‘For tech-weary Midwest farmers, 40-year-old tractors now a hot commodity’

Adam Belz for the Star Tribune:

Kris Folland grows corn, wheat and soybeans and raises cattle on 2,000 acres near Halma in the northwest corner of Minnesota, so his operation is far from small. But when he last bought a new tractor, he opted for an old one — a 1979 John Deere 4440.

He retrofitted it with automatic steering guided by satellite, and he and his kids can use the tractor to feed cows, plant fields and run a grain auger. The best thing? The tractor cost $18,000, compared to upward of $150,000 for a new tractor. And Folland doesn’t need a computer to repair it.

If you haven’t heard about what farmers are doing to avoid the hell that is a modern John Deere tractor, this story is a good place to start. And this Vice video and story is informative too.