Earlier this year, I interviewed a grain farmer in Crawford County, Ohio, who told me he chooses his farm equipment based on what best fits his needs.

“We don’t wear green underwear, or red underwear, or yellow underwear,” he said. “We run whatever we feel to suit our needs.”

That’s kind of a blunt way of putting it, but it sure gets the point across.

And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the way it should be.

As a kid growing up in farm country, I saw very quickly how farmers differ on the kinds of equipment they use and believe in.

Loyalty to a brand is not a bad thing — necessarily. In fact, it’s probably no different than how people choose different makes and models of cars and trucks.

Different likes

Some people swear by what’s new, and has the most advanced technology. When you figure everything the new machines can do — auto steer, precision placement of seed and fertilizer, and field calculations and GPS mapping — it’s pretty amazing.

These features generally boost efficiency dramatically, reducing operator fatigue and the amount of time involved.

But, there are still a good many farmers who continue to use tractors from the 1980s and earlier. I know some who still use the popular International 1066 and the Oliver 1800s and 1900s as their primary work tractors.

Costs less

And some of the same who use Oliver 660s and Farmall 400s and Ms as wagon tractors. Many of them enjoy the advantage of owning the equipment and find it much easier and cost-efficient to repair.

You could rebuild an older, 100 horsepower tractor engine several times for less than you’d pay to buy a 100-horse tractor on today’s market.

When I take pictures of farmers doing field work, one of the things I love is the variety of colors and tractor models in the fields. I don’t consider any type of equipment right or wrong — I just love to see it in action.

Take a look

Here are some of the many “variety” pictures I’ve tried to capture this spring. Some of these setups would only work on the farm or the field where they were taken.

Nobody here is trying to make a statement or set the fashion bar.

They just were using what worked for them, whether it was new or old, green or not.

To me, that’s the beauty of having a lot of quality farm equipment to choose, from companies that have been developing newer and better machines to fit farmers’ needs for decades, to more than a century.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
View all posts by Chris Kick

Related posts: