Agricultural Machinery for a First-Time Farmer
First-time farmers will know to get a strong, sturdy tractor for the farm but may not realize all the other equipment and machinery that might be needed to operate a farm successfully and easily. Visiting auctions for used farming equipment and shopping online can help, but it can also be difficult to know which pieces are good for your farm in particular. Note a few pieces of agricultural machinery that you might overlook when you start out farming so you can decide if they're the right choice for you.
How will you drive yourself from one end of your farm to another, to just check on irrigation or how crops are growing, or other chores where your tractor is not needed? Driving your truck over the field can cause damage and also put more wear and tear on its engine, and you may not want to unhook a trailer from the truck just to drive across your farm. A good ATV can help you get from one point to another without using too much gas or tearing up your field with a heavier vehicle.
A culti-packer is a piece of equipment that you pull behind your tractor after putting down seed. This presses the seeds into the soil so there is better seed-to-soil contact and less chance of the seed blowing away after it's been spread. This is a good tool for use in dustier and drier situations or for when you're planting lighter varieties of seed that might blow away.
A harrow will break up the soil for better seed germination and to keep soil soft. It can also be used to break up manure and redistribute crop residue, so that the residue acts as a mulch for the field. A good harrow can be attached to another implement behind your tractor so you don't need to make as many passes over your field.
Seed drills actually push seed into the ground as needed, but with minimal soil disturbance. Some seed drills are strong enough that you don't need to till the soil before planting, whereas others will still require some tilling. Seed drills are good for seeds that need to germinate from under the soil and not over, and they can eliminate the need to pass over the field and cover over the seeds once spread. They also work to protect seed from being eaten or blowing away before they can germinate.