I am still looking for recommendations on what equipment people are using and what is working well and not so well for vineyard owners/managers. Based on what other growers in the area are using, I am thinking of the Arbus 500 (20HP min.) or a 200 gallon sprayer. What sprayer are you using? Pros/cons?
Thanks as always,
I am currently running an old FMC 400 gallon Economist. Will be upgrading possibly next year to a 400 gallon Turbo-Mist. I've actually considered going to a 2 row sprayer but that is because in my area the rain can come in fast and often so we have short spray windows and I need to cover as much ground as I can as fast as possible. That is why I won't use anything less then 400 gallons. You spend too much time filling the sprayer. I put 100 gallons of water on per acre so I cover 4 acres between refilling. It works good too because most of my blocks that are further away from my filling area are all 3-3.5 acre blocks so I can fill up, spray the entire block then run the tank out on the larger block before refilling then repeat.
What other equipment are you wanting to know about? I have a 1 ton Vicon mounted on a cart for banding fertilizer, I have a Green Hoe Company weed spray bar that I mount on the front of one of my tractors that is currently plumbed into a 3pt 60 gallon sprayer for weeds (I am working on a twin tank trailer for weed spraying so I can spray row middles with one spray and under the canopy with a different spray). I use a Bush Hog 295 rotary cutter for chopping the trimmings, an old Massey Ferguson 3pt auger for large end posts and a Shaver post pounder mounted to the middle of my Farmall for replacing broken posts. Out side of that anything else is usually custom made unless your going big with mechanical harvesting.
Tractor wise for the vineyard I run a Ford 1920, Case-IH Farmall 45A and a Kubota M8540 Narrow.
I don't think the Kubota M would be overkill for 30 acres of orchard but either the M or the larger Grand L would work. Your tractor probably should not be larger than 60-64 inches wide which will influence you. The Deere 4520 or 4720 would also work well with R1's on it too. Obviously the narrow vineyard tractors would be great too, they just cost more. With that much acreage you will be spending a lot of time in or on the tractor so creature comforts will make a big difference at the end of the day. If you have the budget, a cab makes a huge difference. I happen to be a fan of HST transmissions because of their infinite speed adjustments but that's a "nice" feature and not a requirement and not available on larger Hp tractors. Robert_in_NY has good advice and a nice range of tractors for all around work.
Thank you for the recommendations. A little more research and I think I am leaning towards the L5740. I see the M series does not offer the HST - probably a necessity as this is my first tractor. I can't hit the side of a barn with a shotgun, but I bet I can with a tractor...
Do you know why the 5740 has 57/50 while the 5240 has 52/45 when the engines seem the same except for 2700 vs 2600 rpm?
i don't like spraying with hst because you can not have set speeds like gears and cruise control is not always that precise on my l3400. Its sort of hard to press the pedal for a long time while you are in your rows and it is difficult to maintain a constant speed.
Thanks for all your help.
I had the L5740 delivered the other day. This is my first tractor so I don't have anything to compare it to but so far -
I Love It!