Wil-rich 1200MP 18-18 plow. The 1818 will cut a 27-foot swath. The 21-24 will take up to about 42 feet. The special part is that Bill Dietrich from DMI, the man who designed this plow, was there. Though he hadn’t seen the plow for 40 years, he still proved invaluable for getting the most out of it. Dietrich was on Cloud Nine most of the time. He built the plow to make a splash in 1978 at a farm show, and he was pleased and amazed to see it had survived and was still making a splash at farm shows.
The several hundred people attending the 2018 Alvordton Plow Day got what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see what few outside the amber waves of the great plains have seen for decades: two monster-sized tractors turning ground with two monster-sized moldboard plows.
Big Bud, Little Bud! Jeff Wyllys, a relation of Larry Addleman, built the “Lil Bud” tribute from a Steiner 420 lawn tractor. He replaced the gas engine with a Kubota 722D three-cylinder diesel. Wyllys works with Addleman and has a lot of seat time in the 650/50. Watch for a detailed feature on the Lil Bud in an upcoming Tractor Talk.Who better to help set up the plow than the guy who designed it? It was 40 years almost to the month since Bill Dietrich (blue hat) had seen this plow. When he designed it, moldboard plowing was still the standard method of tillage. Conservation tillage, where the ground surface is minimally disturbed, was just gaining in popularity. To answer that, DMI had just designed and built the first disc chisel plow. Conservation tillage would take over and the disc chisel would replace the moldboard. DMI would build its last moldboard plow in 1982 and start cranking out chisel plows. They remain in business today as DSI, with innovative manure and nitrogen injection systems—and 78-year-old Bill Dietrich is still working.
On the left is Daren Meyers’ ’80 525/50 red stripe Big Bud pulling a Wil-rich 2900MP 18-bottom plow and the mighty 650/50 yellow stripe is to the right. These tractors are plowing an acre for every 600 feet of forward progress and are able to plow 8-10 inches deep at about 6 mph. Outside of the northern wheat plains you just don’t see big iron like this working.