Field cultivators, the standard go-to tool for seedbed preparation work, are among this year’s hottest equipment upgrades. Farmers are looking for new models that can both take out early weeds and clear away excess crop residue to make a clean and level seedbed for spring planting.
A recent survey of farm equipment dealers showed that field cultivators are among the top 10 prospects for growth this year. “After not placing on North American dealers’ ‘Top 10 Best Bets’ list for increasing unit sales for several years, field cultivators were ranked number seven on the list for both 2012 and 2013,” says Dave Kanicki, executive editor of Farm Equipment and author of the magazine’s “2013 Dealer Business Trends and Outlook” report. “Nearly 90% of those surveyed projected that unit sales of field cultivators would equal or surpass the level of sales dealers saw in 2012.”
So why the recent uptick? “I believe the high commodity prices are the driving force,” says Vern Williamson, marketing coordinator for Kongskilde Industries, which unveiled a new model for this year. “Farmers are upgrading equipment that [they haven’t upgraded] in the last few years.”
Other reasons cited by manufacturers include an increase in glyphosate-resistant weeds and more crop residue left behind from today’s high-yielding seed hybrids.
New-model field cultivators for 2013 are designed to address both of those issues. Compared to their predecessors, the new models boast wider and tougher frames, heavier shanks, improved residue clearance, and self-leveling hitches that maintain an even working depth.
Here are some of the latest models you’ll find on dealer lots this spring.
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