horse-drawn wheat drill
AG TRIVIA: Can you identify what this piece of equipment is and how it was used? Read the story to find out.

Do you know this tool and what it was used for?

History will come alive this summer at Davis-Purdue Ag Center.

What’s old meets what’s new at the Davis-Purdue Agricultural Center near Farmland. Superintendent Jeff Boyer has a penchant for ag history, but a keen sense of the importance of new precision farming tools, too. That’s why you will find this older piece of farm machinery (pictured above) in the shop there. However, you could also find a tractor that not only steers itself, but also makes turns on the end with the push of a button!

History will meet the future this summer at the center. A field day planned for Aug. 31 will celebrate 100 years as a Purdue farm. Boyer hopes to review technology through the century with examples of both old and new.

“Even horses were a type of technology,” he says. “Researchers figured out how to best feed them and breed them to produce draft horses capable of doing the most work.”

Horses and horse research projects were a big part of the Davis-Purdue Ag Center in the early days, Boyer says. In fact, the farm had livestock until 1999. When the last hogs left, the center focused more on modern technology for crop production. Boyer says they’ve progressed through various technologies, all the way to the “push the button and turn” feature.

So what is the old piece of equipment pictured here, anyway?

“It was a grain drill designed to be pulled between corn rows by horses,” Boyer explains. “There are five disks so you could sow five rows of wheat.”

While the model pictured needs refurbishing, Boyer has a similar McCormick drill that’s been restored to good condition. Expect it to be on display at the field day this summer.

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