Raising Poland China Hogs (Part II): The 1936 Farmall Model F-30
Brian Wayne Wells
(As published in the September/October 2008 issue of
Belt Pulley Magazine)
As noted previously, Waseca County is located in the flat plains of southern Minnesota. (See the article called “Raising Poland China Hogs in Waseca County” in the May-June 2008 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.) The soil of these plains is a dark, rich, gumbo-type of soil. This type of soil is perfect for raising corn. One of the lesser populated townships in Waseca County is Byron Township. Byron Township is located on the southern boundary of Waseca County. As noted previously, one particular farmer in Byron Township was celebrating the Christmas holidays of 1935 with his parents and other family members when the great Christmas Eve snow storm of 1935 struck. The storm isolated the family on the farm for a number of days before the roads were cleared enough for travel off the farm. (Ibid.)
On this hog farm, Christmas was an important time for the farming operation because it was “farrowing time” for the registered purebred Poland China sows that were owned by our Byron Township farmer. He was pleased to see that each of his sows had given birth to a large litter of baby pigs during this farrowing season. Furthermore, the sows and baby pigs all seemed to be adjusting well to each other. The Poland China sow is known to be a good mother to her pigs, but, as noted in the previous article, our Byron Township farmer had made the decision last summer (1935) to enlarge his breeding stock by adding four new bred gilts. He now had twelve sows and twelve litters of baby pigs rather than a mere eight litters of previous years. The four new gilts were “first time mothers.” Our Byron Township farmer always worried about the emotional reaction of first-time mothers to their first litter of pigs, but now in the weeks following the holidays, he could see that even the young gilts were getting along well with their baby pigs.
The farrowing season kept our Byron Township farmer busy with chores in the hog house. The whole hog house was divided into separate pens as each of the twelve “families” had their own pen. Each sow had to be fed and watered in her own pen twice a day. As the baby pigs became larger and were able to get around relatively independently, there was less chance of them being, accidentally, laid on and crushed to death by their mother or by the other large sows. Accordingly, the partitions separating each mother and their litters could be removed and the sows and their litters could be allowed to interact with each other. Feeding and watering would be more communal and could be simplified to take less time. Nonetheless, the “hog house chores” of feeding and watering remained a twice-a-day activity.
Having enlarged his breeding stock by 50%, our Byron Township farmer would now have 50% more feeder pigs to raise than in previous years. Thus, our Byron Township farmer knew that he would be busier this year than ever before—especially, once the springtime field work began. Currently, our Byron Township farmer had two Farmall Regular tractors available to him on his farm. Although one of the Farmall Regulars actually belonged to his father, who lived on a separate farm building site located about a ½ mile away. His father still regularly helped with the day to day farming activities. They had purchased both of these Farmall Regulars in 1928 with the intent of speeding up their summertime work of cultivating the corn. Now when they went to the field in the summer with the cultivators mounted on both tractors, they could cover a lot of ground in a short time. However, they had purchased the two tractors seven years ago. His father was not as able to do manual labor around the farm as he had in the past. After all, his father had actually retired and sold the farm to our Byron Township farmer seven years ago.
This last August at the 1935 Minnesota State Fair, while the family was making their annual trip to show the pigs at that fair, our Byron Township farmer had been intrigued by what he saw at the large International Harvester Company exhibit on “Machinery Hill” on the fairgrounds. The 1935 State Fair was his first real chance to see the full line of tractors that the International Harvester Company was now offering to the farming public. In July of 1931, International Harvester had introduced a new larger Farmall tractor (Oscar H. Will & Todd Markle, Collector’s Originality Guide: Farmall Regular and F-Series [Voyaguer Press: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2007] p. 51). When tested at the University of Nebraska from October 9 through October 23, 1931, the new larger Farmall was shown to deliver 20.27 horsepower (hp.) to the drawbar and 30.29 hp. to the belt pulley. Because of its belt horsepower rating, the tractor became known as the Farmall 30, or the F-30 for short. Continue reading Raising Poland China Hogs in Waseca County, Minnesota (Part 2)