NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: 16 acres - what size tractor???  (Read 2301 times)

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
16 acres - what size tractor???
« on: August 29, 2017, 10:44:21 am »
I'm looking at farms and smallholding for sale in our area and thought about the most suitable equipment for the property.
If I bought the 16 acres smallholding I would need tractor with those implements:
  • Flail mower (could that be used for mowing let's say acre of lawn as well as overgrown field etc?)
  • Subsoiler (keyline plowing)
  • Hedge trimmer
  • Rotovator/rotary plough
  • Front loader
  • Wood chipper

I was thinking of something of similar size to John Deere 3039r (39hp) or JD 3045r (45hp). On this acreage there is probably no point of thinking of expensive hay equipment. I think it would be more cost effective to buy hay.
If I did decide to buy a larger holding (there was one around 70 acres) I would go for JD 4066r (66hp, 54PTO HP) or even larger. I'm only using those tractors as example of size. I know there are a lot of other brands which do similar size machines (most likely cheaper too).
What do you think would be the most suitable vehicle for the 16 acre smallholding (livestock, poultry, market garden, orchard). Something more or less the size I mentioned? Would smaller do the job? Maybe larger?
I'd like something that would be enough to do all the jobs but don't take too much fuel.

Please help!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.
Voss Electric Fence

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 11:19:35 am »
I'd say that for 16 acres you shouldn't really need a tractor. Its just not worth the expense IMO and its much more cost effective to get a contracter in - unless of course you have loads of spare money!

For example, hedgecutting, you could probably do 16 acres in 5 hours, once a year, cost of a contractor would be around £125, cost of buying the hedgecutter and maintaining a tractor for a year would be a lot more!


honeyend

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 01:59:35 pm »
If you can get someone with the kit to do it I would do so. Around here its about £30ph
  We have an old Ford dexter, which has a loader, and we have a topper. It cost £1500, which to me is good value because it will probably out survive us and even if it only gets used 5 times a year it enables us to crack on rather than wait for someone else.
  The biggest problem is getting someone to come, we pay cash on the day and its bloomin nightmare

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 03:22:13 pm »
In my opinion, looking at your list, the only essential attachments are the flail mower and the front loader. These are things that you are likely to use frequently.
The rest are contractors' tools. The hedge trimmer and chipper in particular are expensive and at something like £25/hour for a man and machine are not worth having a lot of money in to be stood idle for most of the year.
The rotovator/plough may be worth getting depending on how much market gardening you plan to do, but seems unnecessary for just livestock and orchard.
So on that basis a tractor of @40 HP would be ideal.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Still playing with tractors

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Cumbernauld
  • You can never have enough HP
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 04:02:41 pm »
To me, if your dead set on getting a tractor, some of the questions you need to ask yourself is what do you want to lift with the loader, bulk bags, bales, timber etc?

if your looking at the 16acres I would go for a 70-85hp, but basic attachments could be:
Topper
roller
Harrow
Fert spreader
pallet forks
bale spike / grab
rear ballast weight

other things to think about would be a rotovator or stone burier

for 70 acres I would start looking from 100hp upwards. If your a JD fan have a look at the 5000 series M or R series they go back quite a bit (preM&R) so plenty to choose from of all hp's

its better to have a bit of power in reserve than thrash something to death, also as you get used to it you will want to get bigger implements so the size thing comes into play again, don't forget to look for 540 and 1000 rpm pto speeds something a lot of small machines don't offer. But its all physics :thinking: if you have a bigger implement it will take less time, so it depends how much you value your time?

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 07:17:36 pm »
Rather depends on your 16 acreas ..... we have 16 acres of grazing on a 28 acre smallholding .... most of the year we manage very well with a quad + flail mower (for topping) + fert spinner and grass harrow.   Our land lies quite wet and we would get little use from a tractor (infact all we really would like it for would be with fore-end loader.    Hedge cutting is a skilled job and best left to those who do it regularly.
Linda

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arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 07:32:19 pm »
I'd say that for 16 acres you shouldn't really need a tractor......

Are you being serious bj_cardiff ?!!  Contract-out hedge cutting maybe (cos hedge cutters are expensive to buy), but I'd be stuffed without my tractor and tipping link-box & box-blade & disc harrow & flail mower to manage (as and when) my 3 ha.  I would be on the phone daily, calling-in/managing contractors, if I hadn't invested in my own kit. 


pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 07:44:42 pm »
We manage our 13 acres without a tractor. Had one for the first 4 years but didn't use it enough. Now have a quad for carting stuff around and use local farmer to contract fertilising and hay cutting, occasional weed killing.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: 16 acres - what size tractor???
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 09:08:19 pm »
I was thinking of getting an atv or utv but now I think small tractor would be better and I would only have to buy and maintain one machine.
On daily basis I will need something to pull a movable chicken coop trailer (aka. "Chicken tractor"). As well as carting their feed and perhaps water. It would be awkward with a quad and trailer all the time. Utv would be easier but looking at prices, small tractor could cost more or less the same as a new UTV!!!
On the 16 acre holding around 13 were used as arable until several years ago and then only horse pasture.
My (ambitious) plan is to plant trees on the entire land in wide rows (12-20 metres?), I.e. much less risk of diseases spreading. And have pasture inbetween the rows. The animals will be put in small portable paddocks every day which significantly improves quality of grass as it is only grazed for one day and rested for a long period (at least a month), manure is spread equally so no need for harrowing, less need for feeding in winter as grass grown longer and no poaching because animals will not be on one paddock for long periods in wet weather. Less weeds in the pasture as well as animals have to less choosy and whatever is not eaten is trampled and goes back to the soil as fertilizer. People use this method for years and years and never used any chemicals or fertilizers.
Planning for around an acre of veg garden (maybe more).
I'm pretty sure though I would need a wood chipper. I do use it quite a lot on my 1/2 at the moment. On larger acreage I would need a much stronger and more portable one.
Agree with you guys on th hedge cutter - no point of getting it. Even post banger - it a really a one off project. Once all the fences are set up they should be no need for replacements for 10-15 Years (hopefully).
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

 

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