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Big ideas from the Web: All Around the Farm

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    Farmers are some of the best inventors in the world. That's why All Around the Farm has long been a staple of Successful Farming magazine. Now, you can submit your big ideas to our editors online. Check out some of the latest innovations farmers have sent in from the web.

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    Jason Reis of Lime Springs, Iowa, has devised a system for streamlining the process of loading liquid nitrogen for sidedressing.

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    "The swingarm easily swings out over road ditches to make for a very quick turn around time to keep the side-dressing moving along," Reis says.

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    You might do a double-take when you see what's powering this unit. Reis mounted the engine and chassis of a John Deere 855 riding mower on the trailer. "just at idle this configuration will pump very fast," he says.

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    Ted Lacy found himself in about the worst situation possible on his farm. Caught in a cleaning mill on his farm, he nearly lost his life.

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    His life was saved, though, by a small device on his belt. It's a wireless or corded shut-off switch for the operator of any piece of machinery. "The person operating the piece of equipment wears a transmitter on his/her belt or shirt pocket," Lacy says. "Need to shut off the engine or motor, press the transmitter button, engine/motor shuts off."

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    Sometimes, a physical setback or disability can sideline a farmer for a long time. That was the case for a farmer near Jon Fieldler of Alexandria, Minnesota, who built a lift system for the farmer so he could board his tractor and commence working in the field.

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    "He has a disability that was making it impossible to get on his tractor to work his small field and plow his driveway in the winter so I built him this lift," Fieldler says. "It has a forklift type boom and uses a 12v electric winch for lifting."

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    Curt Lambertsen of Eldora, Iowa, works with different carbides, or chemical composition blends of carbon, to improve the life and effectiveness of cultivator and sweeps blades. "Field and university testing, and now farmer field tests, have verified that our carbide application extends the life of a sweep by as much as 300%," he says.

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    "Every farmer that has used our carbide infused sweeps has loved them," Lambertsen says. "They last longer, do a better job of tilling, and because they last longer they require changing less."

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    A manufacturer's shortcoming was the target of Ron McDonald's shop-borne improvement. He saw the ladders on the Deere 9000-series combines to be "not very farmer friendly," so he took it upon himself to weld a new ladder and platform to better accomodate the large drive wheels.

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    "I built a ladder that is more like stairs that come up and over the drive tires. However, it is still able to swing out of the way to raise the side panel and do all maintenance and repairs," says McDonald, who farms near Maquoketa, Iowa. "This ladder will fit all John Deere models from the first 9XXX series combines to the latest S Series combines. I have built several for area farmers."

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    Mixing seed treatments has always been kind of an irritation for Seth Zentner on his farm near Omaha, Nebraska. As a way to speed up the job and make it more efficient, he's started using a 5-gallon-type paint mixer and drill. "The paint mixer is much faster and takes less energy to mix seed then using your hands or a stick to stir and mix," he says.

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    The repurposed tool not only makes it quicker, but it helps do a better job, Zentner says. "The paint mixer and drill also does a more though job of mixing the seed and because of the rounded edges is easy on the seed and will not damage or break the seed," he says. "Lots of people already have a large paint mixer and a cordless drill. So it’s just another use for a tool you already have."

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    Tommy Thompson's thinking big on his farm near Florence, Alabama. Though it's not in practice yet, his tillage system eliminates the need for tractors altogether. "The implements create their own traction by working against themselves. This system produces one tire track every 100 plus feet thereby reducing soil compaction," he says.

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    "The implements create their own traction by working against themselves. This system produces one tire track every 100 plus feet thereby reducing soil compaction," Thompson adds. "When the system is in operation only the implements are moving and not a 40,000-pound tractor, thereby reducing fuel consumption."

Farmers can now submit All Around the Farm ideas online! See some of the latest big ideas!

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