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New Idea corn picker
AN ICON: This isn’t Steve Ritter’s New Idea corn picker, but it was made in the same era as his. Bill Field, the Purdue University Extension farm safety specialist, uses this picker on his farm near Rossville.

Farmall 450, New Idea picker still make great team

Tractor Treasure: Steve Ritter feels right at home on his Farmall 450, especially when he's pulling his New Idea corn picker.

The Farmall 450 was made by International Harvester in the late 1950s. Steve Ritter, Jackson County, is proud of the 1957 model he uses on his farm today. Ritter and his wife, Pam, raise Angus cattle.

“I grew up working for a farmer in Lawrence County in the 1960s,” Ritter recalls. “He had a Farmall 450. It was the biggest tractor he had, and I really enjoyed driving it. ”

The tractor came equipped with a Farmall icon — a torque amplifier, or TA.

“I still remember rotary hoeing soybeans back then with the Farmall 450,” Ritter says. “I was just a teenager. He had me put it in fifth gear, and with the torque back, it would really fly!”

When Ritter moved to his own farm, he began looking for a Farmall 450. He found one near Hartford City and restored it himself. He uses it for various jobs today, including pulling a New Idea 324 two-row corn picker with a Model 327 12-roll husking bed. The New Idea corn picker line is legendary in its own right.

Ritter has a second New Idea 324 picker equipped with a Model 314 sheller. “Our crop was good enough last fall that we filled our cribs,” he explains. “We finished harvest with the picker equipped with the sheller unit.”

READY FOR THE FIELD: Steve Ritter enjoys any day he can take his Farmall 450 to the field and put it to work.


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