What farmers are saying about drainage and the Gold Digger
Kevin Matthews @ Matthews Family Farms of NC, Inc.
We were able to put the 3pt tile machine in the field this week a lot of neighbors laughed when we brought the plow to NC and I will admit that I was not 100% on how it would perform in our soil conditions. Many told me I better get a D8 CAT to pull it, however when in the field we learned real quick that our 8430 handled it well and in dry ground I feel confident the 7930 will handle the plow also. Performance is awesome we layed nearly 4,000 ft in a total of 3 hours on our first trip with a new machine so I know that time will improve greatly. You guys have a great product so far we are all very impressed!
“Buying the Gold Digger is the best $20,000 I have ever spent”
Northern Indiana Contractor
“My 3 year old Gold Digger has better grade control than my new $300,000 self contained unit.”
Alan McDonald, Steve Holt, Craig Stockdale
West central Indiana
“We have put in around 900,000 feet of tile. When we tile a field the neighbors stop by and ask us to install tile for them. We originally purchased the plow just to do our own work but it has grown into more work than we can handle. The Soil-Max Gold Digger is the best investment we have made.
P.S. It is also very good exercise for the three of us.”
“The Gold Digger is one of few products I have purchased that will actually perform better than advertised.”
Central Indiana Farmer (He didn’t us to use his name as he thought it was kind of braggy)
“I wish I had bought my Gold Digger sooner. If you were making Gold Diggers 20 years ago, I would be worth $500,000 more today.”
"The Gold Digger paid for itself a long time ago. The savings over a contractor may take a couple of days, but the extra tile that can be placed with the same money makes the payoff quicker than I expected."
“If anybody who doesn’t believe in buying a Gold Digger and tiling, would just try 10 acres. They would buy a plow and tile everything.”
Greg Wehr , Versailles, IN
"I’ve had my Gold Digger a long time but I still look at every other plow on the market and I still think the Gold Digger is much simpler and pulls easier."
"We are totally, totally satisfied with the Gold Digger. We enjoy making special trips to see the outlets blowing out water on a rainy day."
John Martin, Elkton, KY
"Tiling with a Gold Digger is the only practice that consistently raises yields. We tried fertility and everything else but when we started tiling yields really went up. We had the second highest yield in the state this year."
Russell Henke, Edwardsville, IL
"We are impressed with the ease of hookup to the tractor and extremely satisfied with the accuracy of the laser. The plow is strong enough to be pulled by two 4-wheel drive tractors when plowing 6 foot deep. For 25 years, we owned and operated a wheel tile machine and are very happy now with the Gold Digger’s performance.”
"I purchased a Gold Digger tile plow at Farmfest in 2002. I watched Kevin Hewitt (Gold Digger dealer) effortlessly pull the Gold Digger with his comparatively smaller 8760 while manufacturers with other plows were pulling using much larger JD 9400 4WDs - and with noticeably more difficulty. Subsequently, I purchased the plow was because 1) I could pull it with my tractor (8760 JD 4WD - with no weights); and, 2) it was affordable. That fall I tiled 80 acres every 30 feet using an 8760 like Kevin's. The following year, the field next to it, which is exactly the same soil type, yielded $94/acre less for a late-season pea crop (all else was equal). Granted, we had a very wet season that year, but that's when a tiled field shines most. This year (2005), the corn on this field outyielded the field next door by 24.5 bu/acre (roughly a $50/acre comparative return). The interesting thing in 2005 was that moisture levels were only slightly less than adequate - so the tile are helping even on a comaratively dry year. And, I believe that the microbial and earthworm activity is increasing fairly rapidly on this field. So, I expect further improvements in coming years as this activity continues to ramp up.
The cost of me tiling the field was $0.10/ft of tile (tile cost only) plus roughly 400 gallons of diesel ($800??). I threw my time in for free. And - because I did the tiling myself, I know what I've got. In total I put in 88 lines, 30 feet apart, which equated to about 100,000 feet of tile. A tiler quoted me about $0.75/ft. for the same job - or about $75,000. So, total cost for me was slightly less than $40,000. This includes the cost of all the equipment I purchased to do this job - backhoe, tile plow (with laser) and tile stringer. I can pull in about 25,000 feet a day working by myself, or 50,000 feet with one helper. The first 40 acres paid for all my equipment and provides and additional $50/acre return every year. So, after that 40 acres, I am earning $0.50+/ft installed PLUS the yield benefit - or about $12,500+/day of work - or about $1,250/hr of work PLUS an annuity of $4,000/yr on that 80 acre field. Over 10 years, on a typical 80 acres, that equats to a total benefit of $90,000+, or $1,125/acre for my four days of work (less purchase price of equipment).
SInce I purchased the plow, it has never broken down. I replaced the lay (sp?) twice and have hit rocks the size of small houses (rocks that stopped my 8850 JD in its tracks). When using the 10" boot I would say that the 8850 is better because it is a lot heavier than the 8760. The 10" boot is simply a very large boot to pull through soils without either an additional tractor or a very big tractor. But, the 4" boot is a very reasonable load with either tractor. Finally, when I purchased the plow, people said that "it sometimes gets off grade". This worried me somewhat. However, this has never happened to me and precision has been excellent.
My only advice to people is 1) water doesn't run uphill (obvious to most people); 2.) learn about iron okre (sp?), 3) have your dealer teach you about grades and 4) use appropriate tile (with a sock) if you find even a small bit of sand.
Todd Hinrichs (612) 965-2239"
Jerry Johnson, Northern Iowa
"Denny, one thing that I noticed with my landlords is that they like the idea of being able to put in a certain dollar amount in each year instead of spending thousands of dollars all at once. I have one landlord that let's me put in $2500 worth of tile each year. All I do is map out the troubled spots on the farm, put together a time frame, and then I explain how the improvements not only increase yield potential but also increase land value-it's usually a 'GO'.
The Gold Digger Tile Plow is one of my best investments! Once you understand the principles behind it, it's really a simple machine. We started out with just the plow and a 3pt. backhoe, and as we made some "doe", we added a laser, tile cart, and then a different backhoe. The plow is well built and the service is terrific. Being here in North Central Iowa, it's nice to be able to make a call and get the help needed to keep going. Thanks alot.