Reid Pulley farms 750 acres (500 corn and 250 soybeans) with his father Ronald, mother Dianna, and brother Ryan in southeastern Minnesota. Pulley wanted to know what size chisel plow and tractor they would need for their farm.

Pulley entered the following input parameters in his program Common Agricultural Tractor Selection System:

  • 750 acres (500 corn, 250 beans)
  • Silt loam soil
  • Rochester, MN, weather conditions
  • No additional compaction or fall tillage

“The program showed us that a 20-ft. chisel plow and a 225-hp tractor was the best pairing for our farm in terms of lowest cost per acre,” Pulley says.

He narrowed his search by entering these criteria: John Deere; mechanical front wheel drive (MFWD) or track; manufactured between 1960 and 1995; and between 200 and 300 drawbar horsepower.

The program came up with a list of three models that matched those criteria. The one they chose was a MFWD, powershift, 16-speed John Deere 8400. “We chose it because of its fuel efficiency,” Pulley says. “Nowadays it is becoming an important criterion.”