Lost in the West,
Leveling Wheel Tractors.
Yielder Drills, Peaches, Who, What,
Where, When and Why.
Is this a corn field in the Sandhills of Nebraska
with all that Corn?
Did I turn right when I should have went left?
Did I drive out Hyannis, Nebraska
this morning towards Alliance, Nebraska and when I
discovered this Geological puzzlement?
Yes sir, The University of Nebraska has a Garbanzo breeder in
Alliance, NE, Carlos from Columbia….he has new variety, New Hope.
Checking out the Garbanzo Variety indicates it is highly breed up.
Looks like Fred Muehlbar has his fingers in the pie.
Furthermore they raise winter wheat in Alliance, NE and furthermore
a lot of corn for the feedlots and ethanol plants.
So where am I….Lost again?
Where are the cows?
How come those steep slopes face to the North? The Sandhills steep
slopes face to the South.
Where are the lakes of the flooded meadows and where are the
haymakers at work.
You know I don’t think I am in Nebraska.
Man that hill
is steep. They are making hay on the North Slope,
Good wheat crop on the south side. A Nice Corn crop is
Man can they raise
corn in Nebraska. And even in the Sandhills they raise corn.
Now I understand, That is a green chop operation, the alleys are
for the old pull type green chopper,
They have cows somewhere.
Where is that corn green chop going?
Where is the feedlot? Must be a dairy operation in the Sandhills?
I never heard of dairy in the Sandhills.
Holy cow, that
is steeper than a Cows Face….man what were they thinking about. I
guess Mary Jane must be legal here.
Is that a Peach
Orchard up there on that 70% to 80% slope? Looks like peaches to
What a great
deal, Pennewawa Peaches. I did not know Peaches grew in
Nebraska. Man are they good on a 95 degree day.
impact is 9 times that of level land farming.
You farm the
land 9 times more in your memory bank.
It is like being a pilot with a P-51 Mustang. You need power in
roll, pitch and yaw.
Yes Sir. We are in
is oil seed Sunflowers up there on that steep slope. Looks like they
did it with a planter. That really is the best way to raise
sunflowers is with a planter on 20 inch or 30 inch.
I know we are not
in Kansas. However there are some areas of Kansas that they need a
hillside combine over by the Missouri River.
Really how could
anybody farm this land?
This is a little
Switzerland. They must be of Swiss Origin. You must be physically
strong and able since you are climbing and falling all the time. You
Must be born into it.
Some of the drop
offs are dangerous and for sure unbelievable that they did farm
almost all of it at one time with horses. The giveaway is there are
no cow trails on the steep ground that is retired.
Here is a story
you won’t believe. The Triple Black Diamond of Agriculture.
Horses farmed it
combine only levels to 27% or about 15 degrees. This new design is a
leveling tractor and not a walking beam design capable of 47% or
double rack, pull type design of 65%.
Cat tractors with
full leveling pull combines operated with the draper header up the
hill. The Caterpillar pulled Caterpillar 36A combine could access
the really steep ground because of the header.
You can see the
old tillage line where a non-native grass has been seeded. That
really steep land was farmed for wheat production.
The pull type
combine like the Caterpillar 36A combine header 16.5 and 20 feet in
width, had a cantilever load on the main thresher frame and leveling
wheels with dual leveling racks. This allowed level harvesting at
65% slope angle.
For short bursts
in big coves the operator and combine jockey may have harvested
compound slope angles right to 80% (39 degrees). The angle of repose
is typically 33 degrees or about 65%.
A 50% slope is
26.2 degrees. A 100% slope angle is 45 degrees.
A pile of wheat is
27 degrees. A pile of sand is 34 degrees.
When farming all
three sides of the hill or 3 times the land surface area results in
about 720 surface acres in a section of 1 mile by 1 mile. There is
10 per cent to 15 percent more land to farm.
Now for the final
calculation for us humans. You must square the number 3…..you end
with 9 times the physical and impressionable (memory) impact of
farming steep land as compared to level land.
Times have changed
with the self-propelled combines.
They can level
about 47% like the 1470.
So the producers had to give the really steep land back to mother
nature as grass and trees, maybe even fruit trees.
That class 9
combine is built right here in Nebraska.
I think the 9230
is going to roll over even with a 27% leveling system.
They never told me
about this Sandhills farm area when I went to University of
A class 9, is a
monster machine with a 45 foot header….built right here in Grand
Island, Nebraska….along with the New Holland Twin Rotor.
A blast from the past.
is a “Monster”. Is
that man a midget?
Where do they get
the money from a Sandhills Farm to buy these $650,000 machines?
The yields must be
There is the
International Rotary 1470, Four Wheel Drive, Leveling to 47% on the
walking beam radial arm axles…the full power axle in the back levels
to 65% in scissors action.
About 700 plus,
1470’s were built by R.A Hanson Co for International and yours truly
as the project manager. Built the first one in 90 days. The Yielder
Drill traces its roots right back to the 1470.
Len Waiter was
lead engineer along with the genius of Bob Bird who nailed the rear
power axle in a
Sunday design session using hunt and peck and Monte
Carlo design process.
The brakes are
dead stop on all slope angles. The balance is superior for climbing
and going down very steep land. Before your very eyes this machine
is safe as it defies gravity.
replaced 2 to 3 combines in one deal. In fact it brought on a whole
new era in farming with the Yielder Drill.
The No-tillage Era
of the 70’s and 80’s was kicked off by this machine.
Even though the
1470 was built in 1981….this machine will rule the roost for many
years to come. It is the safest combine built and able to access
much steeper ground than the Class 9 combine.
The machine is
fully updated with all the technical advancements of the last 40
There is another
A slightly above
average Nebraska Corn Famer….with Sunflowers in the steep slope
background? America’s Number 1 No-till Farmer….Nobody does it
From the early
80’s. Triples with Cat Components.
Hey guess what?...
a “Leveling Knudson Wheel Tractor” built right here in Nebraska.
That is a very rare tractor.
Caterpillar power train components and a 400 horsepower, aftercooled
Cummins engine. They were popular where slopes were steep.
The Knudson “goes
where no man has gone before.” Keeps the weight balanced between
always said, “If he was a farmer he would have this tractor
on his farm.”
A fancy cab is
Another tractor in
better than new condition is just visible.
That 9U D-6
Caterpillar Tractor, barely visible in the back, is from the early
The engine set up
new from the factory is 235 to 250 horsepower as a stocker with 35%
But a fueling
event has taken place and a low speed droop, an
electric set governor spring is installed….these are “On farm
Racing Tractors” and are a lot of fun and powerful.
The Cat 9U,
D-6 is a “Hot Rod” with a Caterpillar 1673B truck engine. Climb on
board, you can’t hurt it, it has a “Wet Deck” in the steering
They run the Cat
Engine 1673B by the Pyrometer….If the exhaust temperature gets up to
1200 degrees F…..the operator will back out of the load.
This engines run
like a marine diesel application….Maximum horsepower for a very
short period of time.
Here is the big
brother….A D6C with swamp pads….built in Japan by Caterpillar.
You never knew how
important a high quality tractor was when the D6C SA, 17R series was
introduced. It was developed in the 1970’s with double reduction
“ has a 90D serial number. A high water mark for PNW and
California farmers in 1976.
Farming on tracks in the 90’s.
OK….you guessed it
we are not in Nebraska.
This is John
Aeschilman National Award Winner in No-tillage Farming. A Legend in
No-tillage as per Frank Lessiter’s No-till farming committee.
Owner of several
Yielder® Drills over his career.
You have a chance
to spend a day with John as we got John to give the reins to son
Cory on the big Case combine.
John and Guy did a
tour of the land and the expanding and developing history of
No-till. The subject was well discussed.
The United States
Army….the Corps of Engineers of Walla Walla,
The engineers built these four dams of the Snake River and improved
the local economy by Billions fo Dollars.
fish still run the drainage at full length to Redfish Lake because
farmers are paying attention to the where the water is going.
with a Duff Layer at 100 degrees F. You can save every inch, just
follow John. The OM is the secret. Check out the adjoining access
road with no OM on top.
moved his farm to an 18 inch rainfall from the old fashioned
approaches of the 10 to 12 inch rainfall.
He stores all the
moisture and beats his black summer fallow neighbors which are fewer
Look at the Soil
Life and the Duff Layer holding moisture to the top.
Chemfallow in the foreground and the Aeschilman Game Preserve coming
We are close to
the Snake River.
In 60 days…there
will be paired rows of Winter Wheat in 1 to 2 leaves on the land
developing deep root systems using fertilizer placement.
fertilizer top dressed this close to the Snake River. This requires
skill and VRT-Site Specific Technology. No airplanes here flying
on spring fertilizer. It is not required in No-till fertilizer
placement and Exactrix TAPPS formulation.
Ask Eric Odberg
another Award Winning young manager of No-till at Genesee, Idaho. No
airplanes, no top dressing, feed the crop and don’t poison the fish.
Good moisture for
seeding on a hot July day at close to 100 degrees F.
Winter Canola will
require SRS at 100 gallons to the acre in the row on 20 inch
This is quite a
day for No-till. John’s career is moving ahead with his son Cory
and now Ben doing the books in three generations on the job.
The duff layer is
holding the moisture right to the top in a 10 to 12 inch rainfall.
considered an impossible feat by University people at Ritzville,
Chemfallow in this low rainfall. You can and we are letting the
producers prove it.
The moisture line
will not be there for winter wheat to emerge timely. That was the
old fashioned thinking.
Now SRS can be
used for Winter Canola.
Why Winter Canola?
Deep Roots and
Fumigation and it makes more money than wheat in this rainfall.
Soil physics is
More News about Soil Physics and Nutrient Management.
A good look at the
Cover crops are the last thing you want to consider. The secret is
the Rotation. Winter Cropping With Winter Canola and Winter
Wheat….yet spring Canola works pretty good also.
Chemfallow is used
on about 20% of the rotation in this rainfall. This field was 150
acres. The soils are deep. Winter Wheat and Winter Canola can root
down to 9 feet in the soil profile.
The power of
Chemfallow with 10 to 12 inches of moisture over 2 years means 100
plus bushel wheat will follow. Winter Canola is the clean-up crop
and make a lot of money at $9.00 to $11.00 per bushel.
A Fresh harvest
scene for winter wheat and for Trophy Mule Deer Game.
The scene is close
to Snake River and the trails are not cattle trails…..those are game
trails on the 80% slope angle and moisture storing, north facing
We are within 2 to
3 miles of the Snake River Canyon the reservoir of the Little Goose
Dam. Pennewawa on the Snake River is directly 2.5 miles to the south
at 630 feet above sea level. This field is at 1,900 feet.
For Sure, The land
is too steep to farm safely. But it is farmed for Mule Deer and
White Tail Deer. That is a hunting preserve for the Seattle wealthy
A 30-06 with a
scope brings out six big bucks in about 1 day of hunting.
That is a lot of
meat if it is Mule Deer.
You are going to
need a bigger pickup truck and a much better winch to skid out the
“Hey John, Stop
the pickup, That is the Snake River! Yes Sir, The Snake River”….all
the way from the Tetons and Yellowstone conjoining with the Columbia
River from the Columbia Ice field in British Columbia. Joining up at
Pasco and headed for Portland and the Pacific.
Clean Idaho Water
full of Salmon and Steelhead.
Our No-tillage Mormon Brothers at Idaho Falls, Idaho and The Ririe
Bench (95% No-tillage) directly along the Snake. These high
elevation producers keep this water clean and clear.
At the Camas
Prairie our best farmers are No-tillers and the No-till farmers.
They keep it clean along the Snake and Clearwater….and the Salmon
At Genesee, Idaho
and Kendrick, Idaho, Along the Clearwater River at Catholic Canyon
the water is clean and clear and devoid of commercial fertilizer
thanks to No-till and Exactrix TAPPS.
Some of the
Sockeye swim 800 plus miles to Redfish Lake in Sawtooth range of
Idaho at 6,200 feet above sea level…the spend their life out close
to billionaires in
This means about
1,200 feet down from here and south 2.5 miles we can go water skiing
like I used to do when I was a boy with Dave Repp, Warren Horton and
That water skiing
trip was back in the 60’s when the river was free flowing.
Warm Springs at
This is the Peach
Capital of Whitman County, Washington.
Water Skiing in a
10 inch rainfall and always warm. This is the best water skiing in
You can go for 50
miles on smooth as glass water. Nobody is there.
That is the Union
Pacific that runs to Lewiston, Idaho and the railroad used to go all
the way to end of the world at Grangeville, Idaho.
In the Teddy
Roosevelt era, 1903 to 1910 the railroads were many and extreme.
Mountain logging railroads and big timber companies supported the
A tractor pull
with no sled on Steiger Road.
Harvester on display this year….Next year Caterpillar Tractor Co.
…..Next year Allis Chalmers. Next Year Cletrac.
Buy your plane
tickets and come on the Peach Tour of No-till in Whitman County,
Make sure your
realize all these tractors run.
operating air conditioners.
You may want to
Some of these
tractors helped win World War 2.
Giant, The USA.
sons helped win the war with boys to men.
They came back to
these tractors in the fall of 1945 and glad to see their family