$100 Ideas

09:15AM Oct 30, 2009
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Two-in-One Easy-Open Wrench

Iodine barrel caps can be tricky to get open. I designed a wrench specifically for the job by notching the pattern of the cap in a piece of scrap steel. This piece is welded to a length of ¾" rod with a 90° bend. The other side of the tool fits the smaller caps on the barrels, with its edge matching those slots. With one tool, I'm able to pop open both sides of the barrel.
Bryce Steinke
Botkins, Ohio
Halt Residue Buildup
Harvest must go on despite some undesirable field
conditions. When fields are wet, muddy tires can slow the process even more. To prevent chaff and mud from building up inside the rear wheels of the combine, we used epoxy to attach a piece of keystock, zinc-plated steel. Placed inside the wheel, the keystock acts like a vane to move the material out of the wheel as it rolls through the field.
Treg Shidler
Clay City, Ind.
Double Your Money $200
Hail Insurance
With water conservation a top priority, our natural resources department offered a cost-share program to install soil moisture sensors on irrigated acres. The systems cost $650 per field to install but save up to $14 per acre every year. Living in a high-risk hail area, I wanted to protect the investment. A discarded electrical box is just the right size to protect the data loggers, the most expensive piece of the system. The throw lever was kept intact and the data logger secured in the box. The unit was then installed on a post at the edge of the field. It hailed for 25 minutes this past July. Although the crop suffered damage, the data loggers were safe.
Sparse rainfall in the western Corn Belt can be alleviated with irrigation, but hail is another natural concern for farmers in the area. To protect expensive computer equipment, Kelly Lehmann reused a standard electrical box. Lehmann farms with his brother, Kent, in southwest Nebraska. They grow corn, soybeans, wheat, native hay and alfalfa. They also have a 300-head herd of cattle.

The Double Your Money winner receives $200. Other farmers featured receive $100 each. Share your unpublished ideas and join our $100 Ideas Club. Upon publication, you'll receive a hat and check. Send a description of your idea and a photo or sketch to: $100 Ideas, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 1188, Johnston, IA 50131-9421, or e-mail [email protected]. Include your address and phone number. All material published becomes the property of Farm Journal Media.