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Specialty crop tractors

Bigger machinery is not always better, especially for specialty crops
Photo courtesy of Oregon State University

Tractors come with all kinds of features, power, performance, and technology. However, the tractor needs of corn and soybean farmers is very different from those who grow specialty crops such as fruits and vegetables. Production farmers need the big-guns, but for small-scale or diverse specialty crop growers, it’s overkill. Buying large equipment to make the job easier isn’t always cost-effective, and probably won’t fit into the scale of their operation.

Kent Brown is a senior product manager at Kubota. He says dealerships love to feature the latest, greatest, and biggest. But they’re trying to emphasize to dealers that there are huge markets for specialty tractors. 

"Especially whenever we talk about specialty tractors, dealers out in California have huge markets for that," says Brown. "But, we’ve also tried to focus on our dealers around the country and say you’ve got a market for a specialty tractor, like a high-clearance tractor that’s used in vegetables, or low-profile tractors used in orchards, or narrow tractors used in vineyards because there’s those applications all over the U.S."

He says there is a market for basic, standard-economy tractors that don’t come with all the gee-whiz bells and whistles, but it’s important to offer a bit of everything.

"Although a lot of this market is moving to more and more technology, especially with guidance and precision farming, there’s a lot of people that do appreciate a simple, basic tractor," says Brown. "And one thing with Kubota now, we’ve got our simple, basic tractors with our M6S back in the lineup, as well we move up to our M6 and M7 tractors that are more high-end technology."

The best tractor for you is the one that enables you to get the job done effectively.

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