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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Kubota BX2230, JD 400, AC 190XT

    Default Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    A question for you gentleman farmer types.

    I have a BX2230, 22 hp kubota. In the way of appropriate equipment for the task in question, I have a drag harrow, FEL, rotary cutter and a ground driven broadcast spreader (seed/fertilizer).

    We have 3 horses that, as you would expect, generate cash faster than we can spend it. No other livestock is anticipated. Of our 40 acres, a neighbor leases about 10 for farming.

    I have 3 pastures for the horses. One pasture I would estimate to be about 5 acres. The other two pastures I estimate to be about 2 acres each. The two small pastures are in pretty bad shape. The larger pasture is still fairly good. What I think needs to be done, one pasture at a time (possibly both smaller pastures at the same time) is to rip them up and reseed them.

    Which FINALLY brings me to the purpose of this post. How do I best proceed with this? I have talked to the farmer who leases our land about doing the pastures in lieu of payment. He expressed a concern that his equipment might be too big to handle the smaller pastures. Is this reasonable or do you guys think he is just blowing me off?

    If I were to do the job myself, what equipment would be practical, considering the limitations of my tractor? Would a tiller do it? A middle buster and a disc? Since it is unlikely I will ever use the equipment again (with the possible exception of the tiller) should I look into hiring the work done? What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy_S
    A question for you gentleman farmer types.

    I have a BX2230, 22 hp kubota. In the way of appropriate equipment for the task in question, I have a drag harrow, FEL, rotary cutter and a ground driven broadcast spreader (seed/fertilizer).

    We have 3 horses that, as you would expect, generate cash faster than we can spend it. No other livestock is anticipated. Of our 40 acres, a neighbor leases about 10 for farming.

    I have 3 pastures for the horses. One pasture I would estimate to be about 5 acres. The other two pastures I estimate to be about 2 acres each. The two small pastures are in pretty bad shape. The larger pasture is still fairly good. What I think needs to be done, one pasture at a time (possibly both smaller pastures at the same time) is to rip them up and reseed them.

    Which FINALLY brings me to the purpose of this post. How do I best proceed with this? I have talked to the farmer who leases our land about doing the pastures in lieu of payment. He expressed a concern that his equipment might be too big to handle the smaller pastures. Is this reasonable or do you guys think he is just blowing me off?

    If I were to do the job myself, what equipment would be practical, considering the limitations of my tractor? Would a tiller do it? A middle buster and a disc? Since it is unlikely I will ever use the equipment again (with the possible exception of the tiller) should I look into hiring the work done? What do you guys think?
    Four acres is a lot for a small CUT like yours.

    I have a Kubota B7510HST (21 hp engine, 17 hp pto) that I used to landscape about 1/4 acre of lawn around my new house. In the lawn areas I used a middle buster (TSC, $140) to break up the soil and then used my Yanmar RS-1200 rototiller (48" wide, bought used from my local grey market tractor guy for $300) to break up the clods and level the ground. Made two passes at right angles with the tiller. Spent about $170 on a new pto shaft, a shaft extender and slip clutch for the tiller

    I'd say it took me 4-5 hours to plow the ground and about 8-10 hours of rototilling.

    I'm not saying that your BX can't do your 4 acres. But be prepared to log a lot of seat time.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Central Lower Michigan
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    I think that if tilling or significant groundwork is required, your BX will be rather small for the acreage you're working on. I am using a 50 hp utility tractor for very similar work (renovating two 1-acre pastures and turning 5 acres of weeds into useful land) and for the most part it is not too big. Slightly clumsy in the square corners of our 1-acre pastures, but otherwise fine and definitely not big at all on the 5 acres that I'm turning into part pasture and part hayfield.

    It would be helpful if you could post pictures of the bad pastures, and tell us where in the country you are, what the soil is like, if the pastures are square, rectangular, or funny shaped, etc.

    I have been using a "scarifier" (available from Landpride, Town and Country, or possibly a few others) to rip up the compacted ground in the pastures. Two passes when it's dry and it's really well loosened. A subsoiler would be an option too, but I don't think both are needed on the same ground. My 50hp, 4wd tractor is using a fair bit of its power to run this tool, so I wouldn't even consider it with a BX. I am then dragging it multiple times with a chain harrow, which has been very effective. I would ideally like to have a disk, but the harrow is working well enough I probably won't be getting one. Then I will be broadcasting new seed and pulling the chain harrow one more time to cover it up. One pasture I just finished last week - hopefully I will be seeing bits of green popping up in the next few days.

    Basically, I don't think your BX is big enough to pull any conventional tilling tools for this task. If you really want to do it with that equipment, I think a tiller is the only way to go, but it will take a looooonnnnngggg time. IMHO you would be much better off either hiring it out or renting a larger (large CUT or utility size) tractor with appropriate tillage tools to get the job done thoroughly and in a reasonable time.

    As for your neighbor - two acres is small for a custom job for a farmer, and I don't know what size equipment he has. If he has a 150+ hp tractor, it may not be able to turn reasonably inside your pastures to do a good job. Are your fences something you could take down for him to work and then reinstall when he's done? If you can create a rectangular block of 9 acres for him (and just feed hay for 1-2 months in a paddock), without fences, he may be able to do the work fast and easily - if he's interested. You may also want to consider that the time and expense to do the renovation may be significantly more per-acre than the value of the land he's renting from you. Might want to consider if he would prefer a cash deal. If he could run a subsoiler once and then disk the pastures 1-3 times (depending on condition) then I think the remaining work of seeding and dragging to cover would be very reasonable with your BX.

    Lone Cowboy on this board does pasture renovation for a living. Not sure where you are, but if you happen to be in Colorado you may want to just call him up and hire him!
    Last edited by Z-Michigan; 05-01-2007 at 02:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    Go with the rototiller. It will go faster than you think. You have all the rest of the equipment needed. Also get a soil test and treat accordingly.

    If the farmer has large equipment he will have trouble working small areas.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
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    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Dec 2006
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    157
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    Kubota M5700, BX2350

    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy_S
    We have 3 horses that, as you would expect, generate cash faster than we can spend it.
    I'm guessing a big smiley face goes after this, or else I want WAY more details!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    We need to know where you are.
    out here in Dry colorado, it takes 3+ years to bring back a pasture after total renovation (dryland, irrigated will come back in a year or so).
    so, ripping up and tilling is a last resort.
    remember too, that ripping up and tilling generates even more weeds (from the seeds) you need to be down to just absolutely no grass to consider this. If you have some grass, it's usually easier and quicker to get it stronger than to do total renovation.

    so, let's see some pics. And yeah, a big farmer tractor can't turn in small slots like that. How compacted is the ground? Weed to grass ratio (approximately), is it irrigated (or are you in a wet enough area that you don't need irrigation). Have you done a soil test? Are you going to need to amend the soil?

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Glowplug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon
    Go with the rototiller. It will go faster than you think.
    I don't know, maybe I'm just ignorant. But I just can't see renovating 4 acres of pasture with a 22hp tractor and rototiller. (No offense intended Egon.) You're talking about running probably a 36" tiller through compacted, unplowed soil, at a snail's pace to cover a total of 4 acres. As much as I like seat time if I had to do that I would be completely psychotic! That would probably be something like 250 hours of work or more. I would guess that it would be best to start with using a disk or scarifier or subsoiler or a combination thereof, depending on how much soil compaction you needed to break up. Then going over it multiple times with a drag harrow. Then seeding and going over it again with a drag harrow. Then hopefully you'd have a nice, slow, steady rain for about a week. That's probably what I would do. Of course, I'm speaking from lack of experience. I've never tackled a project like that before. I do, however, agree very strongly with getting a soil test. Good luck.
    Chuck

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    I have done it with a 16 HP tractor and 44 in tiller on 50 year old sod. About 7 or so acres worth. It goes faster than one thinks.

    A picture of part of the tilled area.
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    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  9. #9
    Elite Member johnk's Avatar
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    western NY
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    Kubota GST Grand L3130 w/ 723 loader, Ags

    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    Egon,

    About how long did the whole project take??? Had to be quite time consuming...

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Central Lower Michigan
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: Equipment Needed to Renovate Pastures

    Egon, are those all rocks in your pasture? How did the tiller survive the rocks?

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