| February 2004

Farm Collector's December 2003 'What-is-it?' department caught my eye - in particular item B. I believe this is not a tool, but a part from a potato planter. I took these pictures of my own potato planter, which happens to include the 'What-is-it?' item in question.

- Ronald Taylor, 5310 Elizabeth St., Colon, Ml 49040

Remembering the ties that bind

When I was young I helped farmers cut silage. When I started farming, I couldn't afford a silage chopper, so I used an old International Harvester Co. corn binder for several years.

International Harvester made binders in two sizes. One was for tall corn, and the other was a shorter model for short corn. The binders were the same except the knotter's head was much higher on the tall corn binder. This was so the twine was close to the center of the corn bundle. I had to cut corn with the binder until I could buy an old corn chopper. Farming wasn't easy during the 1950s.

That old binder had a poor memory. It would tie about 15 bundles and then forget how to tie a few. If balers and binders didn't tie at all, a person could usually figure out why. But when they hit and missed, it was hard to pinpoint the problem. Thank heaven for modern implements.

- Jack Spithoven, Box 156, Savage, MT 59262