All Around the Farm: May 2014

  • Mix seed thoroughly without breakage

    Mix seed thoroughly without breakage
    On our farm, we mix talc, inoculant, and other treatments with our seed. We find that a large (5-gallon) paint mixer and drill make the best tools for the job. The paint mixer is much faster, and it takes a lot less energy than mixing by hand or stirring with a stick. Because of the mixer’s rounded edges, it won’t damage or break the seed.        
    Seth Zentner | Omaha, Nebraska

  • Let the vacuum sit up higher

    Let the vacuum sit up higher
    My 8-gallon shop vac now sits in the top half of a cleaned out 20-gallon oil barrel. Four swivel casters are fastened to a plate at the bottom to make it portable. Small brackets hold the barrel secure, and I added holders to the side for some of the vac’s attachments. Also, the contents of the vacuum can be emptied into the barrel when it gets full.
    Fred Ifft Jr. | Fairbury, Illinois       

  • Hauling pipe isn't a drag anymore

    Hauling pipe isn’t a drag anymore 
    We use a lot of pipe at our ranch and, at one time, we’d have to sling the pipe under the four-wheeler with a length of chain to move it. It was time-consuming and created a lot of drag. So we built a trailer specifically for the job by starting with an ATV trailer and adding some scrap metal. There is a hand crank for the crossmember that clamps the pipes securely into place.
    Ed Meredith | Big Horn, Wyoming

  • Same stuff, smaller container

    Same stuff, smaller container
    Petroleum jelly has multiple purposes, so I always like to have some on hand. The jar it comes in is pretty cumbersome, so I transfer a small amount to a discarded prescription pill bottle. This way, the smaller, lightweight bottle fits in my pocket. I carry some at all times for rubbing drawer slides in chests and for applying to the hinges of refrigerators, stoves, and other appliances.     
    Jerry Allen | Perry, Iowa

  • Toolbox transforms into a trailer

    Toolbox transforms into a trailer 
    I built this very lightweight cargo box trailer from an old pickup toolbox and axle. It is U-bolted on at the bottom of the box. I use it to take timber-cutting supplies to the woods, but it’s good for transporting anyplace where a pickup is too big or the ground conditions are too wet. I also put old truck tires on it so it rolls easily and floats well.      
    Jonathan Delabar | Wheelersburg, Ohio

  • Prepare just the right amount

    Prepare just the right amount    
    When I only needed enough cement to pour around an anchor post, I devised a way to prepare a small batch without my cement mixer. I used a 40- to 50-pound plastic-type feed bag and poured in less than 80 pounds premixed cement and some water. Then, I twisted the top, rolled it around, and poured it out. This would also work for blending small amounts of seed and inoculants.
    Carl Gallihugh | Olivet, Michigan

  • Give calves a respite

    Give calves a respite    
    Since calves love to get away from their mothers, we set up a way for them to do so without the mothers getting upset. We removed some of the slats from an old big bale feeder. This gives the calves room to fit through – but not the cows. The ring gets turned upside down, and then we add some fresh bedding. This works especially nice in wet weather, because it keeps the bedding dryer longer.
    Nella Veenstra | New Sharon, Iowa

  • Don't throw out that old inner tube

    Don’t throw out that old inner tube   
    All efforts aside, sometimes large tractor inner tubes do get beyond repair. That’s OK, because they make excellent work pads for getting on the floor or the ground when I need to do repairs. They have a little bit of cushion and, of course, provide a clean surface. I just use a utility knife to cut the tube open in two places and then trim to the size I need.   
    Dean Stolp | Sprague, Washington

Great farmer inventions including innovative ways to mix seed and haul pipe.

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