Whether you have a sprawling farm with many acres or a field where you grow food for your family, friends, and neighbors, a tractor can help. But unfortunately, we no longer live in an age where a pack of horses can get the job done, and most people can’t afford horses anyway. Out of the millions of farms in the United States, very few still operate by human or horse power.
Tractors come in many sizes, but if you have a homestead farm, you don’t need a big or fancy one. A small tractor should suit your purposes just fine. Without one, running your farm how you want would be challenging. Here’s why a small tractor is essential for a homestead.
Clearing land is no easy task. It means moving thousands of pounds of brush, trees, soil, debris, or other things to clear the way for your crops. To do it by hand it would take many hours and involve backbreaking labor. However, with a tractor, you can get it done without hurting yourself and with a fraction of physical exertion.
You can attach a winch to your tractor to help you with the pulling you will need to remove trees and stumps. You can get brush pullers, which look like large tongs, to help you pull the brush by the root. You can also attach a front-end loader to your tractor to push brush, logs, and debris away from where you want your plot to be. It can also lift and carry some things with its very high maximum load weight.
It seems like a lot of the work for a homestead farm involves keeping critters and animals away from your crops. That means putting up fences in strategic places to keep them out. Plus, fences often require regular maintenance to keep them strong. However, putting up fences involves not just doing the work of pounding in posts and nailing slats together. You also need to haul equipment and materials. You might have a wooden or a barbed wire fence, but with the amounts you need, some help with transportation is a must. A tractor can have a trailer attached to it to move posts, a post-hold digger, a shovel, barbed wire or chain link, and everything else you need to put up fencing.
One of the best things about living in a rural setting is having the room to enjoy warm nights by the fire. Also, homesteads tend to have fireplaces that add to the ambiance and romance of the building. Either way, you will need firewood to make it happen. However, going into the bush, chopping up wood, and then hauling it back is not possible without a bit of help. A front-end loader would be the perfect solution to move big loads of firewood from where you cut them to where you store them. You may also be able to connect a splitter to your tractor to make the job even more accessible.
A small tractor can reach any space and precisely present a load to your livestock. Bales of hay or buckets of grain can be transported directly to your animals without the need for you to do any lifting or straining. They are also less likely to drop feed when compared to you walking with a bucket. During the rainy season, you can even drive with a John Deere tractor canopy to protect you from the elements. The same goes for hot days when the sun is beating down. Feeding the animals has to happen no matter the weather, so make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
Living on a homestead means being isolated from the closest community. A natural disaster, such as a flood, wipes out the road, and you will need a way to get out. While a car or truck might not be able to make it, a tractor has large wheels and a strong base to push through floodwaters. There’s always a chance that someone could get hurt somewhere difficult to access as well. A small tractor can manage over the toughest terrain and fit into tight spaces to get to the injured person.
What about having hayrides for the kids of family or friends who visit? You can hook up a trailer to your tractor and safely bring them around your property. You can also use a tractor to transport things you might need for a fun night. For example, you can load up firewood, instruments, chairs, and food to have a jam session by the fire. A tractor provides so many options for fun on your homestead or, at the very least, makes it easier to get those times set up.
Running a homestead farm is hard work. There is a lot to do regularly if you want your farm to produce successfully. However, you should do whatever you can to minimize that work and avoid wearing yourself out. A small tractor might be just the piece of equipment you need to make your life easier and make your farm successful.