Talk Farmer to Me: Top 5 Words We Use That Mean Other Things

As farmers, we sometimes forget that not everyone knows what we are talking about when say things like a ripper, a chute, or a dryer. Or at least, different images come to mind then what we are actually referring to. We definitely speak a different language than most out on the farm! Here are the top 5 words commonly used on our farm that might not be what you picture.

Top 5 Words We Use on our Farm that Mean Other Things

  1. Leg – No, not your leg. A grain leg. A grain leg is essentially a steel box that has a belt with “cups” on it. These cups lift up the grain to the top of the bin and dump it into the bin. A grain leg is operated by electricity, rather than a tractor. They are considered safer than an auger, but are also more expensive.
  2. Dryer – I’m not talking about a dryer for your clothes. A dryer is for corn. Corn often comes out of the field at a higher moisture content than the cooperatives and companies we sell to will accept. This means the corn has to be dried down prior to shipping it out. The dryer typically operates on propane, and dries the corn down to a certain moisture percentage.

    This is our grain dryer and grain leg set-up at the farm.

    This is our grain dryer and grain leg system at our farm. We also use augers to unload the bins into our trucks.

  3. Tile – I wish we were installing new tile in our bathroom and that was what I was talking about when we were spending money on this! However, the kind of tile farmers are referring to is in their fields providing water drainage. Older drainage tile was clay and cement, new tile is a black plastic tile and has small perforations. The tile looks like a long, round pipe and comes in a large coil usually. Fields are tiled to whisk water away from the top of the soil which causes run-off, and instead, filters the water down through the soil.

    Out ripping round during fall harvest

    Out digging ground during fall harvest

  4. Digger – We’re not talking about taking a good fall or a dog that likes to bury bones. We often use this term interchangeably between a field cultivator and a plow. A digger is a piece of equipment we use to work the field ground. It typically involves lifting the soil or turning the soil over. Although, I’m thinking digger might just be a good name for the next farm dog.
  5. PTO – Unfortunately, there isn’t any paid time off on the farm. There is however, a power take-off (PTO) system  used to power farm implements. The PTO shaft can hook up between the tractor and the implement (can vary from augers, grain carts, manure pumps, feed mills, feed mixers, etc.), allowing the implement to draw power from the engine of the tractor. We use it typically to power an auger to unload bins.


We’ve had some great submissions already to our post! Do you  have one? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

  1. Yield (via Wanda at Minnesota Farm Living) Wanda mentioned, we aren’t referring to a yield sign on the street. We are talking about what our fields are yielding for the crop. We measure in bushels per acre. A bushel is a measurement of mass and varies from each crop, and an acre is roughly the size of a football field.
  2. Marketing (via the Green Acres Report) We often think of Marketing as your 5 P’s – Price, Promotion, Product, Placement and Profit, but in the traditional sense of marketing a cheeseburger at McDonalds or a clothing line from American Eagle. We use the P’s in grain marketing, but a little differently. Price – right now – yowza! If you are a corn or soybean farmer, breaking even can be a struggle right now – we try to find the best price for our grain at various elevators. Product – that’s our grain our livestock in some cases. Placement – I guess we could say we grow items we know are good for our land and growing season, as well as what is marketable in our area. For instance, green peas are marketable here, but not everywhere. Promotion – our commodity groups do a great job of promoting our products and the various uses for them, and farmers do a great job as well! Finally, Profit – which right now is slim pickings! We want to make a profit so we can continue to farm, provide for our family, and frankly, eat out and have a beer at Buffalo Wild Wings once in a while! So if you hear us talking about marketing, we are more than likely trying to market our grain and not create a Facebook campaign.




  1. Marketing – When I worked in the corporate world, marketing was the department that focused on communication, advertising and tradeshows…not selling grain.

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