Silage Blower Makes Inexpensive Ditcher
Draining water from his flat, Kansas farm fields is no longer a problem for Elwin Harder.
    The Newton, Kansas, wheat and row-crop farmer ditches fields prior to planting with a 3-point mounted ditcher that he made out of an old silage blower. Vol. 24, No. 2, 2000"It was a pretty simple machine to make," he says.
    "Basically, all I did was cut the bottom out of a Gehl High Throw silage blower that I bought for $75 at a sale."     He cut off about a third of the blower and then built a heavy angle iron frame around it. The blower was pto-driven, but he had to shorten the shaft. In total, Elwin figures he spent less than $100 in materials to make the ditcher.
    Mounted behind the tractor, the blower fan digs a shallow ditch about 20 in. wide and 5 to 6 in. deep at the center. Unlike a trencher, it throws the soil and scatters it over about 100 ft., so there's no ridge along the ditch.
    "It seems to work best if we ditch the field before we plant. The ditches aren't deep enough to slow us down much with the planter, and we can plant right over them," Elwin says.
    While the ditcher doesn't dig deeply, Elwin says it makes a big difference in the way water runs off a field. "It's just deep enough to carry off excess water, so water doesn't stand on the field," he says.
    Elwin uses his ditcher on an 80 hp tractor. "We can move about 2 1/2 mph with it when we're going 5 to 6 in. deep. Even at that speed, though, it doesn't take long to ditch a field. Deciding where to dig takes more time than ditching. Usually, we'll put a main ditch through a low spot and then make a few shorter branches off of that," he explains.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Elwin Harder, 720 S. Woodlawn Rd., Newton, Kan. 67114 (ph 316 283-1759).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4