The Trouble Tree

September 12, 2019

The Trouble Tree

I hired a carpenter to help me restore an old farmhouse. He had a rough first day on the job - a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and his ancient pickup truck refused to start at the end of the day. When I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When he opened the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward, he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t ...

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Sept/Oct issue on its way

September 4, 2019

The September/October issue is at the printer and is chock full of great ideas!


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Thomas Jefferson - The Worst Farmer In Virginia

August 27, 2019

In the upcoming 43.5 issue we have another great bunch of articles.  One that caught my eye during layout this week was an article on Virginia White Gourd Corn that dates back to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.  We have had several other articles this year that also referenced, Thomas Jefferson.


My sister in law is a tour guide at Jefferson’s home, Monticello near Charlottesville, VA.  Monticello is a great historic place to visit and learn about history, science and agriculture.  I was not aware of just how much interest Jefferson had in agriculture. stated in an article on Jefferson, “ He considered himself a farmer by profession and was continually searching for more progressive ways to work his plantations.  Jefferson was always interested in new crops ...

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From the Archives

August 7, 2019

This story appeared in Volume# 9, Issue# 5 - 1985

Simplest round bale transport we've seen

North Dakota farmer Louis Baenen, of Jamestown, built himself a low-cost, simple-to-make, transport for hauling round bales using an old running gear and two 30-ft. long electric poles to cradle the bales.
"I load five 1,000 lbs. bales on the wagon with my tractor loader, then carry the sixth bale on the bucket," explains Baenen.
He extended the running gear reach, using a 2-in dia. pipe between the two axles. The wooden electric poles are placed just inside the stake pockets and bolted to the running gear frame. Baenen points out that the poles extend 4-ft. beyond the back of the running gear. The poles are 14-in. in dia. and taper down to 10-in. Baenen purchased them from his electric company when they put in underground lines.

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New Issue Off The Press

May 8, 2019

Cover farm show Vol. 43, No. 3

Our May-June, Vol. 43, No. 3 issue is off the press and on the way to subscribers!  It's full of amazing new inventions and ideas.  Don't miss out if your subscription has expired! 

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The Farmer And The Mule

February 15, 2019

A mule fell into a farmer’s unused well.  The farmer heard the mule braying and, after carefully assessing the situation, decided that neither the mule nor the old well were worth saving.  He decided to kill two birds with one stone by filling in the old well and burying the mule to put it out of its misery.
    As he shoveled dirt into the well, the mule became hysterical.  However, as dirt hit his back, he’d shake it off and step up.  He seemed to calm down as the process went on, continuing to “shake it off and step up” as the well gradually filled up.
    It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly out of the well.  Although at first it had seemed like the dirt would bury him, instead it ended up helping him. All because of the way the mule kept its head when things looked bleak.
    That’s life!  If we face our problems and respond to them positively ...

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Thinking About Gardening? Check Out This Simple Homemade Planter

January 15, 2019

girl holds her garden planter

Last year my eighth grade science teacher asked our class to invent something that would solve a problem. My grandpa likes to garden but has trouble bending over, so I came up with an invention that makes it easier for him to plant. It consists of a waist-high tube with a plastic funnel on top and an attached ruler at the bottom to aid in seed spacing. A hoe is first used to make a furrow. Then you drop seed down through the tube. You go from one seed to the next, using the ruler to determine how far apart to drop the seed. Afterward you go back with the hoe and close up the row.     I got an "A" on my invention and also entered it in a Pennsylvania Inventors' Association contest. It took first place at the eighth grade level and was also the overall winner in grades K-12. I also received a total of $400 in savings bonds for both awards. I gave my invention to grandpa and he's very proud of it. (Sarah Sherick, Middletown, Pa.)

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We get notes . . .

January 6, 2019

Here's a note I got from a reader named Paul in Iowa the other day: "I am 93 years old and I may not last another year but I don't want to miss any copies either.  So here's my payment for renewal.  FARM SHOW is by far my favorite magazine ever."

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New Issue Going To Press Today

January 4, 2019

Cover current issue of FARM SHOW

The January-February issue is going to press today and will start mailing next week.  Hope you enjoy!

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Living Tree Church

December 19, 2018

This living, breathing green church was “grown” by New Zealander Barry Cox, who makes his living moving trees with a tree spade.  Deeply religious, he decided to merge his two passions to create one of the most unusual places in the world to get married.  The “Tree Church” took 4 years to “grow” and opened to the public just this summer.  Word quickly spread over the internet.  You can book a wedding there for about $2,000.  It seats 100.  It’s also open to the public for tours and photo sessions for a fee.  

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Cage-Free Ballot Measure Threatens Poultry Farmers

December 11, 2018

You may not have heard about Prop 12, the latest crackpot measure approved by voters in California, given the wild fires and mass shooting dominating the news from the Golden State.
But you will before long. Check out the rapid response to the latest ballot measure backed by California’s cage-free caucus on the Farm Journal website.

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Church Bulletin Bloopers

December 6, 2018

• Evening massage - 6 p.m.

• Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.

• Ushers will eat latecomers.

• The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

• During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs took over the pulpit.

• Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on “It’s a Terrible Experience.”

• Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

• The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy ...

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Convert Rural Roads To Farmland?

December 6, 2018

One mile of rural roadway is equivalent to about 8 acres of

cropland and, according to a study by the Iowa-based Soy

Transportation Coalition (, thousands

of miles of under-used rural roads should be converted

to farmland - turning a costly liability into a productive asset.

The idea was prompted by the growing crisis in rural funding

to maintain roads and bridges. Farm associations and

commodity groups have been pressuring state legislators to

increase funding for rural infrastructure. The study pointed

out that there “simply is not enough funding to accommodate

all the needs in rural areas”. Taking under-used roads “off the

books” might go a long way to solving the problem.

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Father Of The Diesel Engine

November 27, 2018

Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913) was a German engineer whose

goal was to come up with an engine that would improve on

the efficiency of steam and gasoline engines. He invented

the idea of using highly compressed, high temperature air to

ignite fuel and, in 1892, obtained a German development

patent. By 1897, his engine was a commercial success, bringing

him honors and wealth.

The first diesel engine for commercial service was built in

the U.S. in 1898 for use at a brewing company. Within a few

years, thousands of diesel engines were in use in many industries

throughout the U.S. and Europe.

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Our "Best Buy" Rain Gutters

November 21, 2018

Leaf Guard rain gutters best buy

FARM SHOW bought Leafguard gutters for our office building three years ago ( or 800 532-3482). The one-piece seamless gutters are formed on site. Our old gutters were worn out so we had them ripped off and replaced. Leafguard gutters have performed flawlessly, keeping the gutters clean of the leaves and seeds dropped by several huge silver maples trees that tower over our headquarters. Leaves wash over the top of the gutters and fall to the ground while water follows the curved top, flowing into the gutters. After many years of having to clean out gutters by hand twice a year, we couldn't be more pleased. The cost was about 30% more than conventional gutters. Mark Newhall, Editor & Publisher, FARM SHOW.

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“Best of FARM SHOW” Issue RIP

November 20, 2018

For the past 38 years we have published a special “Best of FARM SHOW” issue at the end of each year featuring the best “made it myself” ideas from the past year and many of the most popular commercial-built products previously featured in FARM SHOW.  I wanted to let you know that we’re not going to produce that free “extra” issue this year.  We’ve decided to focus all of our efforts on producing new material for our regular issues.  One reason for this decision is that we often received complaints from readers about “repeat” stories in the “Best Of” issue.  Another reason is simply that the increasing cost of printing and postage for more than 200,000 copies of that year-end issue has made it difficult to justify.  For now, we’d rather put our resources into the regular issues of FARM SHOW.

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Explaining High Fuel Prices

November 4, 2018

A lot of folks can’t understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in America. There’s a very simple answer.

   Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn’t know we were getting low.

   The reason for that is purely geographical. Our oil is located in places like Alaska, California, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas…….

   But all our “dipsticks” are located in Washington, D.C.!!!

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Wet Fields Don't Bother Flying Farmer

October 22, 2018

I was going through some old issues and came across this story from 1979.  It created quite a stir until we looked at the date and realized the creative mind of Dieter Krieg, editor of Farmshine in Pennsylvania, had "dug up" the story. SWAMPY FURROWS - As much as the wet field conditions are causing a lot of grief for anxious sodbusters, one innovative and resourceful Pennsylvania farmer isn't letting the muddy fields bother him too much.

Hans Hubschrauber, (that's him, flying the helicopter, above) is getting the jump on his neighbors by attacking his field work with his own air force. Having 1050 acres to prepare for corn, soybeans, spaghetti, and cotton, the 37-year-old former Air Force pilot is wasting no time to get his work done.
Using a slightly modified Augusta-Bell 204 helicopter, Hubschrauber has found his "aerial tractor" to be ideal for a number of jobs, including manure spreading.
 During an inter ...

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The Early Days of FARM SHOW

October 10, 2018


Harold Johnson, at left in photo, launched FARM SHOW in January, 1977. I got hired about a year later. Harold's wife, Joan (standing, left) and two neighbor ladies, Lois and Doris, literally started out with zero subscribers and grew it to 25,000 in just one year.  By the end of the second year, we had 50,000 and by the end of the third year, 100,000.  So it caught on very quickly.  This pic was taken in Harold's office in 1978, soon after I was hired.  Harold sold me the business in 1994 and died in 2006 from complications due to Parkinsons. Mark Newhall

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Easy Way To Send Us Ideas

September 28, 2018

How often do you see an idea when you’re out and about and say, “Hey, that should be in FARM SHOW”?  Next time that happens, just take out your phone and send us a photo or two.  Just text them to us at 952-465-5019. If you want to leave a voice mail explaining what you’re sending, this phone is dedicated to FARM SHOW stories so it’s on and available 24/7. No need to worry about disturbing anyone.  Call or text day or night with your ideas, comments, or suggestions.  Thanks!

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It's that time of year for shows

September 24, 2018

New Holland Bale Wrapper

September and October are the busiest times of year for farm shows all over the country. We've just finished trips to 5 shows:   1.  Farm Progress Show - Boone, Iowa 2.  Husker Harvest Days - Grand Island, Nebraska 3.  Big Iron Show - Fargo, North Dakota 4.  Farm Science Review - Columbus, Ohio 5.  Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock, Ontario
Coming up are the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin and the Sunbelt Show in Moultrie, Georgia.  Along the way there are a few other smaller shows here and there that we might get to.
When we go to shows, we're looking for new inventions and ideas.  So we walk up and down the isles, looking over each exhibit for something new. &nbs ...

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Reading Issues Online

September 12, 2018

digital issue

A lot of subscribers don’t know that their paid subscription comes with a valuable perk!  You can read each and every issue of FARM SHOW in its original format as shown above. Issues are available to read on computer, tablet or phones.  What’s more, there’s a comprehensive database of every story we’ve ever published that you can search.  

To read an issue, log in or register at the top of this page,  click on the Archives tab, select an issue you want to read, and bring up one of the stories.  Beneath the story is a link that says “Click Here To Read Entire Issue” and the issue will open up.  

We have put a lot of work into making all 42 years of FARM SHOW available to paid subscribers. Enjoy!

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Points to Ponder

September 7, 2018

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”Henry David Thoreau

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”  Khalil Gibran

“Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven.” Henry David Thoreau

“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”  Franklin P. Adams

“Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them.”  Nelson Mandela

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”Kimberly Johnson

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner

“You can never get enough of what you don’t real ...

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What's in the new issue?

September 7, 2018

Here are a few of the stories you'll see in our new issue, just coming off the press.

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What's the most impressive farmer-built invention you've ever seen?

August 27, 2018

Farmer built his own combine

When I'm asked that question, this built-from-scratch articulated combine built by Wayne Vogel, a farmer in Michigan, usually comes to mind. We featured it back in 1984 and later showed his self-propelled carrot harvester and other big machinery. I spent a day in his shop and it was pretty amazing. No blueprints or any kind of designs on paper. It was all in his head.

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The Next Issue

August 19, 2018

We're working on the Sept.-Oct., 2018 issue of FARM SHOW.  Unlike a lot of publications, who work 6 to 8 months ahead because of advertising-related issues, FARM SHOW starts from scratch after each issue is published.  That's because we don't have any advertising.  Our only income comes from subscriptions and the books we sell.  
So right now, I and the other 4 writers, are pulling together stories and photos.  Many of them are sent in by readers.  Other stories come from farm equipment shows. Some are just ideas we hear about and then chase down.
To me there's nothing more exciting than to see a great new invention or idea that I know readers will be interested in.  Usually that means it will save money, time or just simply be extremely entertaining.  

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Garden Products Reviewed

August 16, 2018

I just found a gardening website that's kind of interesting: It's just what it sounds like - detailed user reviews of all kinds gardening products. I haven't looked at everything yet. Hoping there might be an invention or two in there that I haven't heard of.

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FARM SHOW Writer's First Tractor

August 15, 2018

Farmall Super M-ta 1954

By Lorn Manthey, Contributing Editor

This picture shows two of my grandsons in front of a Farmall Super M-TA at a local county fair. It's very similar to a tractor my dad bought new in 1954. I started driving that one at age 8 in 1956. We used it to pull a 3-bottom plow and also disked, baled hay, hauled manure, chopped silage, ground feed, planted and later mounted a 2-row corn picker on it that my dad used for years. The TA, or torque amplifier, was activated by a lever to the left of the seat. You could pull back on it to lower the gear ratio and provide more torque in tough conditions. The tractor also had ‘live’ pto and dual action hydrau ...

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Take In A Show!

August 7, 2018

Did you know we have a list of farm equipment shows right here on our website under "Links"?  We update it constantly with new info and links to each show's site.  Lots of shows are coming up this fall.  Click here to check 'em out! List of Shows

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Doing This Job

August 2, 2018

Mark Newhall, Editor-Publisher
As of this month, I've worked at FARM SHOW for 40 years.  I started in 1978 after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural journalism.  The founder of FARM SHOW, Harold Johnson, started the publication in 1977 after leaving his job as editor of Farm Industry News magazine. His idea was to start a magazine with no advertising so it would not be indebted to big advertisers and could "tell it like it is" about lemon products that don't perform the way manufacturers intended.  
In 1994, Harold retired and gave me the chance to take over.  It's been great fun and I still enjoy putting together every issue of FARM SHOW.  We couldn't do it without all the contributions from subscribers who generously take time to tell us about the inventions and ideas they've come up with, as well as to tell us about their "best & worst buys", shop tips, and much more.  I don ...

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Amazing Salute to Military

July 25, 2018

Food City is a Southern grocery store chain with headquarters in Bristol, Tennessee.
This is their one-minute commercial.  Not a word is spoken and none is needed.
Very few commercials deserve to go viral  This one does. uoABty_zE00?rel=0

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Our YouTube Channel

July 23, 2018

FARM SHOW's youtube channel

Often when we're putting a story together, readers will send a video of their invention or idea.  We've always put a few of those on our website.  Lately, we've been loading many more into our "FARM SHOW Magazine" YouTube channel.  Check 'em out and subscribe so you don't miss any!

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Farming With Dynamite

July 19, 2018

Farming With Dynamite

By Lorn Manthey, Contributing Editor

As an elementary-age farm kid, my dad’s directions were often simple phrases like “do this”, “start that”, “grab this”, “hold on” or “stay out of the way”. It was around then I heard a new phrase when an old Chevy sedan rolled into our yard.  “Go help Ben”, were the directions. “Help him what?” I asked, and the response was, “Whatever he needs, and be careful”.

Ben was my dad’s cousin, a sturdy red-faced guy with gray hair, a gruff voice, a big stogie in his mouth and a friendly smile.  “Junior,” he called as I walked to his car, “get in here and hold onto these”. 

I jumped into the passenger seat and he placed two bags of what looked like rifle cartridges connected to baling twine on my lap.  “Don’t shake the bag,” he said as we sped do ...

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Why Men Are Happier Than Women

July 19, 2018

Your last name doesn’t change. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Her wedding dress - $5000. Your rented tux - $100. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat ...

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The Universal Prayer

July 19, 2018

So far today, God, I’ve done all right.

I haven’t gossiped.

I haven’t lost my temper.

I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, or self-centered.

I’m really glad about that.

But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to need a lot of help.

Because in a few minutes . . . I’m going to get out of bed!

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Join Us On Facebook!

July 17, 2018

Join us on Facebook

Have you checked out FARM SHOW's Facebook page?  More than 50,000 like-minded folks follow the page.  Besides stories and videos, there are special offers and FARM SHOW groups you can join. Give it a look!

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Ole & Lena

July 13, 2018

A doctor examining Lena, who was rushed to the emergency room, took her husband, Ole, aside and said, “I don’t like the looks of your wife at all.”  

“Vell, me either, Doc,” said Ole.  “But she’s a great cook and really good vit da kids.”

One day a mailman was greeted by Little Ole and a huge dog.  The mailman said to Little Ole, “Does your dog bite?”

“No,” replied little Ole.  Just then the dog bit the mailman.  He yelled, “I thought your dog doesn’t bite!”

“He doesn’t,” replied Little Ole.  “Dat’s not my dog.”

Ole drove into a lumber yard in his pickup.  “I vould like a bunch of 4 by 2’s,” he told the lumberman.  

“Do you mean 2 by 4’s?” asked the man.

“Yes,” said Ole.

“How long do you need them?” asked the lumberman.

“Vell, for a long ti ...

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A Little About My Grandpa

July 12, 2018

Pic on left shows my grandfather, Stanley Newhall, struck a pose in the 1930’s for a feature story in Successful Farming magazine. Pic right shows “made it myself” feed cart that caught an editor’s eye in the 1930’s and earned my grandfather a spot in another magazine.

by Mark Newhall, Editor

My grandfather, Stanley Newhall, was born in 1889 on a dairy farm near Owatonna, Minn.  He died on that same farm 89 years later.  He was one of the first farmers in his area to get milking machines, thanks to the coming of rural electric power in the 1920’s.  He was also something of an inventor who was featured several times in various publications over the years.  

My 92-year-old father, Bill Newhall,  has spent a lot of time organizing old family photos.  He recently came across the photos above that appeared in national farm magazines.   My grandfather had a lot of “made it myself” equipment around his place that often caught the eyes of farm magazine editors.  I like to think we would have featured a few of them in FARM SHOW if the magazine had been around during his day.

Pic on left shows my grandfather, Stanley Newhall, struck a p ...

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Flow Shields Catching On Fast

July 10, 2018

Flow shield bolts to shank to deflect dirt. Photo of entire cultivator

An interesting fellow from Wisconsin stopped by our office the other day.  Among other things, Curt Forde of Profit Organics is the inventor of a new add-on product for cultivators. “We’ve sold Flow Shields to farmers all over the country since you featured them this winter in the 2015 Best of FARM SHOW. There’s tremendous interest in this new method of cultivation, which lets you double your speed without damaging crops,” says Forde.

“This is a product that allows organic farming in a big way because you can cultivate at high speeds without the need for chemicals.  Big conventional farmers can drop chemicals and no longer worry about chemical-resistant weeds.  I’ve never seen a weed that’s resistant to a cultivator shovel.”

Forde came up with the idea while cultivating corn that was 6 to 8 in. tall.  Large chunks of soil were wiping out plants.  He went to the shop and made the first Flow-Shield ...

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New Issue Off The Press!

July 10, 2018

FARM SHOW current issue, inventions, farm

The July-August issue is off the press and going into the mail.  It takes two months for our writers and editors to put each issue together, as we search across the U.S. and Canada for new ideas born in farm shops.  
If you've got an idea you think we should feature, submit it here at the website or send to us at:

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Points To Ponder

July 9, 2018

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” Henry David Thoreau

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” Khalil Gibran

“Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven.”Henry David Thoreau

“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”   Franklin P. Adams

“Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them.”  Nelson Mandela

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” Kimberly Johnson

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner

“You can never ...

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Harvesting Water From Fog

July 9, 2018

In a rural southwest region of Morocco, rainfall is unpredictable and underground aquifers have been largely depleted.  Average annual precipitation is only about 5 in.  However, the region does have one precious resource.  Because of its unique climate, heavy fog appears an average of 143 days a year, caused by warm air driven inland by ocean currents.  As the humid air rises, it hits the barrier of the Anti-Atlas mountains and turns into thick blankets of fog.  Over the past 10 years, a non-profit organization called Dar Si Hmad has set up the largest fog-harvesting project in the world.  Huge mesh nets capture water particles, which then condense and drip into collection trays.  Roughly 1,600 gal. of water are collected daily and pumped through 5 miles of pipes to reservoirs where it’s filtered for use by about 400 people living nearby.

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Man Invents Game That Combines Pool And Bowling

July 5, 2018

From our archives, 2011...

Love to shoot pool? Like bowling, too? Steve Wienecke has the perfect game for you. Knokkers combines the two games into one big new passtime.

Instead of using a cue stick you throw the bowling ball-sized cue ball at 15 racked balls. Then you better be ready to get out of the way of the balls that will come rolling your way.

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