Guides on Equipment for Beginning Farmers

Equipment and Tools For Small Scale, Intensive Crop Production by Andy Pressman, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist. This 16-page booklet focuses on equipment and tools for intensive crop production on a small-scale commercial farm. It details equipment and hand tools for soil preparation, planting, and weed management. Published by NCAT, 2011.


Small Farm Equipment coverSmall Farm Equipment, by John Magee. Published by the Farmer’s Library, Greenfield, MA. This 117 page booklet covers equipment use and maintenance on small- to mid-size farms. Topics include mechanical concepts and terminology;  best practices and safety around farm equipment; tips for shop work; regular maintenance tools and tasks; troubleshooting start-up problems; common small equipment; and tractor operation and safety. The book is useful for the skills needed on the diversified farm. Clear illustrations of tools, parts, and equipment are provided.

steel in the field coverSteel in the Field: A Farmer’s Guide to Weed Management Tools, edited by Greg Bowman. Available for free download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), this book presents what farmers and researchers have learned in the last 20 years about cutting weed-control costs through improved cultivation tools, cover crops and new cropping rotations. The book provides descriptions and diagrams with technical information about the implement works in the field and explanation of the conditions in which each tools is most useful.

MachinerySharingCoverMachinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers, by Georgeanne Artz, Linda Naeve and William Edwards. This 50-page publication discusses operational and organizational issues related to sharing specialized farm machinery for fruit and vegetable production. The manual has real-life case studies of growers who shared equipment, sample sharing agreements and worksheets for allocating costs fairly. Published in June 2014 by Iowa State University and the Leopold Center.