What Size Tractor Do I Need for My Farm? Tips & Tricks to Picking the Best Tractor!

Let’s be honest from the start. Tractors cost a lot of money, but they sure do pay off quickly!

But, of course, that is if you get the right type of tractor. However, how exactly do you know what type of tractor you need?

If you often find yourself wondering, ”What size tractor do i need, and where do I start looking,” I’ll tell you to look no further!

Choosing the right type of tractor based on the field it can cover can be a demanding challenge, but not an impossible one!

You don’t want to end up splurging on a heavy-duty compact tractor if all you need is a small tractor.

We have put together a helpful farming guide that will assist you in finding the best size tractor based on your property size and the type of chore you will do!

Before we get started

We need to ask you a simple question before we dive into the acres and horsepower ratings.

What type of agricultural task will you be using the tractor for, and how much land do you have to cultivate?

To understand what size tractor you need, you first need to know how big is your property and whether you will be using the tractor for light or heavy work.

If you have a 10-acre of land, you can’t make a mistake with small tractors, while those with more extensive properties need to know everything about utility tractors.

Now, why is it essential to prioritize your tasks?

Well, because then you will know what type of horsepower you will need.

Following the horsepower, there is also the question of whether you need agricultural implements.

Not all tractors are fitted for implementing attachment, so if you plan on doing heavy work, I suggest you pay attention to the bigger models.

What size is good for 1-4 acres?

what size tractor do i need for 10 acres

Properties with under four acres are considered to be relatively small.

Logically, you won’t be needing a large tractor.

If you have 1-4 acres of land, I’m guessing you will be using the tractor for a few fruit trees, livestock chores, honey bees, or bushes of berries.

Here, your best option is to get either a subcompact tractor or a garden tractor. They are smaller tractors that fit perfectly for small jobs and property sizes.

Or, you can get a garden tractor.

Garden tractors are mainly used for mowing the lawn or garden maintenance. They are not so practical for moderate chores, but they can serve you well at times.

As for the sub-compact, tractors can often include a three-point hitch that attaches implements such as brush hogs, snowblowers, or front-end loaders that can get various jobs done.

Of course, they also have a small diesel engine of at least 25 horsepower.

It may not seem like a lot now, but this is just the right power for farm workers with a small land.

As far as the price goes, sub-compact tractors usually range for around $15,000 if you want to get a brand new tractor.

However, if your budget is a little short, you can always go for a used one and work your way up into investing in implements.

What size is good for 5-10 acres?

Now, if you have a property of 5 acres or more, you would get most work done with subcompact tractors.

We already talked about them previously, so check all the essential features of this tractor size above.

However, if you have a small orchard or even livestock pens that need maintenance, you will probably need more powerful tractors.

compact tractor will do the perfect trick for these types of tasks!

It has a horsepower rating of around 25 HP-35HP, which offers leverage over sub-compact tractors.

In addition, a compact tractor can also serve you to accomplish basic gardening tasks such as cutting grass, hauling light materials, and cleaning livestock pens.

They can even attach some of the wider implements.

However, compact utility tractors have a rear PTO that offers pulling power for implements, unlike the basic garden tractors.

The PTO shaft allows agricultural implements such as a mower or a front-end loader to take energy from the engine to run smoothly.

One of the most famous models of compact tractors is the John Deere 2025R.

What size is good for 10+ acres?

what size tractor do i need for 20 acres

For 10+ acres of land, you need to make sure you have picked out the adequate size tractor.

This is not a small land you will be covering, so you need a bigger tractor with lots of power to it.

Here, I suggest you again with compact utility tractors, but this time, you will look for the tractor size with more horsepower.

Larger compact tractors usually have between 35-50 horsepower, offer better stability, and are just the right equipment for this type of property.

However, one of the biggest benefits of more horsepower is extra power delivered for pulling equipment.

Compact tractors like this will usually feature a category 2 of 3-point hitch.

Although there are many factors involved when choosing the right size tractor, you should also be careful when selecting implement size.

As for the price, compact tractors that have bigger horsepower will usually retail for around $10000 – $15000.

However, I advise you to check your local dealers; some may even allow you to take a test drive before purchasing!

What size is good for 20+ acres?

Here is where it gets serious for a property that measures out in 20 acres or more. Not only does the tractor size matter, but you must also check the power.

A utility tractor with at least a 50 horsepower rating will do the trick. But if you have more than 20 acres, consider getting a new tractor with an over 100 HP rating.

Plus, if you can find the ones with a four-wheel drive, consider yourself a lucky owner! You will get to do all of the tasks mentioned above and more!

These tractors usually come with a category two hitch that allows loads of implements to be attached, such as a front-end loader, snowblower, and plow.

What makes these tractors so unique is that they have a terrific lifting capacity for lifting all of those heavy materials such as soil or others.

What size tractor do you need for commercial farming?

Tractors used for commercial farming usually range from 100 HP to 450 HP.

They are one of the most powerful tractors used in agriculture and can help you tackle heavy-duty tasks at any time!

One obvious downside to this size tractor is the price.

However, with great power comes a great price tag, so prepare to invest quite the amount if you need a tractor for commercial farming.

But, it’s also good to know that most tractors for commercial use feature loads of nifty additions such as an optional cab with climate control, sound system, GPS, and enough space for total comfort in the cabin.

This is why it’s essential to know all about the tractor sizes before you invest.

You don’t want to invest in a commercial-grade tractor when smaller or garden tractors would do the trick.

Tractors used for commercial agricultural tasks run on either 4 or 6 cylinder engines to complete challenging tasks.

Antique tractors: hit or miss?

what size tractor do i need for 100 acres

I mentioned before that you could go for the antique tractor versions if your budget is short.

However, since loads of farmers are still debating whether this will be the right move, let’s dive into the subject.

One of the apparent benefits of an antique tractor is the price.

They are a lot cheaper than new tractors, so there is no harm in considering them if you are a beginner.

However, since the seller cannot always guarantee the excellent condition of an antique tractor, it’s best to see it in person and test it out.

Only then will you be able to pick the right size for your tractor. Never compromise good performance with the price. There is no price tag on the safe use of a vehicle.

When choosing between a few antique tractors, I would always suggest you go for the ones with a 3-point hitch if you will be using them for moderate chores.

In this way, you can always add the type of implementation you need for your job.

Also, pay attention to the PTO speed of an antique tractor.

Many older models do not have enough speed to pull implements, so check if the speed is at least 540 RPM.


What size horsepower tractor do I need?

The horsepower range will depend on the task you are looking to accomplish.

For instance, you can go with a 20-30 HP garden tractor if you need to do light agriculture activities on flat terrain.

However, a large garden will require heavy-duty chores, so you best invest in a 50-85 HP.

These tasks include plowing, heavy lifting capacity, snow removal, and hauling other materials.

What is a good tractor for a small farm?

You would not require more power than a 20-35 horsepower rating for a small farm.

Your best picks would be a garden tractor or a sub-compact tractor that maneuvers easily on a small land but is quite versatile as well.

For an in-depth look into the top models for small farms, check out another article that tackles the subject!

What HP tractor do I need for 20 acres?

For a 20 acre land, you will need a tractor that can handle heavy-duty tasks.

For instance, you can get a utility tractor that features around a 40-50 horsepower range.

Utility tractors this powerful usually have category two hitch on which you can attach various implements.

They are versatile and have a remarkable lifting capacity that can assist you in picking up round bales, lifting heavy materials as well as operating in the hayfield.

What are the different tractor sizes?

what size tractor do i need to move round bales

You need to know about a few tractor sizes before you purchase one.

Ultimately, the size of the tractor depends on the type of fieldwork you will be doing.

There are subcompact tractors under 25HP and are the best ones for smaller farms.

Compact tractors range between 25-60 horsepower and are versatile for many agricultural tasks.

Utility tractors are the largest ones, and they have around 60-140 horsepower.

They are used for dragging implements, feature extra power for challenging tasks, and are mainly suitable for commercial farming.

What size tractor do I need for 500 acres?

For a 500 acre property, you will likely need a utility tractor with around 140 horsepower range.

These tractors are used for commercial use, so they hold great power.

A lot of them are designed for extra features that result in great performance and the operator’s comfort.

For example, you can find commercial tractors with a climate cabin, comfortable driver’s seat, adjustable points, and loads of safety features.

Final words

I hope all your answers have been answered.

Picking the right tractor size makes sense when you know what you will be using the tractor for and how much land you have to cover!

No matter if you are planning on getting a brand new tractor or a used one, take some time to inspect its qualities.

Therefore, I invite you to make a list of your dream tractor and the tasks you need it to perform.

Only this way will you find what you are looking for and have no trouble picking the right size tractor!

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of CropsReview.com. This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

2 thoughts on “What Size Tractor Do I Need for My Farm? Tips & Tricks to Picking the Best Tractor!”

  1. As a farmer with just over 10 acres I agree with the majority of the article. I am currently purchasing a 40hp tractor with a 3 cyl. Diesel engine and attachments. One of the major decisions will be with every tractor buyer is what will I do with this tractor and how often. My farm is split between hay cutting and animal maintenance…this means lots of heavy poop. It also means tending to the compost mountains and turning 20-60 tonnes of hay and poop every few weeks. The BRAND of tractor is super important. How it is made and the availability of parts. You are going to be paying it off for 15 years…so get one that will LAST 15 years! Buy a machine that is ‘overbuilt’. In other words avoid the cheapest tractor built to absolute minimum specifications. This leaves out the vast majority of low end Chinese made compact/subcompact tractors but opens the market for Korean and Italian tractors that tend to be built with heavier specs. Where this author found a new compact 30-50hp tractor for “$10-15,000” I will never know…but I’m betting it has a 15 day warrantee and no front loader, no cab for Winter work and low gpm hydraulics with a cheesy transmission. Something to be avoided at all costs. Six years ago I priced a 70hp Mahindra with all the bells and whistles (Chinese but tough) for $7,000 with tax…this year I am buying a similar tractor from Korea (that was VERY similar in design) and they have gone up to $32,000! (Thanks Brandon). Whatever you buy…buy bigger and stronger than you think you will need or you will become a tractor mechanic.


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