All Around the Farm: Mid-February 2016

  • Economical shelter for irrigation engine

    This roof is built with three old bin sheets salvaged from a tornado. The 2×6-inch treated wood frame is on 4×4-inch wood posts. The sheets are attached to the wood frame with lag bolts and a fabricated subframe. They were easily bolted together with 5⁄16-inch bolts in preexisting holes. A hole is cut for the exhaust pipe.  

    Kevin Hoops | Byron, Nebraska 

  • Custom work turns out a sturdy shop chair

    I was able to modify an inexpensive engine stand purchased from a discount tool retailer to support a tractor seat. The other parts (cushions, backrest, etc.) came from farm supply companies. This seat is as comfortable as the one on the tractor, and it’s able to support the heaviest driver. It gets used as a roll-around seat in the shop.      

    Tom Collins | Urbana, Illinois 

  • An alternative to another all-purpose farm vehicle

    There are already two UTVs at my place, but I needed another unit just for picking up rocks and checking fields. I was able to purchase a 1991 Chevy Blazer for $200. It took me about an hour to cut off the doors and back hatch, leaving an inexpensive 4WD, all-terrain vehicle complete with roof, windshield, radio, seat belts, air conditioner, and heater. 

    Gary Naeve | Humboldt, Iowa 

  • Cage keeps the molasses tub upright

    My calves kept stepping into the molasses tubs I put in their pens. To correct this, I used 1-inch galvanized pipe to make a metal cage that stands 3 feet high. This cage is welded to a piece of diamond-plate steel that is of sufficient size that it won’t be tipped over. Then I cut out a 26-inch-diameter hole from the center of the plate to allow me to get the tubs in and out. 

    Jonathan Stahl | Faulkton, South Dakota

  • Give shovels back their edge

    Aluminum grain shovels are useful, but I have problems with the edges wearing out or getting bent. So I use a piece of masking tape as a guide near the bottom edge of a shovel. Then I saw along the tape with a jigsaw and a metal-cutting blade to straighten the front edge. Once I polish and sharpen slightly with a sander, the shovel is as good as new.           

    Chris Waldner | Artesian, South Dakota

  • Easy-to-assemble rack for multiple bottle calves

    After purchasing a number of bottle calves, I found commercial bottle feeders inadequate; they were awkward and not very sturdy. So I simply attached a slanted shelf to the back side of a pallet. It’s not only solid but also makes it very easy to drop bottles into place. This system can feed up to eight calves per pallet and can be designed to various heights.

    Jeffrey Martin | Bogard, Missouri

  • Plow just the snow, not the gravel and grass

    When running my snowplow on limestone, I had problems picking up stones, which would inevitably end up in the lawn. So I bought a section of 2-inch pipe and cut a narrow slot in it. Then I pressed it on over the edge of the loader bucket. Using the loader in the float position, snow can still be removed, but now I pick up very few stones. 

    Lloyd Anderson | Plymouth, Indiana

The latest and greatest farmer inventions compiled by Paula Barbour.

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