Farm Machinery for Row Crops
Between planting and scouting, testing and harvesting, conserving and managing, the work on a row crop farm is endless. On this family farm in Iowa, two Polaris RANGERs and a Sportsman 850 are essential tools for everyday chores.
It’s harvest season near Boone, Iowa, and Sean Blomgren drives his RANGER 1000 out to a cornfield and pulls a sample from a stalk. He flips down the RANGER’s tailgate to set up a makeshift field lab with testing equipment that he hauls in the cargo box. He peels the husk off the ear of corn, breaks off a pile of kernels, and pours them into a tester to evaluate moisture. Then he catalogs the results to analyze the information.
It’s an example of how technology has made row crop farms like his faster and more data-driven, and for Blomgren, 37, two Polaris RANGER 1000s and a Sportsman 850 are vital parts of the business equation. “They’re an important part of what we do,” says Blomgren, who, along with his uncle, aunt, and cousin, grows both corn and soybeans on his family’s 150-year-old farm that now comprises 3,000 acres. He also operates a commercial seed business and a conservation business that does prairie installation, seeding, and management. “From field testing to getting us from point A to B, the RANGERs and the Sportsman help us finish our jobs quicker. They are fast, easy to hop in and out of, and far more nimble than a truck or a tractor. We’ve relied on them even more as our business has grown. They’re our go-to tools."
Agriculture Machinery Types
With three different businesses running at the same time, go-to, efficient farm equipment is essential.
The RANGERs help Blomgren with the logistics of keeping each operation running smoothly. “We’ll do equipment repair, like changing out the sweeps in a field cultivator or a sickle on a combine head that’s cutting soybeans. We keep the wrenches and other tools in the cargo box,” he says.
Another day, a crew might be spraying weeds around the property with a 60-gallon tank loaded in the cargo box of the RANGER. The features of the RANGER 1000 are essential to the crop farm’s efficiency. In addition to the 1,000-pound hauling capacity, the in-cab storage is important. “We have gloves, goggles, and different accessories that we’ll need in case we lose a nozzle or need to replace something in the field.”
A crew might be maintaining the timber in the conservation land. “The 6,000-pound winch makes quick work of moving trees or brush out of the way,” he says.
“These vehicles serve a lot of different purposes; they’re a lot more convenient to use and easier to jump in and out of than other equipment,” he adds.
While Blomgren uses the RANGERs as all-purpose vehicles around the farm, he assigns more specific chores to the Sportsman. Because of the Sportsman 850's smaller size — 51 inches tall and 47.6 inches wide — it’s able to get into tighter spaces. “The Sportsman is more of a specialty tool,” he says. “We put a small sprayer on the rear rack to kill weeds, or tow a fertilizer spreader or a broadcast seeder in the spring. With its smaller frame and 11½-inch ground clearance, it’s a more agile vehicle and can really get into places that a truck can’t go."
Getting Around the Farm Smoothly
With a variety of landscapes to cross on any given day — on Blomgren’s land there’s deep tillage, ruts, terraces, tall prairie, timber, and even shallow creeks — it’s critical to have agriculture vehicles that can keep going, no matter what. “We have terrain here that would be tricky to run a full-size pickup across, so the RANGER and Sportsman are the perfect vehicles in the sense that we can go wherever we need to go, especially when we need to go somewhere that’s off the beaten path,” he says.
The RANGER and Sportsman both have the muscle — 61-hp. and 78-hp. engines, respectively — to help him get there effortlessly. “They’re both fast and can get up and go quickly,” he says. “With their power steering and capable suspension system, from a comfort standpoint, they’re both excellent. I can’t think of anything else that you could take out into the field when you have deep tillage. Not only can the RANGER and Sportsman go through rough territory, it’s a comfortable, smooth ride.”
A Farm Partner to Rely On
Every decision that Blomgren makes, whether when to harvest crop or the tools and technologies to use, must align with his goal of caring for the land that he inherited so he can pass it onto the next generation. “You’re given a chunk of earth that’s your responsibility to steward, and the entire farm toolkit is a critical component of that, and it’s important that we have the best tools. That’s why we use Polaris vehicles,” Blomgren says. “I don’t know what farming will be like tomorrow, but I know we will continue to be successful if we have quality partners like Polaris.”
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