RANTOUL, Ill. — Fifty years ago, in 1971, the Nasdaq stock index debuted, Disney World opened, cigarette advertising on television ended and the voting age in the U.S. was lowered to 18. Of greater interest to tractor enthusiasts: The trend to repower tractors grew.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — John W. Maitland Jr. realized he was a John Deere tractor collector when he bought three antique tractors at an auction almost 40 years ago.
If twine types defined the timeline of my life, I began my farming career in the sisal-twine era and ended it during the polypropylene dynasty. My first round baler had a manual twine-delivery arm that was activated from the tractor seat. Sisal twine was required as the operator pulled a heavier rope that guided a cylindrical twine tube holding the fibrous twine end over the middle of the completed bale. The last remnant of hay was inhaled by the baler as it rolled to a stop over the row.
NORTH HENDERSON, Ill. — Almost 80 years ago Bill Meeker’s father and grandfather bought an Oliver 70 tractor. It was the first Oliver in the family.
With the cold and snow, we are in a survival mode this winter. People in the southern latitudes would be lost as there are certain seldom disc…