How to Pick the Right Equipment for Your Wyoming Farm

The Cowboy State is a place of wide-open expanses and stunning vistas, but it’s also an important link in the American food chain: it’s a major producer of animal products, including cattle, hogs, and sheep. There are nearly 12,000 farms across the state; these large, sprawling operations rank #1 in average farm size in the United States. Over 29 million acres of the state are devoted to agricultural production, necessitating careful management and plenty of workers.

If you’re a hard-working farmer in Wyoming, you know the importance of choosing the right equipment for the job, whether that is machinery or rugged safety boots. With so many products on the market, it can be challenging to decide exactly what machinery to buy for your own farm, especially as these are major investments you should expect to use for decades. Here are some of the main considerations you should consider before buying any Wyoming farm equipment.

Consider the Size of Your Operation

Wyoming farms are often enormous – over 2,700 acres – especially as sustainably raised livestock require enormous tracts of land to graze. However, there are also some smaller operations of only a few fields, which will need smaller and more agile equipment.

With large crop farms, you may need to buy multiple versions of the same equipment; this may seem counterintuitive, but you must consider the time and expense it takes to move a slow, heavy tractor 20 miles down the road to till one field. You may buy several small versions that can be kept in a locked barn nearer to where they are needed.

For livestock farming, ATVs will provide you with the transportation you need to check on your cattle without wasting time tramping through fields; larger ATVs also make it easy to transport newborn calves who may need a vet checkup. This is also classified as farming equipment if used for business, even if it’s usually considered more of a recreational vehicle.

Think About Combination Offerings

Much of Wyoming’s agricultural production is devoted to cattle, but there are plenty of corn, hay, wheat, and sugar beet farmers in the state. These will require tractors, planters, threshers, combine harvesters, irrigation systems, and more. However, you can often find combination equipment with attachments to reduce costs and improve efficiency, such as cultivators, tillers, and seed drillers attached to your tractor.

Skid steers are immensely helpful, especially as there are numerous attachments you can place on the skid steer rather than purchasing an entirely new piece of equipment. They are also very agile and maneuver very well in tight spaces. This is an excellent investment for farmers in any concentration: no farm is complete without a skid steer.

Focus On Your Daily Tasks

Every farm is different and has different tools necessary for everyday work. For example, livestock farming often requires removing and replacing posts, so a skid steer post driver attachment can significantly affect how quickly you redistribute your fencing to redirect livestock and keep them safely contained.

It’s tempting to buy whatever you might need when you get a fresh cash infusion, but you must carefully examine each product you use; there’s nothing worse for your bottom line than investing in the newest and fanciest gadget you never actually roll out of the barn. Instead, focus on multi-use products that are guaranteed to last a long time and those that are easy to repair should they break.

If you need a specialized product for a particular purpose, rely on the community instead of immediately buying it yourself: you might be able to borrow one from another farmer in the area who is not currently using it. This will also let you “test drive” the equipment to see if it is as good as you expected at the given task.

Meticulously Research the Manufacturer

Once you have decided exactly what products you’ll need, you must thoroughly investigate the manufacturer, especially their warranties and repair options. While a good manufacturer’s product won’t break down for years, you need to know that replacement parts are available should the unthinkable happen. They should also be made of quality parts and with careful manufacturing processes.

Research the company and read reviews from other farmers; if you know of anyone who has the same equipment, ask for their honest opinion of the product. Read the spec sheets for a given model and identify whether it will match your needs. You can also call the manufacturer to get more of an idea of how it works; be sure to ask them specific questions about what you can expect from the product and how it performs in real-life circumstances.

Farming is a difficult endeavor, and it’s only made harder by having inadequate equipment. You must be intentional about your purchases and aim for equipment that can perform multiple tasks, improving efficiency and reducing costs. Assess your needs and look for the right solutions, then research each product to decide what’s best for you. With thought and care, you’ll find yourself with great equipment that works just as hard as you do.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.