What’s been going on!
You might remember last year when we talked about our aging infrastructure and how we had three pieces of equipment in for repairs in one week. Well last week was the ultimate equipment failure, our 34 year old tractor developed a hydraulic leak that cannot be fixed. Gulp, did not plan on buying a new tractor anytime soon but the big fall soil preparation is coming up and we have to have a tractor.
Fortunately we had already prepared all the planting beds for fall crops so had at least a few weeks to figure it out. We have used two different mechanics to work on the old tractor over the years and they both hemmed and hawed “not sure we can even get the parts”. I called yet two more shops and they gave me the same story. Our tractor, a Long brand, has not been made for 20 years so we knew that sooner or later we might run into this problem.
Research ensued, buying a tractor is like buying a car but only more expensive. We also had to have a certain size tractor as everything on the farm is set up for planting beds four feet on center, all the implements, all the irrigation, all the mulches, all the tunnels, hell our brains are calibrated to that same four foot measurement.
The selection of compact tractors is much better than it was 30 years ago but we ended up with a Kubota (which we wanted but couldn’t afford in 1982). Even though essentially the same size and horse power it is quite a step up with 4WD vs. 2WD, a front end loader which we have never had and other amenities that tractor engineers didn’t even think of three decades ago. So it arrived two days ago and Jennie has already driven it more than I have!
Pictures of the Week
The old versus the new, welcome to the 21st century
What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading