[Market-farming] root digger implement options

charlie taplin vthick43 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 19 07:55:53 EDT 2012


Hi,
We were blessed with family farm that once produced root crops for a store
and a University.  I have seen these in Vermont but don't know about other
places. It is a ground driven potato digger and here there are many left on
the farm. If anyone wanted me to I could send them a picture. I have on that
works and on for parts, but I use one like it those only PTO driven. These
will
dig any of the root crops you wrote about.
It has like a 3' nose or flat shovel that goes under the rows(adjustable)
and
chain that picks up everything, the chain goes up and out for about 5-6'
and
all the soil falls on the ground and the crops fall off the end on top of
the ground
or in my case Iam making a small wagon to go under the end.  The carrots
are harder
to do but it will dig them, they fall through the chain.

On Sun, Aug 19, 2012 at 7:24 AM, Mike Brabo <mdbrabo at att.net> wrote:

> Kathryn,
>
> After years of back breaking hand digging we switched to an old fashioned
> potato plow harvester.  We pull it behind a JD755 4WD 20hp tractor's 3pt
> hitch and it works great.  It takes a few minutes to set up and get your
> "angle" and speed just right.
>
> Here's the link to the manufacturer:
> http://www.farmingwithhorses.com/three-point-attachments
>
> Regards,
> Mike
> Vesterbrook Farm - Certified Naturally Grown
> Clarksville, Missouri - Mississippi River Bluffs, Zone 5b-6a
>
> On 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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-- 
Charlie at Floating Bridge Organics
"without power over our food,
any notion of democracy is empty"
Frances Moore Lappe
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