When it comes to tractors aimed at the livestock market, do the number of pounds spent by buyers necessarily equate to the product quality received in return? To find out, Mervyn Bailey and James de Havilland compare five 85-95hp tractors taken from different price stables

With improving agricultural commodity returns — or at least they were when we were writing this report — many livestock and milk producers could be contemplating an update of their tractor workhorses. So high time, we thought, to compare five suitably sized contenders, all looking to relieve you of a chunk of your hard-earned cash.

To provide an across-the-board selection we plumped for the tried-and-tested New Holland T5050, Deere 5080M and marginally less familiar Deutz-badged Agroplus, with the latter building on the Italian heritage of SAME and Lamborghini — two brands that have traditionally offered a generous choice in this power bracket. Arguably less mainstream is Kubota, represented here in M9540 form and, despite being a volume seller in the turf and utility markets, still not an overly familiar sight on UK and Irish farms.

That’s changing, though, with a steadily increasing amount of orange product being pushed into farming worldwide. Completing the line-up is our more unusual test choice, the T1003 from Korean maker TYM, which turns out to be far from the left-of-field pick that it might, at first, appear. Test chores included topping, tedding, rolling and raking as well as a spot of conventional baling. We managed to source two models with a front-end loader — Deere and Kubota — so we also had a go at shifting some bales.

For more up-to-date farming news click here and subscribe now to profi and save