Choosing the Best Agricultural Tractor for Your Farming Needs

Agricultural tractors are indispensable, when it comes to handling different kinds of farming tasks. As far as the variety and amount of these tasks vary from one household or business to another, it is crucial to know the difference between the major types of these vehicles and other aspects that may affect your choice.

Popular Types of Agricultural Tractors and Their Major Functions

Farm tractors are heavy-duty vehicles, which serve different purposes. They are extremely effective, when it comes to performing different farming tasks, including shoveling, digging, plowing, planting, lifting and transporting goods and materials etc.

While the tractors of old models mainly had three or four driving and steerable wheels, the modern ones generally come with eight wheels, articulated or caterpillar tracks, automatic control functions, GPS navigators and other options, which facilitate the accomplishment of all kinds of agricultural tasks, irrespective of their complexity.

The choice of the tractor that will work best for your agricultural needs mainly depends upon the jobs you have to fulfill on a regular basis. Thus, you may select from the following vehicles:

  • High Crop and Row Crop Tractors

These tractors come with automated steers and adaptable treads, which make it possible for the vehicle to navigate through the rows of crops without any serious problems or harvest damage. They are widely used when there is the necessity to perform farming assignments with high growing crops and vegetables.

  • Wheat Land Farm Tractors

Judging by the name, these tractors are indispensable, when fulfilling heavy field tasks on the vast land areas. They are manufactured with functionality and convenience in mind and enjoy popularity with the farmers across the globe.

  • Utility Tractors

Utility tractors differ from the other agricultural tractors mainly by their small size. They are also used on smaller land areas and come with turf tires, which are much softer as compared to standard tires agricultural equipment is fitted with. In most cases, these tractors are used to handle tasks, which are not associated with farming. These involve gardening, excavation, planting, landscape management etc.

How to Choose an Agricultural Tractor for Your Farming Needs

The choice of the tractor should depend upon the amount and complexity of tasks you have to fulfill on a regular basis. Thus, if you do not own a large agricultural business and need a tractor that will help you handle your everyday farming needs, it makes sense to look for a small vehicle, which will feature a number of useful functions.

Let’s start with the size first. Again, it depends upon the complexity of the jobs you plan to do. For example, if you have a small piece of land less than 4 hectares, you should go for a small tractor, the horsepower rating of which will not exceed 25kW. For larger plots of land, it is recommended to purchase agricultural tractors with 50kW of horsepower and more. Correspondingly, more complex and serious farming jobs require the assistance of a professional contractor or even several of them, because you will hardly be able to cope with them effectively on your own.

Prior to shopping for an agricultural tractor, it is crucial to define whether you need a 2-wheel drive or a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The difference between them is quite substantial. Thus, the vehicles of the first type, which were mainly popular in the past, are not that reliable and may even damage the crop during the process of working. 4-wheel drive tractors, in their turn, can be used on vast plots of land and under different weather conditions, even when the soil is slippery, for example. They are also a perfect choice for the areas with lots of hills and other hindrances.

Finally, it is important to consider the transmission type of the tractor you are going to buy. Nowadays, you may find vehicles with manual and automated (or semi-automated) transmission. The latter tractors are a better choice for the farmers, who frequently activate the reverse and forward functions, when using the tractor. At the same time, you should understand that vehicles with automated transmission are more expensive, so you have to decide in advance whether you really need such a tractor or not.

Educate Yourself With the Fascinating Study of Agriculture

Agriculture is a diverse field. You can enjoy learning it or teaching it in any part of the world. Education involves understanding the nature of cultivation. With the help of education, a student of cultivation can gain knowledge to work for the production of food and fiber. There are various graduate courses on farming offered by different countries. These have duration of three to four years. In the developed countries, people require higher standards of food products. There is also great emphasis on integration between sustainable production and protection of the environment. Learning about agriculture means learning about all these things in theory and through exposure to public life and experiences of common people.

Contents Of The Courses

The courses on farming and cultivation are scientifically designed imparting knowledge and giving students adequate experience to help them to think constructively. Extensive course content includes different branches like agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and natural resource management. All these branches have several specialization courses including food science, microbiology, food processing, wine science, plant breeding and nutrition, and soil fundamentals. There are various courses on food economics and farm management marketing as well. Students of these courses require the support of books and other reading materials. The books on agriculture courses are easily available on the Internet. In order to save money, students can also go for second hand books. There are several online stores that offer second hand books on different educational topics.

Why Choose Farming As A Career

* Courses on farming and cultivation are designed in an interesting manner and teach about a variety of topics.
* The courses comprise basic study of different crops and animal life sciences and also provide high end specialization skills that are necessary to run a great business enterprise.
* A student of a cultivation course learns not only about crops but also about computer science, marketing, economics, engineering and finance.
* Farming is the obvious choice of many students. Students of agriculture have different career options: a person can apply for a job in the government’s agriculture department or find a commercial job related to cultivation and farming.

Farming and cultivation is not only about crops and food grains. It contains interesting study of fiber produce such as wool and cotton, soil science that includes study of various techniques to enhance soil production and other various areas of farming branches. A comprehensive course on agriculture would prepare the student to take up a job anywhere in the world as it will offer global exposure to various techniques and fundamentals. Most of the universities have entrance examinations for these courses. If you are keen to join a farming course, the books are available at your local bookstore or on online bookstores. Farming is an amazing science – you can study the applied techniques and innovative technologies behind great farm produce with the help of these books.

Online Agriculture Studies

Today a large amount of economic trade between countries is the exchange of agricultural goods. This market of the economy deals with more than just the actual exchange of goods. There are a wide range of responsibilities within the industry that individuals can learn through online education. Many accredited online schools offer degree distinctions in every facet of the agricultural industry. Prospective students interested in this field of study will be able to earn their education solely through online agriculture studies.

In its most basic definition agriculture is the production of food and products through some form of farming. Study in this area can have students learning about a wide range of disciplines through online agriculture schools and colleges. Students can earn an education online from an associate’s degree to a PhD in the field. The options for a concentration are vast, which allows students to earn an education in a specific part of the industry they are most interested in. Specific concentrations include:

  • Wildlife
  • Agricultural
  • Engineering
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Management

…and more. Education requirements will vary depending on the college selected and what degree a student is trying to obtain.

An associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree will give students a foundation of principles and procedures to build upon whether they enter the professional work place or gain more education. Most degree programs at this level could take two to four years for a student to complete. Concepts and topics covered in undergraduate study include agricultural research, basic methods of production of products, farm life in connection with how livestock and plants are grown, how to take soil samples, and much more.

Students who continue education and obtain a master’s or a PhD could be studying agriculture for another three to six years depending on the concentration the student has selected. A master’s degree program will give students knowledge directly related to one area. Many programs focus on a specific area and enable students with the techniques to successfully manage agricultural procedures for the area they are studying. Skills that could be learned include how to run a ranch, analyze crops, and how to use certain equipment for job related tasks. Upon completion students will be able to enter higher education at the PhD level or transition into the industry in pursuit of their career.

Gaining a PhD in the field will greatly benefit a student who wants to enter the top levels of work within the industry. As a result the schooling process is not a super fast one but an in depth study into the specific area of agriculture a student is going into. Study at this level not only requires more knowledge but it tests the student’s knowledge. PhD programs will have students immersed in high-level courses and seminars. Doctoral students are required at the end of coursework to present a dissertation proposal, conduct research, and finally present and defend their dissertation. PhD options in the field are wide and students can choose from concentrations that include horticulture, soil science, forestry, agronomy, and more.

Don’t let your passion of agriculture pass you by. Start on your career path today by enrolling in an accredited degree program. The Distance Education and Training Council ( ) approved programs for full accreditation in order to prove that they can offer a quality educational experience. Search out online agriculture colleges that offer degree programs and concentrations that fit your career goals and schedule.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at

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South African Agriculture Livestock Farming

Livestock is the largest agricultural sector in South Africa, with a population of some 13.8-million cattle and 28.8-million sheep. Stock breeders concentrate on the development of breeds that are well adapted to diverse climatic and environmental conditions.

Dairy farming:

Dairy is produced throughout South Africa, with most farms in the eastern and northern Free State, North West, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the Eastern and Western Cape, Gauteng and the southern parts of Mpumalanga. The four major dairy breeds in South Africa are the Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey and Ayrshire.

The dairy industry is important to South Africa’s job market, with some 4 300 milk producers employing about 60 000 farmworkers and indirectly providing jobs to 40 000 people. Milk production for 2003/04 was estimated at 2-billion litres.

Beef farming:

South Africa produces 85% of its meat requirements, with 15% is imported from Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Australia, New Zealand and the EU. Local demand generally outstrips production, even though there are untapped reserves in the communal farming areas.

Cattle ranches are found mainly in the Eastern Cape, parts of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Northern Cape. Popular beef breeds include the indigenous Afrikaner and Nguni and locally developed Bonsmara and Drakensberger. European and American breeds such as Charolais, Hereford, Angus, Simmentaler, Sussex, Brahman and Santa Gertrudis are maintained as pure breeds or used in cross-breeding.

Sheep and goat farming:

South African sheep farming is concentrated in the Northern and Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga, with Ermelo in Mpumalanga being one of the largest wool-producing districts. Fifty percent of sheep are fine-woolled Merinos. Other breeds include the locally developed Afrino, a woolled mutton breed adapted to arid conditions, the South African Mutton Merino, the Dohne and the Merino Landrace. South Africa’s mutton is produced from the Dorper – a highly productive and locally developed mutton breed for arid regions – and the woolled Merino.

Karakul sheep are farmed in the more arid areas, with some 20 173 pelts with a gross value of R3-million produced in 2002/03. The indigenous meat-producing Boer goat accounts for about 30% of all commercial goats. The Angora goat is used for mohair production.

Poultry and pig farming:

South Africa’s poultry and pig farms are more intensive than the extensive sheep and cattle production, and are found near the metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The predominant pig breeds are the South African Landrace, the Large White, the Duroc and the Pietrain.

South Africa’s annual poultry meat production is 960 000 tons. Broiler production contributes about 82% to total poultry meat production, with the rest made up of mature chicken slaughter (culls), small-scale and backyard poultry production, ducks, geese, turkeys and other specialised white meat products. Income from poultry and egg production amounted to R11.3-billion in 2002/03.

South Africa accounts for 67% of world sales of ostrich products – leather, meat and feathers. The gross value for ostrich feathers and products during 2002/03 was R276.5-million.

Game farming:

South Africa has more game and a wider variety of game species than most countries. Game farming has grown over the years, and today is a viable industry with great economic potential. The country’s main game areas are in Limpopo province, North West, Mpumalanga, the Free State, the Eastern Cape, the Karoo, the Kalahari in the Northern Cape and the thorn scrub of KwaZulu-Natal.

A descriptive game-production model has been developed for optimising intensive animal production on game farms, with the potential to increase the global produce of the game industry by between 8% and 15%.


The aquaculture industry in South Africa continues to make meaningful progress in cultivation technology, marketing strategy, marketing practice and scientific innovation. Mussels, trout, tilapia, catfish, oysters and waterblommetjies (Cape pondweed) are the major aquaculture species. Mussel farming occurs mainly at Saldanha Bay.