Letters to the Editor

Planting corn the old-fashioned way


| October 2005



Planter.jpg

Last May, my brother, John Werner, planted corn with a 1950 Minneapolis-Moline ZA tractor pulling a Minneapolis-Moline Model PWZ 4-row check-planter. Using the five-decade old equipment he planted three acres, and enjoyed the experience. Our dad, Arnold Werner, stopped by to watch; he owned a planter just like this one many years ago. "I owned the first 4-row corn planter around here," he recalled. "I traded in my 2-row planter and bought the new one in about 1953." He bought the planter from Werner Implement in Vermillion, Minn.; that company, which began operation in 1948, is still in business today.

I bought this planter a year ago off eBay. It came from Hartland, Minn., not far from Albert Lea. It is the first one I've ever come across. The planter manual is dated 1955, so the planter must date to the mid-1950s. We just hooked it up and put it to work: It was nicely preserved for something that is 50 years old. A little grease was all it needed.

A marker arm is connected on each side of the tractor. A rope goes through a pulley on the front of the tractor and hooks to each marker. They leave marks in the dirt for the tractor to follow as corn is planted. The planter is set up for check planting but I need to find some check wire.

Mike Werner
20445 Donnelly Ave.
Farmington, MN 55024
e-mail: deereminnnieacres@cvtel.net