Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-474
This project compared the use of two new cultivation tools owned by Drumlin Farm – the Einbock Flex-tine harrow and the Bartschi-FOBRO Star-hoe – with more traditional cultivation equipment used at two nearby farms. All three farms collected data pertaining to four crops: potatoes, onions, fall carrots, and first year strawberries. The project quantified the hours needed to cultivate the four crops at the three farms, and evaluated the challenges and successes of each system.
Tim created a spreadsheet that showed the yearly cost of the different cultivating systems for the two pieces of equipment owned by Drumlin Farm (Einbock flex tine harrow and Bartschi – FOBRO star hoe) to be lower than the cultivating equipment systems used by the other two farms. In general, the time needed to cultivate the four crops (seconds per linear foot of row) at Drumlin Farm was comparable or less than the cultivating systems used on the comparison farms.
Tim feels that the benefits of having the newer European cultivating equipment used on one reliable tractor are worth the up-front costs when compared to the emotional and financial stress of using a cultivating system that is dependent upon older, less reliable tractors. This is especially true for farmers that are not mechanically inclined.
Two field days took place where growers and apprentices were able to view the equipment and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each cultivating system. An article also appeared in Vegetable Grower News, a well known industry publication.