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  1. #1
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    B2320N

    Default hilling potatoes

    How wide do you guys plant potatoes?

    We've planted them in rows, 2' apart however we had to
    do all the hilling by hand.

    What do you use for hilling/cultivating? What tractor? How wide are your rows?

  2. #2
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    What do you use for hilling/cultivating? What tractor? How wide are your rows?[/QUOTE]

    I use this to plant them which is a single row planter with a plow for digging the row, fertilizer feeder and storage bin, and disk to cover the potato seed once it is dropped into the row. The picture does not have the plow or disk attached to the planter.



    This to hill them, which is a (bedder attachment) which works fair, but it is difficult to keep the disk the proper distance from each row side. With all the rain we had this year I had to go through the field with my troybilt first to loosen the soil and then used the bedder to hill up the plants. I have to work on securing the unit to the 3 pt hitch better to keep it in alignment.



    This to dig them which is a single row digger which I will use for the first time this fall, not sure just how well it will work but it has to be better than the potato plow that I used in the past.



    I plant about an acre of potatoes so the equipment will pay for itself in about two years.

    I started out planting potatoes and hand hilling them, then I used my Troybilt tiller with the hiller attachment which worked pretty good if the soil is tilled first to loosen it up a bit. For two rows doing it by hand seems to be the cheapest way to complete the task. Actually, there are no green thumbs just brown knees!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Thanks Wayne.

    Where did you buy your implements?
    Are you using B7500?

  4. #4
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hi Peter,

    Well, the planter and digger came from China and the bedder is a Leinbach and I got it from the smart Farmer. This is a bit of over kill for someone that only plants a few pounds of potato seeds though.

    The Smart Farmer: Garden Bedders - The Smart Farmer, LLC.

    Shandong Machinery Company: Shandong Tiansheng Machinery Co., Ltd.-disc plow|mouldboard plow|rotary tiller|potato planting (harvest) machine|cultivator|subsoiler|seeder

    We I was planting potatoes just for us to eat we always planted them in small rows (usually about 10 pounds of seed potato). I would half or quarter the potatoes and plant them about 10 to 12 inches apart. I have a troy-bilt tiller and also the hiller attachment so once the plants were about a foot high I would till between the rows and then use the hiller attachment to push earth up and around the plants.

    I would go back by hand and pull the dirt up against the plants. Keep in mind that all of the new potatoes grow above the seed potato and the higher you hill the more potatoes you will get.

    I would try to hill at least twice during the early growing season and keep the weeds down. By the first of July I was always done hilling (that is here in New Hampshire and also in upper New York State). There will come a point when you just have to stop hilling and let nature take it痴 coarse.

    Once the plants put out seeds we would start sneaking into the hills to get a few small potatoes to eat. Heck my wife still has me doing that and after the 4th of July we are eating new potatoes around here.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Thanks Wayne.

    It is good to talk to someone who have been there and done it.

    Few more questions: How wide are you planting your potatoes rows?
    We planted them 2' apart, but I found that there was not enough soil
    between them when we did hilling by hand. I think 2.5-3' might be better.

    Is clearance more important than the width of the rear tracks?

    I'm thinking of getting B2320DTN, B7800 or B3200?

    When you hill, the plants are about 8-12" so I'm thinking 12"
    ground clearance of B2320DTN should be enough.
    Is it better to get a higher clearance?

    Which one (B2320DTN or B7800) would YOU pick based on your experience?
    (I have a bigger tractor to plow and till my lots).

    Thank you very much,
    Peter

  6. #6
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Hi Peter, wow I am not sure if I am the person to answer all of your questions, all I can do is tell you what I do for whatever that is worth.

    When I plant I am using my B-7500 so I basically start the first row and complete it. On the second row I place the inside tire in the track of the first row tire and that is the spacing I am using. It is a bit wide, but I do not have to worry about hitting the first row. Hope that makes sense to you.

    I try to get them as close as I can and then after the hilling, second time the tops are tall enough that there is little if any weed control needed. We are all organic here so no spraying is done. My good wife will go out and pick off bus if need be, but really we have not had any problem with bugs.

    I use the B-7500 tilling, planting and working on the potatoes. It seems to be enough tractor for what I am doing. I like the B-7800 tractor and also the L-series tractors, I guess it all depends upon how much money one wants to spend. I have a Howard HR-4 rototiller and the B-7500 seems to work it just fine.

    I like the L-2800 tractor, just didn't have the money for a new one and couldn't find a used one at the time. If you really want to get fancy go for a Grand L series tractors. There is plenty of power and a whole bunch of comfort features.

    With the B-series tractors I believe they handle everything I need plus they are easy of fuel. Mine is a DT model and I have used the HST's but don't mind the shifting and having to stop to go in reverse, heck it is a tractor not a racecar.

    So to answer your question I would go for an L-series then a B-7600 or 7800 model myself. Again bigger isn't always better, at least that is how I think. There are a whole bunch of B-7800's for sale around here but the price is right up there! Also it depends upon how many FEL options you desire. I like the larger tractors as you can get quick removal buckets.

    Wayne

  7. #7
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    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Thanks Wayne.

    It looks like you are planting the rows about 40-42" apart.
    If hilling and cultivating works at this width, I might go for L2800 GT, 2WD,
    new if I cannot find a used one. kubota website lists it at U$12,137
    and U$11,037 for B2320

  8. #8
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    I am not sure what to say Peter, it works for me, but keep in mind we have hills around here and I would not lookforward to doing anything with two wheel drive. That goes mainly for tilling, planting and digging, just too tough on a small tractor.

    Send me an email and I will provide you some additional information

    Wayne

    wbracy@gsinet.net

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
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    Southwestern Ontario, Canada
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    John Deere 5300, Gravely 8163G, BCS735, etc

    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Quote Originally Posted by WayneB View Post
    the planter and digger came from China
    Hi Wayne.

    How well has the potato planter and digger worked out for you?

    About how much did they end up costing? Were there any issues with ordering equipment from China? How long did it take from the time that you ordered them, until you got them?

    I just planted 80 lbs of potatoes, using a rototiller to loosen up the soil, a middle buster to make rows, then a rake to hill up the rows after the potatoes were put into the rows. My stomach muscles were sore for a couple of days afterwards, from all the raking, so I'm looking for a better way to plant a lot of potatoes, that's easier on my body.

    Can you use the potato planter for other things, like onion bulbs/etc?

  10. #10
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Default Re: hilling potatoes

    Quote Originally Posted by FredWalter View Post
    Hi Wayne.

    How well has the potato planter and digger worked out for you?

    About how much did they end up costing? Were there any issues with ordering equipment from China? How long did it take from the time that you ordered them, until you got them?

    I just planted 80 lbs of potatoes, using a rototiller to loosen up the soil, a middle buster to make rows, then a rake to hill up the rows after the potatoes were put into the rows. My stomach muscles were sore for a couple of days afterwards, from all the raking, so I'm looking for a better way to plant a lot of potatoes, that's easier on my body.

    Can you use the potato planter for other things, like onion bulbs/etc?
    Well, we are finishing up on our Potato planting, maybe tomorrow (another 60 r 70 pounds to go). We will have around 850 pounds of potato seed planted. The planter worked fine, we did have some issues with the disk hillers on the backend of the planter and after a bit of reconstruction/welding they are working fine now. One issue was the amount of compost in the fields. If the soil was sandy the planting would of been easier. With all the compost we have tilled in from time to time the disk would pick up clumps and clough up, not permitting the disk to cover the potatoes. Actually it would drag the earth and potatoes. Not really a major problem.

    Being a hobby farmer we can take our time doing things so it has been okay so far. I did find that the smaller seed potatoes were easier to work with. We had many larger potatoes that had to be cut and they created some problems with the planter picking them up. I had my helper (wife) walking along side of the planter and adding seed potatoes if the machine didn't pick one up. We were going in low range 1st gear so it was a nice walk for her.

    I will take some pictures of the field (s) and post them one of these days.

    Now I have to wait and see how the cultivator/hiller works for. All depends upon how will I was able to keep the rows straight and the final adjustments to the cultivators.

    As for ordering equipment from China there are always some issues. Just getting all of the paperwork in order finding the proper codes for everything and then dealing with the shipping companies, agents, customs officers, etc, can wear on you for sure.

    There are cost included at every turn along the way. We had to pay the bonding charges, wire transfer charges, shipping, handling and labor charges at every port. It all adds up. Not really sure of the actual cost, but compared to what it would have cost here in the states, it was a good deal. For other reasons I do not want to publish the actual price in any forum. Drop me a line and I can tell you more about dealing with things and pricing.

    Compared to last year where I planted with digging the rows with my potato plow and then hand dropping all of the potatoes and like you using a rake to cover them up. Took for ever and was a royal pain in the back side..

    Wayne

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