Right-sized equipment appeals to specialty commodities

The M4 Narrow Tractor was launched at the Kubota Canada Ltd permanent event centre at this year’s edition of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, Woodstock, Ontario.

Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show has a reputation for acres of iron, showcasing equipment that’s large, larger and super-sized. But that generalization would be unfair to the many dealers who demo equipment that’s right-sized for specialty markets. Here’s a rundown of three manufacturers who brought new tools to the 2016 edition of the show. 

Mark your calendars for September 12-14, 2017.  


Kubota introduces M4 Narrow tractor 


Kubota Canada Ltd. had a cornerstone presence at this year’s show with its permanent event centre and a ride n’ drive area. The company introduced its M4 Narrow tractor whose versatile design makes it ideal for orchards and vineyards or in snow removal operations.

Martin Carrier, product manager, agricultural division for Kubota Canada Ltd., explained that the M7040 and 8540 tractors have been retired, with 70 and 85 hp respectively. The new tractor is truly narrow at 48 inches, with horsepower options of 72.6, 95 and 108 hp. The tractor with the most horsepower can easily handle spraying in the hilly terrain of British Columbia. 

The redesigned cab promotes operator efficiency with all main controls on the right side of the operator while the steering wheel has 40 degrees more tilt. Dual side mirrors and an easy-access fuse box are standard. Inside the cab, the semi-circle layout of functions is helpful to high-density orchardists.

The transmission has 12 gears with options for 24. High productivity requires versatility, such as traveling at low or sustained speeds. This tractor’s transmission has 12F  x 12R speed, with six speeds in two ranges.  Growers who travel from two to seven mph and have only three gears will appreciate the versatility of this new tractor. 

Of note is that the corporate entity of Kubota purchased Great Plains Manufacturing in Kansas earlier this year.  John Ferguson, a territory manager for the Land Pride line in Ontario, explains the significance to the horticultural sector. 

“Food plot seeders are available with small discs, a spreader and harrow to plant all in one passs,” he says.  “This equipment will be of interest to market gardeners.”


Garlic-EEZ eases planting 


As a garlic grower, Ken Hunt’s least favourite time of year is planting.  The Dundalk, Ontario farmer has 2.5 acres in production and is planting another acre this month. So he and a friend fabricated a new machine to reduce the back-breaking labour.

“As a lover of garlic and a garlic grower, I just couldn’t seem to plant enough cloves in a day,” says Hunt. “After a few days on my hands and knees, I thought there should be an easier way to plant. As this machine came together and the prototypes worked out better, we were planting up to 2,400 seeds per hour and in a regular eight-hour day, 20,000 cloves. That is about 250 to 300 pounds of garlic seed per day.” 

The unit is ground-driven, has an adjustable planting width made of solid steel and weighs between 400 and 500 pounds. It operates with a small or large tractor on a three-point hitch. 

As Hunt explains, Garlic-EEZ is aimed at the market gardener to medium-sized grower. The planter, priced at $3,650, may also be used to plant other root crops and seeds.  An undercutter attachment is also available to make garlic harvesting easier. For more information, go to www.garlicplanterequipment.ca. 


Heartnut Grove launches Polyplanter Jr.


The Polyplanter Jr. is ideal for market gardeners says Bob Walker of Heartnut Grove (HG) located in Mount Brydges, Ontario. Its U.S. manufacturer says the device operates much like a water-wheel transplanter making it simpler than seeding by hand. It comes complete with a full range of 10 disks for different-sized vegetable seeds offering versatility to a wide range of growers. 

“This adaptable machine can plant coated lettuce seed up to as large as a lima bean,” says Walker. 

It’s designed to seed anywhere between five-inch and 25-inch plant spacings. The beaks are adjustable.  It’s a push planter, making it portable and ideal for small plots of land.  

“There are more market farmers and organic farmers all the time,” says Walker. “This ‘farmer’s friend’ is a real show special at $499.” 

For more information, go to: www.heartnutgrove.com 




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Thursday, September 22, 2016

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