Harvesting Potatoes with an Old Potato Digger (Pictures!!!)

Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:03 pm

Hi All
I just acquired an old IHC Potato Digger in great shape and I was looking at old B&W photos on the web of these things in action and there never seems to potato plants in the fields in these photos. Have the plants died back or is custom to cut the plants off at the ground before running the picker up the row? The reason I ask is I want to harvest soon and most of the plants are dead or dying back but there is some weeds in the rows. I assume the plants and weeds would get caught up in the digger. Do I cut/ pull all these before hand?
Brian
Last edited by brianJ on Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:10 pm

The vines die back to virtually nothing.

Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:15 pm

Thanks BD. So they won't get wrapped in the elevator part of the digger? I should pull the weeds though because they are still pretty vigorous, Right?
Last edited by brianJ on Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:23 pm

You can go ahead and mow the patch to take care of the weeds. If you're worried about them wrapping in the machine rake them off the patch and you'll be good to go!

Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:29 pm

Oh, and Brian...let us know how that new toy of yours works,

Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:25 pm

we want pictures, we want pictures, we want pictures, we want pictures,

Re: Harvesting Potatoes with an Old Horse Drawn Potato Digge

Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:56 pm

Brian:
brianJ wrote:Hi All
I just acquired an old IHC Potato Digger in great shape and I was looking at old B&W photos on the web of these things in action and there never seems to potato plants in the fields in these photos. Have the plants died back or is custom to cut the plants off at the ground before running the picker up the row? The reason I ask is I want to harvest soon and most of the plants are dead or dying back but there is some weeds in the rows. I assume the plants and weeds would get caught up in the digger. Do I cut/ pull all these before hand?
Brian



Yup, Image to EJP and BD... Image

Here is how we do it in New Brunswick. Plant taters.. pic bugs all summer. Watch plants wither... hook up potato digger - go git em... dat simple. For the tubers to be well growed the upper stalks actually have to wither off. You then dig em with a middle buster or similar implement or a planter/digger or just a digger.

The last time I used my elevator type M-H #1 Digger, I had a lot of pluse.. or sod clods, and we had some plants that did not quite wither with the rest and the mandatory weeds. The elevator will not get clogged at all when the sod clods or the plants run up the elevator. They will just roll off the back and you can plow them under later. Oh. Let you potato's sit on the ground for a couple of hours, but not too too long. Also, do not bother with any potato's that are green.. After a couple of hours, just pick up the taters and most of the dirt will fall off. I usually store em in my cold room and they last till mid June.

Now.. surprisingly I just received today some interesting material from Claire. What model Planter/Digger do you have? I just received a bunch of manuals and brochures on Diggers and Planters. May be useful.. I also have the PM-1A Potato Machines Planters and Diggers Parts Catalog as well.

Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:25 am

I haven't used a horse drawn digger, but my tractor digger would get clogged with weeds easy. Mow the rows with a rotory as close as possible.
Best,
Mike

Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:50 am

Hey fellas

Well Dave and I got this home last nite after taking too long to find the place in the dark and a flat on Dave's little trailer. I thought the price was very reasonable at $100.00. It seems to be in great shape and always kept in the shed. Has a IHC tool box mounted on it but I haven't had the chance to find any other markings on it yet. It should be a good pull for the Cub.
Rudi, is your Massey-Harris digger about the same size?
Brian
Image

Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:58 am

That appears to be in incredibly good condition! It should work well for you.

Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:03 am

You might want to take those rings off the rear wheels before you try to dig potatos.

Bill

Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:22 am

Yeah, the rings (tires?) will come off and be hung on the wall in the drive shed while digging. I've never even seen a pair in person. I guess they usually got separated from the machine and lost or tossed.
Yeah BD, it's like Christmas here at home right now.

Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:00 pm

Brian:

Those rings are road tires... don't try to travel too far with those spade lugs on anything other than field... it will contribute to very sore kidneys... don't ask.

Actually I think the IH and the M-H are similar, although the M-H appears to be a tad bit bigger. Measurements may be in order.

Which model is yours and did you get a manual with it byc???? Nice buy.. and a $100.00 is pretty fair. I paide $100.00 for my M-H#1 plus the 2nd one for parts. Within a week I had made a deal to get $75.00 back on the spare parts for the eleveator chain I had, so mine really only cost me $25.00... and I was happy with that... :!:

Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:48 am

Good Morning All!
I managed to harvest all the potatoes on the weekend and get them in cellar. It is a snap with one of these machines. The tricky part is setting the depth correctly as I had no one who wanted to sit in the saddle and work the lever. I greased it and pulled it around the yard for a while and gave gave each grease nipple another shot. I pulled it out to the field and dug up all the potatoes. It sure is slick. Once I picked all the potatoes, I ran the picker up the rows again to see if I missed any (really to have more fun) and there was only about 25-30lbs still in the ground.
Rudi, I hope all is well in NB. I didn't get a manual with it and it is an IHC picker.
Brian

Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:04 am

I might go back to raising potatoes if I had a rig like that, along with someone else to pick them up. Along with someone else to plant and hoe them. :lol: