[Market-farming] Tillage recommendation?

Joyce Paski elderberrywine4u at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 18 13:34:28 EDT 2009


Hi, Richard:  
 
We have about 80 acres -- 10 is pasture and the rest wooded.  We have a market garden over about 3 acres and are starting free-range chickens this year.  We bought a BCS 722 when we first started out about 5 years ago, and while we love it, we wish we had bought a bigger tractor first because of other farm uses.  For example, it takes me a couple of days to till my various garden sections; with a tractor and plow attachment, that task would take less than an hour.  You can drag logs out of the woods alot easier with a larger tractor, and if you cut up firewood in the woods, you can load the bucket on a larger tractor to haul it back to the house.  If you are time strapped by also having an off-farm job, I think I'd get the larger tractor.  Because I don't have a larger tractor, I'm sorry that I can't answer your other questions.

Joyce Paski 
Swamp Creek Farm, Zone 3 


--- On Wed, 6/17/09, Richard Moyer <ramoyer at gmail.com> wrote:


From: Richard Moyer <ramoyer at gmail.com>
Subject: [Market-farming] Tillage recommendation?
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 8:19 PM



In this our first year of market gardening, am trying to choose between a 24-28 hp 4wd tractor and a mid-size walk behind such as BCS.  Hard to afford buying both this year.
 
Have about 1.5 acres in cultivation, remainder of 70+ acres in pasture and woods.   Only about 1/4-1/3 of an acre in beds now, the remainder in grains and legumes for us and the poultry.
 
Neighbors are willing to plow and disc for a pittance.  But none of them have a decent tiller.  There are only so many hours in the day to use the broadfork then wheel hoe to renovate veggie beds, even though our soil is deep loam and essentially rock free.
 
On a limited budget, should I buy the tractor (w/ loader, 4-5' tiller and bushhog) first and the walk behind tractor second, or the other way around?  I'd rather not go the $200 tiller route.
 
Question 2:
On a 4wd tractor, which wheel base is preferred to till 48" beds, most of them 100 ft long?  As long as the tiller is as wide as the wheels, does it matter if the wheel base is 48" or 55"? 
 
Question 3:
On a walk behind, which width tiller is preferred for 4" beds?
 
Thanks,
Richard Moyer
Castlewood, VA
Taking mulberries, sugar snaps, bok choy and lettuce to market now. 
 
 
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