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What equipment needed for a farmette?

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  • What equipment needed for a farmette?

    Looking at an 8 acre property and I need to come up with the "immediate purchase" list. Probably 5 is grass and the rest woods. There are two driveways--the small one connected to the blacktop road and the house garage and the one to the main yard and equipment shed. The small one would easily be blown out with our existing snowblower so we could get to work in the morning.

    I also already own a 4 wheeler, for what it's worth.

    There is no arena and no horses there yet. I wouldn't bring horses home for a year. There is also no fencing, but I may just hire a friend with a boom to drive posts (takes about 10 seconds a post in the spring) instead of messing with a post-hole digger--what do you think?

    Current owner maintains acerage with a zero turn radius riding mower (Dixon?). He says that is the way to go. It is relatively flat, except for the ditches.

    What would be the most cost effective equipment? I am leaning towards just buying a riding mower and our snowblower to get the cars out and maybe paying someone to blade out the longer drive (need to keep open to get to the propane tank).

    Once we are ready for horses, I am torn between a skid steer and a tractor (especially if I'm not mowing with the tractor). Pros and cons? I really like the manuverability of a skid. There is a lot of old junk we need to get rid of on the property--think old threshers, bean heads, etc. The grove is a jungle of rusted metal and trees (I wouldn't turn horses out in the grove anyway).
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I bought my 10 acre farm (woods and pasture) and can tell you that I use the devil out of my kawasaki mule and my smallish (34hp) tractor with a front end loader and back hay spear. I also have a bush hog but I haven't used it nearly as much as the loader and the spear.
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


    • #3
      I couldn't live without my little Kubota tractor. I do all of my snow removal with it, and move hay, grade the gravel drive, etc. with it. It's not that I use it every day, but when I need it, I NEED it..and couldn't manage without it.

      It's a 26 hp. version, and have only had one storm that it couldn't manage. Fortunately my neighbor showed up with his huge Caterpillar and took care of my 3 foot snow drifts in short order.


      • #4
        If your budget can handle it get the best compact (25-35HP) tractor you can afford with FEL & finish mower.
        If you get turf tires and your property near the house is not too full of curves you can use the tractor to mow there.

        If not, there's a company in MN that makes FEL & other tractor-like attachments for ATVs.
        I found them through an article in Hobby Farms mag and was quoted what I thought was a very reasonable $5K for a reconditioned Cub Cadet with FEL.
        Transporting to my area was the problem and this was a couple years ago, so I'm sorry but I cannot recall the name of the company

        I've made-do for the last 6 years using a lawn tractor & dump cart. But I am beating the heck out of the belly mower doing pastures and I sincerely lust after a FEL <insert covetous drooling icon>

        Mostly I depend on neighbors with bigger equipment or a landscape guy with a JD/FEL that he trailers over and charges me to scrape up whatever is needed.
        I try to have some bush-hogging for him to do too so he can factor that into the cost of trailering his JD over.
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


        • #5
          We bought 27 acres 2 years ago, (all wooded that had been logged in the early 90's by a different owner). We would have been lost without the medium Deere and the attachments that went with it. the only part that was a waste of $$ was the back hoe.
          We put our own fences up with the auger, move trees with the front bucket (move hay with the hay spike) scraped out a driveway (and keep it level) with the box blade,,, but the best part we got was the bush hog, we cleared the property line as well as other riding trails.
          We have come a long way in 2 years and couldnt have done it without that tractor!


          • #6

            I bought my 20 acre farm (woods and pasture) and can tell you that I use the devil out of my Agco smallish (40hp) tractor with a front end loader. I also have a bush hog too. What do you plan to use to cut down those pasture weeds and spread out manure? A lawn mower will get stuck. Absolutely the thing you will need!.

            Your riding lawn mower, not built on the most durable frame, won't last. On the other hand, they have lawn tractors which can pull little wagons, drags, front loader attachments, etc. If you have one already, it can useful for tight spots but don't buy one if you need the $ to buy the tractor.

            There is this rack/lift like thing you can buy from Tractor Supply/Tek Supply like companies which attaches to the back fork of the tractor. That will allow you to stack wood, move timber, etc.

            You can buy a hay spear for round bales which can attach to the back or to the front end loader which we use ALL the time in the winter.

            You can add a blade and level your stones on your drive way, move snow,

            It is the BEST investment you can possibly buy since anything less will be overused and break down.

            Good luck!
            Pao Lin


            • #7
              We have a fairly large lawn on our 7 acre farm, so we considered a 0-turn mower in addition to our Kubota, but we're so glad we didn't get one (we got a pretty heavy duty Kubota lawn tractor instead). We can and do use the lawn tractor for pasture mowing and other farm jobs - we have a trailer we use for various things, we've pulled small shrubs out with it in places we don't want to [or can't take] the tractor. And it wasn't a consideration at the time, but my 12 year old can use it and my 8 year old will be able to soon as well. Which is nice when you have to try to split up chores.

              We use our Kubota tractor (I think its a 3430?) all the time. With a front end loader...use it to move manure piles, brush hog pastures and other rough areas, pull the arena drag, move snow, etc.

              I know some people mow their lawns with their tractors, and that's another thought - maybe you can get away with a smaller tractor instead of tractor+lawnmower?


              • #8
                Driven posts = awesome. They're often sturdier than dug and filled/compacted, and the time saved makes it worth every penny.

                You don't need a ton of expensive equipment for a small place like that, but the flexibility of a tractor with various implements is awfully nice. Front-end loaders are useful, though less so as they get smaller. Finish mowers are excellent and can be used for both pasture and lawn. Grading blades are relatively inexpensive and save a lot of manual labor smoothing ruts or clearing snow. Manure spreaders are da bomb. Since you have an ATV, check out the little wagons, sprayers, and things you can tow behind them. It's super convenient to be able to load up tools (fencing, chainsaw stuff, etc) or feed or water or firewood in a little cart.


                • #9
                  The four wheeler is worth a *lot*. It's such a help.


                  • #10
                    All good advise. But we are talking a rather small property to look after. If you've got the $$$$ go with a small utility tractor. You can get a good used JD with a loader for under $10,000 but I would make sure what ever you get it has 4WD. Upper Mid-West means snow to me, lots at times along with drifts. If you have a long driveway it will take a VERY long time with a small tractor and a loader. Though you may be able to get a snow blower attachment. But this may cost $$$ and in the long run you would be better off contracting or put a used plow on a pick up. Every farm no matter what the size need a Pick Up. Around here we can get an older truck in OK shape with a plow for $2-3,000. Not something you would want to count on for everyday. But more as a part time farm truck.
                    A good used 3 point hitch mower to fit the tractor can be had for a few hundred. If you are on a budget you could get a tow behind finish mower for your ATV that has its own motor. They work well but you can't let the grass get too high. My horse farm is 150 acres so I have a large utility tractor, JD 5525, 4WD, 5 ton loader and turf tires. Plenty big enough for my JD 15' flexwing mower all of which I highly recommend. But I mow about 5-8 acres with a Cub Cadet, 27 horse with a 54" deck. Pd $2,200 new. I've mowed down stuff higher then the tractor. Had it 6 years. The engine is plenty strong enough but the tractor it's self is not built strong enough always things to fix or repair. But I have a good shop and do all the repairs myself. 0-turns are great and mow faster but are not useful for other things. Though I plan to get one when the big horse wins. See no need for a skid loader and if its a skid loader or tractor go with the 4WD tractor/loader. When it comes to fencing driving the post in is the best. Around here there are people that rent a 3 point hitch post driver but I don't think it will fit a small utility tractor. We use 4x6 posts and have had great results using a 3" auger, set the post on top of the hole and pound it down with my bucket. Some times a square peg will fit in a round hole! I bought a $100 trailer at Home depot been using it 5 years and has been well worth the money. I have a fairly heavy duty Husky week eater that has severed me well for 6 years and we do a lot of weed eating. You will need push mower. I have a Sears 5 horse, pd around $200.
                    Chain saw. I have a Sthil (sp) farm boss which has served me very well. But I also have a cheap $100 one that has worked well enough for small stuff. What gets the most use around here is our gas powered golf cart with a lift kit and encloseure. Put a deck on the back that flips up into a seat. Pd around $3,000 used and is worth every cent. We have used the heck out of it and have had little to no repair issues. A decent shop with all of the basic tool is a must. Harbor Frieght tools are good enough and are great value. Everything you need to know is in a book or on the net.
                    Hope this helps sorry to be so long winded. But I am pretty well versed in this stuff.


                    • #11
                      FWIW, get the biggest tractor you can afford particularly if you are thinking of moving round bales.
                      Weight matters.
                      I wasn't always a Smurf
                      Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks guys. Great ideas.

                        BTW, I won't be feeding roundbales.
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                        • #13
                          We could not survive without our Kubota with the front end loader, chain harrow, and millcreek manure spreader.

                          Next on the list is a bush hog and post hole digger for the tractor.

                          We also have a landscape rake and plow for the tractor, an then I have a little John Deere garden tractor that I use for mowing smaller areas and pulling the chain harrow and spreader around
                          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                          Witherun Farm


                          • #14
                            Gumtree already suggested this, so I will second it, a chainsaw!


                            • #15
                              My first thought was back and liniment.


                              • #16
                                If you already have an ATV, it may be more economical to purchase mower attachment such as this http://www.swisherinc.com/mowing.asp to do your heavier mowing. You can get a chain harrow to drag your fields. I got a Newer Spreader and love it.
                                Man plans. God laughs.