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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    56
    Location
    Eastern PA

    Default Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    I've been reading the forums here for many years and appreciate all the help and experience offered, but I've still got quetions. I'm not new to tractors, but have no experience with farming beyond a small backyard garden. I have about 10 tillable acres in northeast PA that I would like to experiment with. It's been more than 10 years since the soil has been worked. I've been keeping the weeds and small brush mowed and did try roto tilling some small patches last spring, but even with the tractor mounted tiller, the sod layer made for slow going. The soil is pretty good, not sandy, but no clay either however there are a LOT of fist to grapefruit sized stones. What I would like to do this year is plow the fields to turn the sod over and disc then plant.

    I have a Ford model 1910 4WD tractor with a loader and ag tires. It's about 30 engine horsepwer. The Ford literature says that this tractor will pull a 2 bottom plow, but doesn't say what size. Anybody know what size plow I can pull with this tractor? I was guessing a 2-12" or 2-14" but would like more than a guess before I spend money on a plow that I can't pull. Will I need coulters to cut the sod to be able to plow these old fields? What about trip shanks for the stones? I would like to have a bigger tractor, but I don't for now. So what can I realisticly do with what I have?

    My other question is about planters. I would like to be able to plant corn, sunflowers, pumpkins, beans as well as some some smaller seeds like radishes. I've read every thread I can find on planters, but I'm still lost. What would be a good fit for my tractor? I would like to be able to place fertilizer at the same time as planting, and realize that maybe one planter can't plant all the seeds I want to use. I'm looking for a simple machine that is easy to maintain with good parts avilability. I see Ford 309's, JD 290's, MF 039's etc. Will one of these do what I need? Or would I be better off looking at a new planter from Cole or Yetter or someone else? How big of a planter can I use with this tractor? I see a lot of 4-row pull type planters for sale for less than a 2-row 3-point, but don't know if I could use one of those or not?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,910
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    I started with a L3130 kubota(31hp),pulled a 2/12 Dearborn plow with no problem.It doesn't have shears(that would be nice but using what I have).
    Any planter you find is going to be very expensive.You may want to look at a three point spreader for fertilizer and food plot seed.The garden stuff either plant by hand or use a walk behind type seeder.
    I plow,roto-till,plant and use an old spring tooth harrow to cover(food plots)

  3. #3
    Silver Member samhudson3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    185
    Location
    Central NC, Southern part of Heaven
    Tractor
    John Deere 4300

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    You may want to check out this garden seeder first:
    EarthWay :: Product :: 1001-B Precision Garden Seeder

    I plant a huge garden with this and it works like a champ. Price is right.
    Sam
    JD 4300 HST with FEL, bush hog, rear mower, tiller, row hipper, cultivator, post hole digger, blade, and a wish list of more.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,464
    Location
    Southwest VA

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    i would plow and disk to start off as you mention. i can pull a 2/14 with a 1710 4wd. its a struggle in dry sod. you've got a few more horses so you should be ok. it has no coulters.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    56
    Location
    Eastern PA

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    I have the Earthway seeder and it works great on my small garden, but it doesn't get along well with stones and I'm lloking to plant several acres. I tried the push seeder last year and it didn't work well at all in the field. The biggest problem seemed to be the stones and trash from roto-tilling (roots, stems etc.) I couldn't get good seed placement or coverage on the seed. I had to go back through and cover everything afterwards. The push seeds was just to lightweight to work well in those condtions.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    56
    Location
    Eastern PA

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    Quote Originally Posted by randy41 View Post
    i would plow and disk to start off as you mention. i can pull a 2/14 with a 1710 4wd. its a struggle in dry sod. you've got a few more horses so you should be ok. it has no coulters.
    Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. The 2-14's are pretty easy to find around here, so that's what I was hoping for.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    1,943
    Location
    Coastal NH
    Tractor
    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    If you can find the 2/14 with coulters that is best to cut thru sod and roots rather than tearing the roots.

    As far as the trip plow, I used both, and unless you have big rocks 10" below ground they dont trip usually but if you can get a plow with coulters and trip setup thats great.

    For planters two row are likely more popular for smaller acreages as if you get a 4 row and only use two of the four rows you will either have a wide spacing between rows using 1 & 4 or 1 & 2 you will be driving over the ground again. I think for your acreage 2 row would be better.

    For the different seeds corn-sunflower - beans you will need different seed discs in the planter so find a planter that accepts different plates.

    On the fertilizer most of the planters have large fertilizer bins but if used they will usually require some tweaking due to corrosion over the years of use.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,142
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    Little rocks like that won't trip a plow so you won't need that style. All seeders won't like rocks laying on top or roots etc. An old 2 row plate type planter is your best bet although they don't do small seeds. Aren't radish seeds small like grass seed? If so maybe broadcast and roll or harrow them in? Don't have any experience with them yet but got a call from a friend to plant some as cover crop next spring with the brillion seeder.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    76
    Tractor
    1986 john deere 318

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    A good rule of thumb for a plow is for every inch of plow in the ground you will need 1 hp. So if you find a double 14in plow you will use 28 hp.on average.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    56
    Location
    Eastern PA

    Default Re: Farming for Beginners - equipment questions

    Thanks guys. It's easy to find a plow with trip beams or coulters, but not usually both. It sounds like I need the coulters for the roots but the trips aren't all that critical for the soil I have.

    I see quite a few 2-row planters and it seems like the plates are available either used or aftermarket for most of them. I didn't think i'd find a corn style planter that would plant the tiny radish seeds, but you never know until you ask. Are there any planter brands that you would recommend or stay away from? What about 'plateless' planters?

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