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Old technology still popular at Wisconsin farm show

The latest agricultural tools are on display at Wisconsin’s Farm Technology Days, but many people are here to see the old machines. 

Kevin Schock and his family have brought two of their old Case steam traction engines, which he says are a lot of work to run, but also provide a lot of power. “Oh yeah, twelve ton. We’ll pull eight 14-inch bottoms. You won’t find a 22-horse tractor here that will pull eight 14’s.”

But all of that power requires a lot of extra work filling up on water and fuel. “It takes about two hours in the morning to steam up, and that;’s from the water being air temperature. Now, tomorrow morning when we come out here, the boiler will still be warm to the touch because there’s two-hundred and some gallons of water in there and all of that iron is going to hold heat all night long, so tomorrow, it will only take about an hour and twenty minutes to get steamed up.”

Schock says the engines run well on coal, wood, straw, or cobs but he says the steam traction engines no longer do the family’s farm work, so like other farmers, he still has to buy diesel fuel to finish the fieldwork.

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