Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog last. Basically, as far as farming goes, my spring/summer can be summarized as the following.
The first project was the restoration of the 1957 John Deere 420 Utility. I went to Utah and picked up another 420 parts tractor. I was pretty fortunate to stumble across one online for a good price, so I jumped at the opportunity to take it. I brought it home, and used it to fix my current 420 utility. They were both the same year, too, so it worked pretty well.
After that, the crank of my 1959 John Deere 630 was finally fixed. I brought it home too, but then had the 420 project come up, so I spent time getting that done instead. Once I was finished with the 420, I spent some time working on the 630 and was able to get it working as well. The 630 project was completed after spring planting and alfalfa cultivating, which cut into the projects time, but was a priority.
Afterwords, it rained. It rained and it rained. The good thing was, we never had to use the sprinklers for first crop. It did stop raining, and instantly went to very hot/dry temperatures, so I was able to cut the alfalfa with the John Deere 4230 and 945 MoCo (mower conditioner, aka swather). We then waited about 3/4th of a week, then raked the hay. I used the newly restored 420 Utility for most of the raking–and it worked great! It was fun spending some seat time on a machine that I spent so much time with the restoration process.
After the raking came the baling. With all the rain we had, there was a very good high yield of bales. The yield was much higher than last year. I used the JD 4640 and Hesston 4790 3×4 big baler for the baling.
Anyway, that about sums it up. I’ll post some videos here and in future posts. Enjoy.
Discing with a John Deere 4230 with a BW disc, and drilling (planting) with a John Deere 4640 and LL-A grain drill. The drill is the device that is used to put the seed into the ground. The harrow and the roller are there to smoothen out the ground and push down rocks, as we live in a rocky area.
There’s also a hawk at the end that kept flying to the next wheel of the wheel line (irrigation pipe) with a mouse that it was trying to eat.
This fall we plowed up with the John Deere 4230 and JD plough the alfalfa field next to my parents house, as well as some additional acreage. Prior to ploughing, I also sprayed the field to kill off the alfalfa with the John Deere 4020. I also did some disking with the 4020 and BW disk.
I’ve always enjoyed the look of the 20/30 series two-cylinder John Deere tractors. Once upon a time (before I was born), we had a 630 on our farm. I believe they had a loader on it, and used it to load hay with, but I’m not quite certain. Because of this, the 630 has always had a special interest to me.
A quick history on the 630. If you know me, you know I enjoy the John Deere Model A. The A was replaced by the 60, and the 60 was replaced by the 620, and the 620 was replaced by the 630. In other words, the 630 is basically a late-fifties Model A.
I knew I would like to own a 630, I just didn’t think the opportunity would present itself quite as quickly as it did. My dad has a co-worker that was talking about selling a 630, and knowing that I enjoy the two-cylinders, dad mentioned to me that he was selling one. It wasn’t running at the time, and had been sitting for quite a few years.
Of course, I had to jump on the opportunity. Who wouldn’t, right? I ended up purchasing the tractor, and was fortunate that my grandfather was also able to go with me to pick up the tractor. As much as I enjoy spending time with grandpa, it’s even more fun getting an old tractor with him! He also grew up on and spent his entire life on a farm, and as such gives us opportunities to talk about the “good old days” when these tractors were in their prime.
To spare you the boring details, I had to do quite a bit of work on the tractor throughout the summer and fall. I don’t mind a good project though–that’s the best way to learn about a machine and become acquainted with it.
Although the project is not completed, as you can see from the photos and video, the project paid off. I now have a nice 1959 John Deere 630 to enjoy.
I had intentions on writing up a photo-book story of the restoration process of the John Deere Model A. I’m having a hard time finishing it, so I thought in the meantime, I’d just throw it up here. If there are any major spelling/grammar mistakes or things you’d like added, please use the comments field below. I’ll add some photos later. Click “Continue Reading” below for the full story.
This year I took the opportunity to have a little fun with planting oats in one of our smaller fields. I used the 1947 John Deere Model A that I recently restored, as well as our old grain drill (aka planter, late 1950s). It may not have been the quickest way to plant the oats, but I, and the dogs, had a lot of fun doing it!
The three videos here show us getting the drill ready and making sure everything on it works. The second video shows the John Deere 4230 disking the field. Last year we used the Model A as well as the John Deere 2010 to plow the field. Since it was plowed last fall, you disk it before you plant it to break up the larger chunks into a more fine powder, so the drill can do accurately seed the crop. The final video shows the actual planting process.