farm equipment

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by full sun, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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    I have a question about equipment--I have 3 horses, four goats and chickens. I have 7 pastures that probably total 8-10 acres. I am looking for something to till the manure in the pastures (probably just one pasture at a time). I also would like to be able to move manure, and haul small loads (hay grain or whatever). I want the smallest possible machine to do the job. Would I be miserable trying this with a JD riding mower or should I go for a 790 compact tractor? Any ideas? Experience? Opinions? Advice?

    Jennifer
     
  2. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to tractors all I can tell you is this: Smaller is NOT better. Better to have the largest tractor you can afford which allows for more versatility in the long haul. A tractor which is not powerful enough to get the job done is virtually worthless on any farm.
     

  3. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

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    Probably the best website to ask this question would be to go over to tractorbynet.com and ask the guys over there what size tractor is best for you.


    However, having said that, I have a book called Compact Tractor Buying & Basics by Muhammad Chishti.


    In this book, they provide guidelines for determining the tractor you need.


    As far as size is concerned, the author recommends a tractor between 25 and 35 horsepower for 5 to 10 acres of land.


    I have a 33 horsepower tractor for my 10 acres, and it is just the right size for the job I want it to do.


    One thing to consider, tilling demands more out of a tractor engine and PTO than many jobs you will do on the farm, so if you want to till alot of acreage, larger is better.


    On the other hand, I am not sure why you want to till in the manure. Tilling will disburse the manure widely into the first six or so inches of soil, which means that LESS nutrient will be available to your plants than if you left the manure on top of the ground and allowed the rain to bring the nutrients down to the plant.


    At any rate, within reason, the bigger the tractor the better. 25 to 35 horses would probably be best for you, and because of your desire to do alot of tilliing, you probably want to look at the higher end of that range (33 or 35 horses instead of 25).


    Don't forget, you will need to get both a front end loader (to do the hauling) and four wheel drive for that tractor, given the kind of work you talk about doing.
     
  4. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    why do you have to till it in why not just spread it then maybee you can get a 4 wheeler and a trailer
     
  5. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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    MsPacman, I am trying to get rid of the manure. Mainly, I want to break it up so it breaks down faster. I am trying to reduce parasites and the unsightly piles!

    Are you saying there is a benefit to just leaving the piles? Or do you pick it up with a fork, let it compost and spread it? Ugh, too much work!

    Jennifer
     
  6. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    they allso make small spreaders for 4 wheelers
     
  7. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Then you may just want a disc to do alittle slicing and dicing. Less strain on the tractor or even atv. As stated above Northern makes a baby spreader ( and a whole lot more for atv's) . I Like bigger is better, though.
     
  8. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To reduce the parasite load, you could drag the pastures with a heavy rr tie or piece of metal. I've even seen it done with an old bed spring. And you don't need a tractor to just drag something over the ground....we once used a little old datsun car to drag a horse arena. As for the "unsightly piles"...not sure what to tell you there. Livestock makes manure; I consider that a good thing, so it's not unsightly to me.
     
  9. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    What I have used on smaller winter pastures where a herd was fed and left plenty of manure was a spike toothed harrow. It does a great job of breaking up piles of manure and scattering it.

    The teeth rake was set back sloped so that they didn't dig in more than scratching the surface.

    Even a pickup would pull one adequately, but be very careful that an end doesn't catch and bring the other end forward to the towing unit. Short turns can do the same.

    farmgirl has you on the right track with a dragging style equipment
     
  10. full sun

    full sun Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your replies. So I was misguided about having to till. See I knew you guys would help me out on this! I am glad I asked...

    Jennifer
     
  11. Stephen in SOKY

    Stephen in SOKY Well-Known Member

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    Chain harrows are great for what you wish to do. Depending on the way they're configured they can be agressive enough to interseed, or merely spread out the piles. They're available in widths from 4' to 12' or larger. Just a thought.......
     
  12. Jack_IA

    Jack_IA Active Member

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    heck you can get an older manure spreader from 100 and up.
    Anything from a 4 wheeler and up can pull them.
    I have 13 acres and 4 pastures and use 3 tractors with various implements. They range from 40 hp to a 100.Start out with the largest and have not found anything I can not do that needs to get done.
    I looked at compacts but the cost and the limits to it decided against it.
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I too live in western NC. Your desire to till the manure into the soil is going to destroy the forage crop. Erosion will be a major problem and you will constantly have to replant and our planting intervals are such that you will have long periods of barren soil. This is not desireable! As others have stated you need to distribute the manure over the established pastures and minimize the disruption the the planted forage. A drag harrow, either a purchased one or a homemade one from a piece of heavy chainlink fence will suffice. To interrupt the parasite life cycle you need to establish more paddocks in your acreage. In so doing you will have the manure more distributed and will not be returning to a used paddock frequently enough for the parasites to be a problem. If you would like to visit I would be willing for you to see how I do rotational grazing with my cattle and accomplish to a degree what you expressed you want to do.
     
  14. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    If you want to mow the yard get a garden tractor if you want to mow the field and do other work get a 40hp or more tractor JD,Case,Allischalmers,farmall,massey,or MM. you can generally pick up an older tractor (Thats still gonna out last most new ones) For under 5000 and get equipment to boot. A loader,brush hog ,blade, and posthole digger are worth their weight in gold . Old tillage equipment is dirt cheap , an old pull type disc can be found for around $30, I got two JD 4 row planters for $15 each in working order, plows $100 or so cultivators are cheap as well .
    hit farm auctions
     
  15. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    PyroDon I would have agreed with you about dirt cheap old implements a few months ago but no longer.

    With the raise in the price of scrap iron, old cheap implements are a thing of the past at least for now. Unfortunately so are old salvage vehicles going by the wayside.
     
  16. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    you have to agree they are still cheap compared to new .
     
  17. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Horsepower is not the only parameter by which to gauge a tractor.

    Horsepower does little, torque combined with weight does a lot. There are riding lawnmowers that have more horsepower than an 8n Ford. Hook them up to identical 12 foot, 28" pine logs, and see who moves what.

    I've got a 35hp Long, around 31 or so at the PTO. Drawbar to drawbar, it'll drag a L series Kubota backwards.

    Having said all that, if I was choosing between a 790 JD and a lawn tractor, it's going to be the 790 all day long. It'll pull a 5 foot finish mower with no problem. It'll pull a 5 foot bushhog if you're just clipping smaller stuff. It'll even scratch some dirt if you don't expect too much of it.

    It's not a bad little tractor at all...
     
  18. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    Every spring I connect a railroad tie on the back of my disk (with about a 4 ft chain on each side) and go over all of my pastures that I graze. Justly lightly cut the ground and spread the poop. I does a pretty good job of cleaning the pastures up.
     
  19. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    I dont think horsepower is as big a factor as some say. I do all the work around here with a 1954 Ford NAA that's only about 30 HP. You dont need a lot of HP unless you'll be doing a lot of deep plowing. Check the Agricultural Review for used ones.
    http://www.ncagr.com/paffairs/class.htm
     
  20. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    Thats the thing about old tractors they were often rated at drawbar HP
    what they would pull .
    I have a AC wd45 rated 45 hp by all standards it should be a three bottom plow tractor but because of the hitch (factory snap couple ) and the fact I have AC equipment I can bury a 4-14 to the frame in third gear without breaking a wheel loose . I really like the traction boost system and when mowing heavy brush or bailing you cant beat the hand clutch . the PTO HP is the only thing I have problems with on the gas version the diesel version is a a clydesdale