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How to Keep Older Farm Machinery in Better Shape Longer

How to Keep Older Farm Machinery in Better Shape Longer
Simple repairs may prevent more expensive, extensive repairs on your farm machinery in the long-term

One farmer reported that the snout, just the part of a row on a corn head that extends out nearest to the ground, can cost $600 to replace. And that's a plastic snout on a newer corn head. And according to the farmer, they can break, even though they are plastic.

Related: What To Consider When You Buy New Farm Machinery

Jeremy Henry, Connersville, is perfectly satisfied running an older corn head on his John Deere combine. A skilled machinist working full-time off the farm, he decided that he could fix a wobbly metal snout on the cheap.

Like new, almost: Paint may be lacking, but functionality isn't. Jeremy Henry figured out how to snug up the snouts and get more life from them.

In fact, to fix those wobbly snouts, he only invested in new washers and tightened them down so that they weren't loose any more. Grab one and there is some give, but not a lot of wobble that could interfere with harvest.

"It's just one of the things I do to try to keep repair costs down," he says. "We don't farm enough land yet to justify larger, newer machinery, so I try to take care of what I have. We make repairs if we can to make what we have work as well as it possibly can."

Henry also seeds cover crops. He built a seeder for his corn head that is powered by combine hydraulics in 2013. He has now used it successfully for two seasons. This summer he built a seeder that mounts on his grain head. Since he didn't have extra hydraulic outlets while combining soybeans, he figured out how to run the seeder with a ground driven mechanism that he designed and built himself. He was tempted to throw in the towel more than once, but now he is glad that he didn't, he says.

He's able to save a trip seeding cover crops off the grain table, just like he seeds cover crops off the corn head in corn.

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