How's your Main Street? "We need to distinguish between a 'farm crisis' and a 'long-term chronic problem,' which is what we really have." - Paul Lasley, sociologist at Iowa State, speaking at a short course on community development in rural areas.

Sustainable Agriculture

Reusing used oil Put used oils and engine fluids to use again. Heat water for use in pressure washers, or for coil floor tubing in buildings, with the new Reznor indoor boiler and waste oil burner from JWH Phoenix.

Model RAB used oil boilers can recycle #2 to 50W motor oil, 90W gear oil, hydraulic or transmission fluids, and synthetic oils. The unit heats water before it hits the burner chamber to eliminate thermal shock. Hot water then runs through coils and radiators throughout a building (or through the pressure washer). The heater cycles on and off like a standard furnace, and valves can be turned on or off depending on what part of the shop or building you want heated.

No adjustments are necessary when changing oils. Under continuous operation, the 350,000-Btu burner burns 1 to 3_1/2 gal. of oil/hr. depending on burn rate. The company will help you install floor coils or can put you in contact with a local contractor. According to the company, the system meets EPA requirements for disposal of used oil. List price: $7,395 to $12,795. Contact JWH Phoenix Unltd., Dept. FIN, 4251 Harrisburg-Georgesville Rd., Grove City, OH 43123, 800/884-2220.

Tool carriers Depending on your needs and farm size, choose one of these new machinery trailers to make moving and hauling equipment simpler.

Jerr-Dan creates a heavy-duty carrier - called the Transporter - that features durable steel rails with long-lasting wood decks in configurations of 8 ft. wide and 19 or 21 ft. long. They hold up to 10,000 lbs. and come complete with a remote-controlled, 8,000-lb.-capacity winch.

Decks are made from epitone wood from Brazil. Carriers require a 1-ton truck. Price: $14,000. Contact Jerr-Dan, Dept. FIN, 1080 Hykes Rd., Greencastle, PA 17225, 800/ 926-9666.

New Alexandria Tractor Supply builds its own trailer that's economical. "We'd been successful at selling other companies' trailers but decided to build one that is completely different from our competition," says company salesperson Clark Bruner.

The resulting hydraulic tilt trailer, operated by a 12v deep-cycle marine battery, has a shorter bed to get a better loading angle. The bed is flush with the bottom of the side rails and is 4_1/2 in. lower to the ground than other models for easier equipment loading and unloading. Beds are available in widths of 6 ft. 4_1/2 in. or 6 ft. 10 in. Bed heights are 15 ft. (7,000-lb. capacity, $2,995) or 17 ft. (10,000-lb. capacity, $3,595). Contact New Alexandria Tractor Supply, Dept. FIN, Rt. 3, Box 403, New Alexandria, PA 15670, 724/ 668-2000.