How agriculture works thread

   / How agriculture works thread #1  


Super Member
Mar 18, 2016
Houghton MI (the Lake Superior snow belt) USA
Polaris Boss 6x6 with pods (tracks) Center actuating lawn mower by Husky
I grew up within agriculture and approximately 1/3 of my siblings do that today. This is in the Missouri river basin where machines and land is all big. If anyone would like to comment or ask questions about these operations, feel free to do so. This video is not of anyone I know, but was shot near where my family members reside. When the largest of these harvests, they normally do so with 3 combines and operate them 24/7 when conditions allow.

   / How agriculture works thread #2  
I always thought it would be a wonderful adventure to work on a custom harvest crew for a season or two as a young man. A season or two on a Great Lakes ore boat would also be cool. I'm an old man now so that dream is gone and I work in a pill mill.
   / How agriculture works thread
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When we resided in Duluth MN, the boat companies were posting job adds looking for deck hands with minimal experience needed. When I brought that job up to the spousal unit, her response was "I don't think so".

Back to Midwest farms; We had a wettish summer but the wheat needed to be taken out anyway and then dried, which is not the norm. I was standing with my bro-in-law chatting with him who was helping the grain trucks showing up and dumped into the dryer system. So there was a small fleet of trucks shuffling the wheat from a distant field that had three combines in it, plus a grain cart or two who moved the grain to the trucks being loaded at the edge of the field. This had many, many bushels of grain just in this transportation system plus the combines, so I asked him "how many acres of wheat are you transporting today?" He thought for a minuet and says, "about 3/4's of a section worth"

This is how the wheat we use for our bread, is grown.
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Good Morning Arlyn - I enjoy motoring down into the heart of the Palouse and watching the large combines. The trick - find a good viewing position that is UP WIND. Myself and a whole lot of other folks go to the top of Steptoe Butte. A natural rock formation with an exceptional view. You spiral around this "hill" and wind up on the very top. Some 1000 feet above wheat fields - as far as the eye can see.

Steptoe Butte is a part of the WA State Parks system. While the spiral drive to the top is paved - it's not a venture for the faint of heart. Very much like Going To The Sun Road - without many guard rails.
   / How agriculture works thread
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Thanks Rolf! Here is a young gal in Nebraska who makes quite good and light hearted videos about her life on the Carlson farm. Both of the tractors Laura is operating in this video are over 300hp. (y)
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Good video. This is exactly what all the wheat farmers are doing around here now. Many have gone to the tracked tractors. I can't imagine that a tracked unit would be that much better on hillsides than what the gal has in the video.

The Palouse is rolling, undulating farm land. A percentage of which is not farmed - too steep. Perhaps the tracked units get better use of fuel.
   / How agriculture works thread
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A few years ago I asked my brother-in-law why he hadn't switched to those tracked tractors and he said "they ride to rough for us". I asked about GPS steering control like Laura used in the above video and he said "we tried that but found side hill slippage was to great". By that he meant that the GPS antenna on the tractor which would not compensate for the implements side hills slippage. This conversation was a few years ago but I'll ask him this again since I should see him in May.
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The basic reason tracked tractors are so popular on the Palouse is that the tracks have a much larger footprint on the ground compared to even the 8 wheeled tractors. This gives them superior traction and pulling power, particularly on soft, hilly and/or wet ground. And they don't compact the soil as much which helps crop yields. They can also turn a tighter corner. From what I hear, tracks ride better on soft ground but ride rougher on hard ground (i.e. a dried plowed clay field). Tracks have their downside too. The mains one being you can't cruise down the road between fields as fast and they cost more.
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You are right Oosik, Steptoe Butte gives a breath taking 360 degree view of the wonders of the Palouse. God made a great decision to put a large, tall conical rock formation in the middle of some of the world's most incredible farm land.