You have just purchased your small dream farm and you can’t wait to reclaim those remote old fields, plant a large garden and establish a wildlife food plot down by the creek. However, your account might not agree. After buying the property, an ATV and fixing up the house there isn’t enough remaining in the budget to buy a farm tractor and all those large expensive implements. But don’t give up yet, there are some inexpensive farmland ATV attachments available and ready to work.
Durable ATV Attachments
If you have an ATV or SXS that has a 450cc engine, 4×4 drive and a low range, chances are good that you can do almost anything on your property you can do with an expensive tractor. And you can get the ATV into some remote places that a tractor can’t go. All you need to do is to shop for some of the ATV farm implements that can turn your ATV/SXS into a workhorse, and many are available at reasonable prices. Let’s look at what’s available for each farm chore you might want to accomplish.
Hauling & Hacking
Small farms often have old fields that need to be reclaimed or clearings in woods that would make good wildlife food plots. Perhaps the garden needs expanding. You will need a heavy-duty trailer for hauling off rocks, limbs, etc. You may want to cut the trees you remove into firewood and will need to haul that to the house.
For heavyweight hauling, the dual-axle ABI Workman XL trailer, designed for off-road hauling and dumping, features 25-inch tires, four-wheel independent torsion suspension, electric brakes and a push-button power dump. The 45-by-73-inch bed, constructed from 14-guage steel, carries up to 1,100 pounds. For lighter jobs, the 4-by-6-foot Tarter Utility trailer with a tilt bed features a single axle with 12-inch tires and a wire mesh floor. This is a strong but lightweight trailer that is easy for one person to hook up and use.
During warm weather, mowing to keep weeds and brush under control is a constant and important job. In your battle to keep weeds and brush from getting out of hand, Kunz Engineering offers a variety of mowers in 44- and 57-inch cutting widths that have been engineered to use as pull-behind mowers for ATVs. Ranging in price from $3,645 to $4,645, these heavy-duty mowers are available with commercial and non-commercial Briggs & Stratton electric-start engines.
Tilling A Seedbed
I have written many times that one of the most common mistakes made by those who plant crops and wildlife food plots is not to prepare a good seedbed for the seed they are planting. Tilling a small plot or field should not be rushed. Remember to break the field when the soil is dry and to take your time. Good seed-to-soil contact is essential for a productive crop, and a fine-textured seedbed is what you want. Check these out.
Cut up new ground or break up hardpan, to get a deeper seed bed, with the Kunz Till-Ease 43-inch chisel plow/field cultivator, equipped with a depth-controlled five-shank chisel plow with electric lift. In front of the plow are five blades that break the dirt clods. Priced at $2,395, this multi-purpose implement can make a seedbed that is up to 6 inches deep.
Another multi-purpose tiller is the Tarter Disc/Culti-Packer Combo. It combines deep cutting from the eight-blade tillage disc with soil compaction from an adjustable cultipacker. The front mounted winch makes raising and lowering the cultipacker easy. The cutting width of this implement is 48 inches, and it has rubber tires that can be adjusted to make moving it to other locations effortless.
For tight spaces, such as small gardens, Tarter has the 36-inch Compact Disc, which features 10 notched, 16-inch blades for deep cutting. The equipped rubber wheels allow for easier transport of the disc to other locations.
The Tarter 8-blade Disc Harrow features eight 16-inch blades, adjustable from 0 degrees – 20 degrees, providing a 48-inch cutting width. It also has rubber tires that can be adjusted to make moving the disc easy.
An inexpensive piece of equipment, the chain harrow is perfect for smoothing the surface of your seedbed, once it is cut up and the dirt clods are broken down. Using the ABI ATV Tow-Style Chain Harrow is an economical way to lightly harrow gardens, food plots, pastures, paddocks, lawns, and more.
Providing more options, the harrow mat itself is reversible and can be flipped for three levels of aggressiveness. Level one is the most passive, with the tines facing upward. Level two allows the tines to face downward but also to release under pressure. With level three being the most aggressive, the tines are fully locked downward when pulled forward. The harrow mat is a 0.5-inch-thick chain made from high-carbon, heat-treated steel. Each mat is 4 feet long from front to back, and the tines themselves measure 4 inches long.
Tarter has two chain harrows, the 4×4 ATVH44 and the 4×8 ATVH48. Both are ideal for smoothing seedbeds, garden soil and dragging driveways, riding tracks or arena footing. Each mat has teeth for grabbing soil or grading surfaces.
Lime, Fertilize & Seed
A valuable, multi-purpose ATV implement to have on a rural property is the broadcast spreader. One is ideal for spreading seed, lime and fertilizer on gardens, small fields, and wildlife food plots, and is useful in the winter for spreading salt on driveways.
ABI offers a Broadcast Spreader for ATVs that is axle-driven. The seamless, one-piece steel hopper, which holds up to 470 pounds of materials, provides strength for heavy loads and spreads up to 46 feet with directional spreading available. Each spreader includes an application rate decal that adheres to the spreader, removing any guesswork while out at the site. The levers on the unit allow you to make adjustments to vary application rates based on material.
Tarter has a 5-Bushel Pull-Behind Spreader/Trail Feeder that is designed for ATV use. It is axle-driven with an all-steel gear drive complete with grease fittings. It has a 300-pound capacity and can spread up to 20 feet wide.
Cover Seed Carefully
One of the most overlooked pieces of farm equipment is the cultipacker. It is ideal to use the cultipacker following tilling and harrowing to firm up a seedbed to give the seeds good soil contact when planting crops. Seed covered too deeply will not come up. A well covered seed reduces the risk of crows, wild turkey and other pesky critters eating it. Rule number one—for high germination rate, good seed-to-soil contact is essential. A cultipacker can do this.
ABI Versa-Drill Cultipackers offer both 4- and 6-foot widths. For use with an ATV or UTV, the Versa-Drill flips easily between transport and operational positions. Mounted on a 1.75-inch shaft, packer wheels are 9.5 inches in diameter and feature crushing knobs. This cultipacker is equipped with agricultural-quality, greaseable, pillow block bearings.
Kunz Engineering offers three Till-Ease ATV cultipackers, one in a 48-inch width, one in a 60-inch width and one with a 72-inch width. They feature 9.5-inch, cast-iron packer wheels and the shaft pillow block bearings are greaseable. The 48-inch model weighs 257 pounds and cost $795, while the 72-inch model weighs 384 pounds and cost $1,045.
Answering the popularity of wildlife food plots, smart engineers have developed an ATV-pulled, all-in-one piece of equipment designed for small fields. Wildlife managers have found the equipment time-saving, as have small-scale farmers. The machine will till, level, plant and pack the seed all in one trip around the field.
Ranew’s Outdoor Equipment offers the Firminator G-3 ATV model. This is an 800-pound, ground-bursting, seed-planting, seed-tamping machine designed to plant seeds to their optimal depth and density. It has six 14-inch discs with an ACCU-Seed delivery system and a cast-iron cultipacker. This machine costs $5,500.
Plotmaster Systems offers the Plotmaster Hunter 400 with a 48-inch cutting width and the Hunter 300, which cuts a width of 36 inches. These all-in-one machines have 12 heavy-duty, 16-inch notched discs with sealed bearings, a Versa Seeder, Reverse Auger Brush System designed to plant all types of seed and seed blends, a cultipacker/drag with metal grating and a unique down-pressure system for the one-point hitch. The Hunter 400 costs $5,299 and the 300 costs $4,499.
Chores Made Easy
For keeping gravel field roads and driveways smooth, ABI has the Gravel Rascal. This implement combines scarifying teeth, a landscaping rake, a soil pulverizer and a rear-grading blade into one ATV attachment. With the Gravel Rascal’s teeth for tough work and commercial-quality construction, you can grade driveways, repair rutted trails, prep for seeding lawns and pastures, and more.
Fencing is always a chore on rural property and Tarter offers a heavy-duty Wire Unroller that attaches to the ATV to make stringing wire fencing easier. Made from steel, the drum will hold rolls of wire in various sizes. By using the ATV to pull and stretch wire, the Wire Unroller allows the ATV to do the work of a crew, and it will go into tight places with ease.
Remember, you do not have to be a large-scale farmer to have good crops and beautiful property. Much of it can be done with an ATV and the right implements.
For More Information
Ranew’s Outdoor Equipment
Tarter Farm & Ranch Equipment
This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions OutdoorGroupStore.com.