Diesel World - - Tractor Talk -

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.

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