By Lisa Munniksma and Karri Sandino (Photos courtesy tractor manufacturers)
This yearâ€™s National Farm Machinery Show brought out throngs of farm owners, agricultural employees and people who just appreciate farm machinery in all forms.
As Hobby Farms editors visited tractor manufacturers and learned about new features, we couldnâ€™t help but notice the proliferation of smaller pieces of equipment.
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With more people wanting to live more sustainably and raise their own food, even on small plots of land, it only makes sense that tractors will be adapted for their needs.
Cub Cadet Yanmar’s SC2400 working in the yard.
We talked with company representatives and are pleased to report thereâ€™s something for even those who are tilling their soil on just a couple of acres of suburban land.
Small Farmers in Sight
At the Cub Cadet YanmarÂ booth, product manager Roger Gifford and marketing communications manager Emily Sword told us about the SC2400, a 24-horsepower subcompact tractor.
â€śWe took big-tractor features and put it in a small tractor,â€ť Gifford said.
Designed for small plots of land with a tight turning radius, this little machine has dual hydraulic pumps, shift-on-the-go capacity and dual headlights, just to name a few of its â€śbig-tractor features.â€ť
The SC series of tractors also has a full line of attachments, so thereâ€™s not a lot you canâ€™t do with it.
â€śWeâ€™re making this one product work for you as much as possible,â€ť Sword said.
Montana tractors also offer the “big-tractor” feel in its subcompact models.
Branson’s tractors have the large-scale gardener in mind.
The T2334 and T2734 subcompact tractors, for example, come with standard HST (hydrostatic transmission) and a hydraulic system that offers maximum ease and efficiency when you need to hook up attachments like aerators, mowers or even a backhoe.
Put together with large-scale garden use in mind, Branson’sÂ 00 Series ranges from 21- to 28-horsepower with a full range of attachments and higher fuel efficiency than other tractors in their class. Their tractors are excellent for small- and part-time-farm use because of their weather-resistant parts that ward off corrosion.
Big things are coming in small packages this summer at McCormick International.
Rodney Miller, chief executive officer for McCormick International USA, reported his company is launching the J series of subcompact tractors, starting with a 23-horsepower tractor.
Coming out mid-summer, these will be more compact than others, definitely designed for the small-scale farmer.
Kubota, a manufacturer with a long history of focusing on smaller tractors and the needs of small-property owners, reported a number of improvements.
Coming later this spring, said Peggy Horkan, Kubota marketing communications manager, â€śLook for our new utility vehicle, the RTV1140CPX. Its transformation system allows owners to convert it from one- to two-row seatingâ€”perfect for extra cargo or passengers.â€ť
TYMÂ is one of the newest brands to enter the U.S. market (TYM first sold its brand-name tractors in the United States inÂ 2001;Â in 2004, TYM incorporated TYM-USA). It offers a full-range of tractors, 23 to 100 horse power, with plenty of choices for the hobby farmer.
Robert Mullet, president of TYM USA, gestured to one of their most popular subcompact tractors as he talked about heading out to mow his own 1 to 2 acre property with his own TYM tractor.
TYMâ€™s newest models, T233HST and T273HST, 23Â and 27 horse powerÂ respectively, offer enough power to operate attachments like the backhoe and QuickDetach front loader. The models’ mid-PTO (Power Take Off) unitÂ makes it easier to power additional implements like the optional mid-mount mower.