw so that it can get into the combine.  So we have to cut when the dew is on the plants in order to allow the seed to not shatter, or fall off of the straw.

Windrows on the left, what hasn’t been swathed on the right.

We have two swathers right now that do a great job.  But again, as I said, when you get the chance to try out a new piece of machinery…it’s not a question of if, more of when can I get my hands on it?!  So they showed up at 4am the other morning…and I was excited!  I took a few rounds as the passenger and then they gave me the wheel.

After getting the hang of things…still looking quite focused!

Now here is where this whole roller coaster idea comes into play.  Because our swathers that we have now, run about 4mph while we’re cutting, this new machine, runs over 10!!!  I agree that in a car, this seems like a snails pace.  But when you’re on a machine with knives swinging around like crazy, bouncing over grass stubble, trying to drive a straight line, 10 miles an hour feels like you’re hitting the autobon at 120mph!!  Plus if you’ve ever worked on a farm you know how fast things can go wrong at a mere 1.8mph on a combine, yes, multiply that stress by 5!  You can say I hardly took my eyes off the windrow or my white knuckled hands off the wheel!  And to tack onto that, it’s not that you’re just going fast, you’re also steering the machine from the rear tires.  These babies turn on a dime, a very fast dime!  I did a few cookies (ROOKIE!), I’ll have to admit, but I think that if they would maybe let me demo it for the season (wink, wink) I would get the hang of it!

I’m not making this up…I was going 10.4!!!!

I have to say though, the machine did cut a wonderful windrow!  As the first step in harvest, having a good windrow is something that can’t be overlooked.  It will be interesting to see how this field combines compared to others.  Personally I love demos, however getting back into my 4.0mph swather did seem a bit boring after this crazy experience.  They have a good video out that shows some examples of this baby at work, pretty impressive.

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