The implements used on a farm have specific horsepower equipments and this directly influences a farmer’s decision on the kind of tractor to purchase. According to the University of Maryland, equipment size and the kind of tractor purchased are to a large extent influenced by the size of the farm. Smaller farms will usually be well served by small tractors as the equipment they use require less horsepower than is the case with larger farms.
No-trill drills are used to plant seeds in uncultivated land and they come in varying sizes. Drill size determines the tractor’s horsepower requirements. According to the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the recommended horsepower requirements for a 15 inch no-trill drill is 130 MFWD, or Mechanical Front Wheel Drive, horsepower while a 20 inch no-trill drill will need 160 MFWD horsepower. According to Deere and Company, a Mechanical Front Wheel Drive is a front wheel drive operated mechanically by transmissions in the vehicle through the clutch.
Plows and Other Tillage Equipment
Land preparation for planting of seeds uses various farm implements including plows, discs and harrows. The plows and discs are considered primary equipment while the harrows are considered secondary implements, as they are used mainly to level the land after it has been plowed. Furrow and chisel plows of varying sizes are used and each plow size has specific horsepower requirements. A 15 foot chisel plow, for example, will require horsepower of 130 MFWD, the same as a 6 inch to 18 inch furrow plow. Smaller plows and discs, such as a 4 inch to 18 inch furrow plow and an 11 inch disk, have horsepower requirements of 75.
Planting, Spraying And Harvesting Implements
Once the land has been prepared, myriad farm implements are used to plant the seeds, mow the land, spray the young crop and to eventually bring the harvest home. Depending on the plowing method used, a farmer could use either a row crop planter or a minimum-till one. A 12 row-36 inch row crop planter has a horsepower requirement of 105 MFWD, the very same that is required for an 8 row-30 inch minimum till planter. For small farms, most of the spraying can be carried out manually but larger farms will generally make use of tractors because they use larger sprayers. Horsepower requirements for 30 foot and 50 foot sprayers are 40 and 60 respectively.
Other farm implements such as forage harvesters, forage blowers and balers will have varying horsepower requirements but a tractor with horsepower of 150 MFWD should prove adequate for most farm implements.
- Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs: Budgeting Farm Machinery Costs
- Maryland Cooperative Extension, University of Maryland: Pasture Management: Equipment for Establishing and Maintaining Pastures
- Internet FAQ Archives, PatentDocs: Patent application title: Automatic Control Of Mechanical Front Wheel Drive Using Speed Ratio
- tractor plough field image by scalesy from Fotolia.com