[Market-farming] tractors

John Ferree john at seldomseenfarm.com
Sun Aug 25 14:16:10 EDT 2013

Hey Rob,

What scale do you operate at?  What scale do you want to be at in 5 years?

How will this tractor fit into your existing/future line-up of equipment?

What is the heaviest draw you will be putting on the tractor?
(Chisel/Ripper/etc)  What is the max HP you will ever need?

Do you need a creeper gear or hydrostatic transmission for slow
operations like transplanting?

Will it work on standardized spacings?

Diesel or gas? (the right answer is diesel ;~)

I bought a 50 horse tractor for a bedding system on 60" when I first
started.  Then I found out that I really needed another 15 HP for
chiseling. . . and a creeper gear or hydrostat for transplanting at less
than 1.5 mph.  If you're ever going to operate at a scale greater than 5
acres you might consider what other pieces you will need to make the
system work well.  That likely includes two cultivating tractors, 65-80
hp tractor, 40-60 hp tractor (hydrostat or creeper) and maybe one or two
more depending on your needs.  Where will this new tractor fit into that
mix as your farm expands?  Is your money better spent on more HP or on
another tractor that will save you money, time and a backache?
(obviously the loader would help)

If you're planning on staying small, do you really need a large tractor
that will drive up maintenance and fuel costs?  Will you be over-driving
(burning up gear boxes) your existing implements with the higher HP? Do
you have the mechanical skills to save expensive shop repair bills?

market farm implement has a simple guide for tractor buying in their
catalog.  Also:

Hope this helps,

Taking a year off veggie growing to monkeywrench veggie equipment. . .

On 08/25/2013 09:57 AM, Rob Wallbridge wrote:
> Hi all,
> It looks like I’m going to be able to invest in a tractor soon, and I’d
> like some feedback and advice and what to look for, makes and models to
> consider or avoid, additional considerations, etc. We’ve got a FarmAll
> Super A for cultivation and a 30hp 4WD Kubota which has been over
> primary tractor. What we’ve been mostly lacking has been a front-end
> loader for the myriad of tasks one of those can accomplish. The Kubota
> is also a little small to handle our mulch layer and waterwheel
> transplanter, and I’d like something with the capacity to unload pallets
> if needed, so I’ve considered moving up to something in the 50hp range.
> At the same time, my budget is limited (~$10K), so I’m definitely
> looking at older used models, and after scanning some dealer ads, this
> doesn’t seem unreasonable.
> There you have it – any and all input is welcomed!
> Thanks,
> Rob
> Rob Wallbridge
> **Songberry Organic Farm**
> 24 Sixth Line, Bristol, QC J0X 1G0
> rob at songberry.ca <mailto:songberry at songberry.com>
> www.songberry.ca <http://www.songberry.ca>
> facebook: "Songberry Organic Farm"
> twitter: @songberryfarm
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