Some implements are necessities

A disk harrow and front-end loader are tractor attachments that most landowners cannot do without.

For farming or food-plotting, hook these on

Rural properties contain roads, fields, ditches and all kinds of other features that become weathered over time and need attention. And hunters can’t always maintain shooting lanes, food plots, and trails with hand tools. Let’s face it, every landowner needs to invest in some heavy equipment.

Of course, landowners don’t need to take out a second mortgage on their house to buy the largest tractor and every implement made in the universe. A small tractor with a few versatile implements will make small jobs relatively painless. And maybe even a little fun.

Tractor manufacturers sell implements for everything. While all have valid duties, owners of small pieces of land that aren’t using the equipment for business can get away with just a few implements.

Front-end loader

One of the most-usable implements that many landowners don’t consider is a front-end loader. These can be used for a wide variety of applications. They are essential for moving fallen trees, removing debris, scraping roads, creating drainage, removing stumps, creating small watering holes, clearing, and some mild construction tasks requiring heavy lifting.

A front-end loader attachment is often overlooked. But it should be at the top of the list when purchasing attachments. It can do several needed tasks that no other implement can. And it can possibly take the place of a box blade or adjustable rear blade if funds are limited. Since the front-end loader is at the front end, it can typically be left attached.

Rotary cutter

The next required implement is the rotary cutter. What is a rotary cutter? A bush hog, of course! That’s the more-common name for this implement. And it is another one of those required pieces of equipment. It will be hooked to the rear of the tractor for most of the year. With a rotary cutter, landowners can mow roads, food plots, make shooting lanes, create new forest openings, and even mow the grass around the farm. Rotary cutters are essentially heavy duty mowers. They can cut anything from grass and high shrubs to small trees.

Disk harrow

Of course, landowners can’t prepare any food plots without a disk. The disk harrow is another one of the most-used tractor implements. It allows landowners to break up dirt, kill weeds and prepare fields for planting, but it can also be used for leveling out rutted roads and creating and/or maintaining fire breaks.

The front-end loader, rotary cutter and disk harrow are, by far, the top three implements required for any landowner with a tractor. Without them, few land-management activities can be completed, but others can make life easier, too.

The other helpers

If space or a budget isn’t limited, landowners can invest in several other implements to make planting food plots simple and efficient. A row planter and seed drill are wonderful implements for setting seed in the ground at the perfect depth.

Row planters are typically made for setting large seeds like corn, soybeans and chufa. They can precisely and accurately set seed at a certain depth and prescribed spacing.

Seed drills are also relatively precise and are best for setting small seed like clover, wheat, rye and triticale. Seed drills can be set to plant seeds at certain depths and at relative intervals, but they aren’t as precise as row planters. Both seed drills and row planters can make planting easy and with ultimate precision.

Try a culti-packer

A culti-packer is another unique attachment that is essentially a large drum pulled behind the tractor to pack the seeds in the soil. They are best used for small seeds like clover and cereal grains.

There are also combination units that are pulled behind the tractor. These are multi-purpose machines that have a disk, planter, harrow and culti-packer all in one piece. With a few small adjustments, these machines can plant just about any sized seed and even mixtures of seeds with ease. Generally, these machines are quite expensive, but they can make single-pass planting possible, which makes establishing a food plot quick and simple.

Landowners wear many hats over the course of their tenure. From managing timber and commercial agriculture returns to taking care of their roads and their precious wildlife, landowners have plenty to do after the ink dries at the attorney’s office. For many, managing their wildlife ranks high on the priority list where food plot and habitat management is a routine duty requiring mechanical assistance.


Budget-friendly tools for tractors, atvs

Managing properties and creating food plots requires some mechanical assistance but the mechanics always need attachments. While disks, rotary cutters and front-end loaders are important, some budget-friendly attachments that are required and can be used with a tractor or ATV.

While planters and seed drills are nice to have, everybody doesn’t have these implements. Luckily, landowners can get the job done with some lower-priced options. A rotary spreader can take the place of a planter in many cases. Even when landowners use a planter, they often have a rotary spreader to spread their fertilizer, lime and other granular materials, but seeds can also be distributed with the rotary spreader. Landowners may not get the same precision and accuracy of a row planter or seed drill, but it will certainly get the job done.

implements
A rear spreader can be pulled behind an ATV and do a great job spreading fertilizer, lime or seed.

For the food plotter with only an ATV, a rear spreader can be used in lieu of a tractor spreader and is another necessary piece of equipment for the ATV food plotter.

Sprayers are must-have items

The second and equally important implement is the sprayer. Landowners will get routine use out of a sprayer for both food plots and complete land maintenance. Sprayers are typically economical and are needed to spray herbicides and insecticides on food plots, road edges and anywhere where chemical control is needed. And these can easily be mounted to ATVs with large booms to take care of small to medium-sized jobs.

Last, a chain harrow is another one of those inexpensive pieces of equipment. For $100 or less, landowners can purchase a chain harrow that can do a wide variety of tasks. It can be used three ways: pulled with teeth down facing forward (most aggressive); teeth down facing backwards or upside down (least aggressive). The chain harrow can remove debris from plots, prepare the soil and cover up seed. Small chain harrows can be purchased and pulled behind ATVs.

Equipment can be expensive, but several options can provide benefits to a landowner without breaking the bank.

Jeff Burleson
About Jeff Burleson 1411 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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