[Market-farming] root digger implement options

Carla Maness manessfarm at gmail.com
Sat Aug 18 22:49:08 EDT 2012

We use a "middle buster". It works, it's cheap. Sure it's not perfect, and
we ding up a few potatoes, but it works for us. We also have a sub soiler,
that I used once the heat and drought really set in to loosen up our last
few onions, and to dig leeks and carrots. There again, it's not perfect,
but for what you want to do it would work. We bought both for around 200
each?  Google Land Pride middle buster or sub soiler and you'll get the

Perkins, OK

On Sat, Aug 18, 2012 at 9:34 PM, <KAKerby at aol.com> wrote:

> **
> We are considering expanding our root crops next year, for livestock
> feeding purposes.  When I say "root crops" I generally mean potatoes,
> mangels, rutabagas, parsnips and/or large turnips.  Maybe some of the
> larger carrot varieties, but these will definitely be for livestock feed,
> not for market.  So "pretty" isn't important.  But harvesting them quickly
> and cost-effectively is very important.
> The last time I planted potatoes, I spent what seemed like the next three
> years manually harvesting them.  The first harvest was to get them out of
> the ground that October, and it seemed to take forever.  But we had
> volunteers coming up for several years later, which tells me that I really
> didn't do a good job digging them up manually.  It was such a distasteful
> job the first time around I swore I'd never grow them again other than for
> occasional home use.  But now here we are, thinking how nice it would be to
> be able to grow them on a larger scale, IF we can figure out how to harvest
> them more effectively.
> I Googled "potato digger" and got a wide variety of implements, ranging
> from black-and-white photos of what Grandpa used "back in the day", to
> shiny new looks-about-the-right-size imported from China, to
> industrial-sized monsters that could eat my house.  I'm looking for an
> implement that will efficiently harvest a wide variety of root crops, be
> small enough to pull behind a 20hp tractor with Class 1 three-pt hitch,
> large enough to comfortably harvest a few acres of any given kind of root
> crop, without costing the amount of a small country's yearly operating
> budget.  Oh, and since we're fantasizing here, it should be readily
> available on the used market for not-very-much-money, with easy-to-find
> replacement parts, and be simple enough that we can service in our own
> workshop or hire a local skilled mechanic, rather than exporting it back to
> whatever was its distant country-of-origin for repairs.
> Any suggestions as to make/model/manufacturer?  And if my fantasy machine
> doesn't exist, what are my options from amongst the tools that do exist?
> Thanks all.......
> Kathryn Kerby
> frogchorusfarm.com
> Snohomish, WA
> Ruminations - essays on the farming life at frogchorusfarm.com/weblog.html
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