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Recall the early days of making silageRecall the early days of making silage

Hoosier Perspectives: In this edition of Forgotten Tool: Before there was the Claas Jaguar forage harvester, there was this device.

Tom J. Bechman

June 15, 2023

1 Min Read
Papec machine related to making silage
WHAT CAN IT DO? Tell us what this contraption did and qualify for a gift card drawing. Your answer must be specific and explain every task this machine could do. Tom J. Bechman

Unless you live in dairy or feedlot country, making silage is a lost art. Once upon a time, more farms had a few dairy cows than did not have them, and many of those farms made silage in the fall for winter feed. Based on sales records from the 1930s and 1940s, some used a machine like the one pictured here.

Your challenge is to give the full name of this tool and describe what it did in detail. Almost-right answers won’t cut it this time. Both functions this early Papec tool performed were included in its name, and you need to include and explain both.

If you do, your entry will be entered for a drawing of all correct entries for a gift card. Email your answer to [email protected] or send it to 599 N., 100 W., Franklin, IN 46131. Please include your physical mailing address.

Fencing tool

There must still be a few people who raise livestock on pasture, or at least their parents or grandparents did. Several people related to the fencing tool featured in the June issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer and online. However, only a few knew exactly how the tool was used.

Yes, it’s in the fence stretcher family. It’s actually a fence splicer — used, for example, to mend two strands of barbed wire together. If you go back and examine the picture, you will get a better feel for how the tool was used. Look closely at the two strands of wire in the head of the device.

The gift card winner was Bob Cook, Greenfield, Ind. Congratulations, Bob!

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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