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Country Discussion Topics
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Plowing up and down a hill
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Phil    Posted 04-11-2001 at 11:45:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I know the rule of thumb, ďplow across the hill and if you canít -- donít plowĒ. However, I have a question. I have a field that is about 1200 ft by 300 ft and to plow it I would plow in the 1200 ft direction which would be across a gentle slope for most of the field. However, about 100 ft from the end it starts to drop off. I could continue plowing but then I would be plowing down a hill and then turning around I would be plowing up hill (at the bottom it levels out so I can turn around safely, and then there is a row of trees and then the road). I donít have any problems going up or down the hill, its not that steep, but on the other hand I wouldnít want to stop at the top and plow across the hill because it is too steep and I donít want to travel across it. My question is how bad (wrt erosion and other factors) is it to plow up and down this hill. For years the guy that I rented it to put a hefty offset disk on it but Iím using a bottom plow. Iím going to plant hay in it. When I mow, rack and bale there wonít be any need to go across the hill and I can safely go up and down the hill, I have a JD 4020. My other option is to pay somebody $20 per acre to no till and $20 per acre to spray it but that isnít any fun.

IHank    Posted 04-11-2001 at 11:59:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Phil- Something in your post don't make sense to me... Yes, any deep tillage on a slope is bad farming practice. Recommend keep the plow as a museum piece, or for flat land sod breaking.

Yes, raising hay on the sloping ground makes real good sense, so go for it! To work up the ground just give it a light disking, sow it, and then harrow it, so's the seed is incorporated into the top inch of soil.

As you cut hay you'll also cut the weeds. After a while weeds and stuff that need a full season to reproduce will be eliminated. Please drive careful on that sloping ground! IHank

Dreamweaver    Posted 04-11-2001 at 12:42:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
OMG! Yes, please do be careful on sloping ground. My grandfather died at the age of 93, healthy as a horse, but he was mowing his grass on a sloping hill with his riding lawnmower and the lawnmore tipped over and he was pinned underneath for hours with no one who knew he needed help. He finally died from a heat stroke. It was an awful tragedy!

Phil    Posted 04-12-2001 at 05:34:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dreamweaver, sorry to hear about your grandfather, that is an awful tragedy. I will be very careful on the hills, every few years I hear about someone who has died because a tractor turned over on them and I donít want to be a statistic. I bought my farm because I enjoy it and I plan on enjoying it for a long, long time. I donít need/want any mishaps to ruin a good thing. The hill I was talking about in my post there is no reason I would ever need to go across it, just up and down and that is very safe. Years ago I raked hay for a friend on some hilly ground and the tractor I was using was struggling to pull the rake up the hill. The thought of the tractor not making it and having to stop half way up was scary. I realized that I wanted to make sure I had a tractor with enough hp to pull a baler and wagon up any hills I might encounter so I got a tractor that is bigger and has more hp than I would have needed if I was on purely flat ground. I also wanted to make sure that if I was going downhill pulling a lot of weight that the tractor wasnít being pushed. I think I'm going to take IHanks advise and just disc the area and only plow the flat portion of the field.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 04-12-2001 at 07:03:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Phil, I imagine you already know this, but it bears repeating...bunches of times.
Whenever you are pulling a heavy load up a steep hill, be double sure the load is attached BELOW the rear axle. If it is too high, it can cause the tractor to flip over backwards faster than you can think about it. This applies when skidding logs, as well. For this, I've always pulled with a chain attached to the front of the tractor, and run through a clevis suspended from the drawbar. I've never had one try to rear doing it this way.

Phil    Posted 04-12-2001 at 12:47:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never get tired of hearing about or reading about safety. Even if I know it (or think I do) it never hurts to hear it again, I might just learn something. Knowledge is a wonderful thing.

bob    Posted 04-14-2001 at 07:38:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
safety is no stronger than the weakest link

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