We first cut the cultivator down 4 ft. per side so our tractor would handle it. Then we welded on three lengths of 3-in. sq. tubing in order to switch the cultivator over from its original V-shaped configuration to rectangular, a newer design. We stretched the teeth out on the bars to 36 in. spacings, from 18 in., so we can even get through standing corn stalks with ease. Getting the teeth lined up was the trickiest part of the project, requiring a lot of measuring and positioning, then remeasuring and repositioning.
We've pulled the cultivator with our Deere 4-WD 7520 over 600 acres of plowed ground for two seasons. We've been able to cut back from two passes to one because it does a much better job leveling fields so we've also been able to realize a savings of 1 to 2 gal. of fuel per acre. It doesn't work the tractor like it did before and doesn't plug at all. It just does a beautiful job and cost only $300 or $400 to modify.
We also came up with a low-cost, long-lasting way to replace the fertilizer auger tube on our 1980's 8-row (30-in.) Deere MaxEmerge 7000 after it rusted out for the umpteenth time. The problem is that Deere's thin gauge PVC tubing isn't built heavy enough to last for more than three or four years, and Deere replacement parts sell for a whopping $600.
We simply cut up an old 60-ft., 6-in. dia. grain auger we had laying around and used 20 ft. of the tube for the replacement. We had our local blacksmith shop do the work. They made new mounting brackets to replace the rusted out originals and installed the tube on them. Since they didn't like working with galvanized metal, they used 3 or 4 ft. of black tubing on the end where the fertilizer comes in. We used it for the first time this season and it works great. Only cost $150. (James and Debra Noram, 1932 270th Ave., Currie, Minn. 56123; ph 507 859-2770).
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