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Keevin Arens farms with his wife in Nebraska. They raise cattle, corn and soybeans. Although he enjoys building things in his farm shop, he doesn’t get a chance to do that as often as he would like. The adjustable sprayer drawbar took him three hours to build and was inexpensive because he used what was on hand. He estimates the materials could cost up to $150.
Adjustable Sprayer Drawbar
I was tired of my sprayer not tracking between the rows on side hills. So I built a hydraulic drawbar attachment that allows me to move the drawbar 4" off center to adjust for the slope. I removed the drawbar pins and attached an 8" stroke hydraulic cylinder to the drawbar. From the drawbar, I threaded a high-tensile wire through ¼"copper tubing and fed it into the tractor cab. The wire rests on a piece of flat iron that’s bolted to the cab interior. I painted the words "left," "middle" and "right" on the piece of iron. When the drawbar swings, the wire moves accordingly.
No More Exploding Bales
We feed a lot of big square bales out of the back of our pickup. To keep a bale from exploding, I push a 4½' long, 3⁄8" smooth steel rod through the bale perpendicular to the strings. I cut one or two of the strings, tie one end of the string to the looped end of the rod and the other end of the string to the tapered part of the rod to hold the remaining bale together.
Magnetic Gate Fastener
We have a tunnel-ventilated freestall barn and were having issues keeping the metal gates open when sorting cows. The wind from the fans would blow the gates shut. We solved the problem with a cow magnet, which is strong enough to hold the gate against the freestall partition, easier and faster than unhooking a chain, and small enough to fit in your pocket while going from one group of cows to another.
To submit your unpublished idea, which must include a description, photo or sketch, address and phone number, write to $100 Ideas, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 1188, Johnston, IA 50131-9421, e-mail $100-Ideas@farmjournal.com or fill out the entry form at www.farmjournal.com/enter_100_ideas. Winners receive a hat and a check. All published material becomes Farm Journal Media property.