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  1. #41
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    2,697
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Tractor
    JD 4110

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    So I may be messed up on this, but it seems to me you should
    be able to get at least 200 square bales per acre in 3 cuttings.
    If you have 60 acres in hay at any one time, you get something
    like is 18000 bales to sell each year, probably more.

    Around here small square bales of the good stuff might be $4
    depending on the year. Even at $2, that's 36K. It depends a
    lot on the location and the proximity of horses and how good
    for horses the current fields are.

    Your costs are lower than it is for many since you own the
    equipment already, but there are a lot of costs that go into
    the operation (fuel, planting, repairs etc.)

    Cliff
    My SF/mystery-noir Novel is out from Grand Mal Press:
    Walking Shadow by Clifford Royal Johns

  2. #42
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
    Tractor
    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff_Johns View Post
    Your costs are lower than it is for many since you own the
    equipment already, but there are a lot of costs that go into
    the operation (fuel, planting, repairs etc.)
    Full-time farming (without outside income) requires the farmer to cover his total costs (variable + fixed) and provide for family living expenses. Fixed costs include depreciation. Even though the equipment is in place, it will eventually either wear out or repair costs will become prohibitive. The farm has to generate sufficient income for equipment replacement in order to be sustainable in the long run.

    I remain skeptical about the prospects of sustaining a full-time farming operation producing "commodities" on 80 acres. In my opinion, success is more likely (but far from guaranteed) producing specialty "products," but these are labor- and management-intensive, and require access to appropriate markets and savvy marketing.

    Steve
    Last edited by smstonypoint; 10-12-2012 at 10:20 PM.

  3. #43
    Platinum Member Reyer Farms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    655
    Location
    Lena, ms
    Tractor
    Mahindra 5010

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smstonypoint

    Full-time farming (without outside income) requires the farmer to cover his total costs (variable + fixed) and provide for family living expenses. Fixed costs include depreciation. Even though the equipment is in place, it will eventually either wear out or repair costs will become prohibitive. The farm has to generate sufficient income for equipment replacement in order to be sustainable in the long run.

    I remain skeptical about the prospects of sustaining a full-time farming operation producing "commodities" on 80 acres. In my opinion, success is more likely (but far from guaranteed) producing specialty "products," but these are labor- and management-intensive, and require access to appropriate markets and savvy marketing.

    Steve
    Very well said.

  4. #44
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    "The Furrow" is a magazine published by John Deere. It often feature small farms and how people make a sustainable living on small acreage. If you go to the magazine's website, look at the January and February 2012 issues as an example. The January issue features a family that makes a living on 13 acres.

    What is common to all of the successful, small acreage farming stories in The Furrow is a concentration on niche or specialty products that command higher prices than standard large acreage farm crops. You can't compete with large acreage farms trying to raise low dollar, equipment-intensive crops.

    Where I live in the Southwest, depending upon where you are located, you could grow lavender, chocolate flower, and other unique crops. There is one small farm that grows 20 acres of lavender and all of it is presold. Another small farmer grows six kinds of garlic and that is all presold.

    Another farm grows Timothy hay and sells it on a pickup on site basis. The last time I talked with the owner, they sold the entire 18,000 bale cutting in less than 6 weeks to horse owners - many who have a standing order with him. He has gone to the trouble of getting his production methods to keep the hay weed-freed, and as required to get the hay certified as "organically grown" - and it commands a premium price.

    If you want to keep your 80 acres, I think you can do it - but not by trying to compete raising crops that are best in large acreage farms. Find out what niche crops you could raise, look at the markets for them, and then put a plan together on how you can raise crops that can be sold into those niche markets.

  5. #45
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,672
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    Hope we haven't lost our Original Poster. This is a great subject and one that many here on the forum will be interested in. It would help to have an answer to some of the questions asked so the best answers could be given.

    MarkV

  6. #46
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    283
    Location
    Buford GA
    Tractor
    YM3110D

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    Just a couple of other thoughts to add to the list here.

    We're not sure of the timeline of the inheritance, but shortly after the passing of loved one is a rough time to make long term decisions.
    Perhaps a mixed approach may be of help here, check into leasing out as is for a mid term of 1-5 years. That may give a better evaluation period for use or for sale of land if that's what you decide you need to do. (rushed sales don't bring high prices either)

    The income level you expect needs to be defined a little better, there may be a transition period to get what you finally want.

    Bottom line don't just dump the land, its the wrong market for that approach and counting on interest, remember that's running lower than inflation right now - return around 2 percent BEFORE taxes.
    Who ever heard of Chinese hip hop??!! What the @#$% is that!!!

  7. #47
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    983
    Location
    Hartford, SD
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400F

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    Actually land sales around here are bringing top dollar. I think many people believe in gold, silver and land as a shelter for money. If the hard economy continues and people are forced to sell property, that is when values will decrease as the market is saturated with forced sales. Hopefully the original poster will come back or at least they started thinking sensibly about their future goals and expectations.

  8. #48
    Silver Member lstinthot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    154
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Tractor
    CT230

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    I currently belong to a dirt bike club that has its main trails on 80 acres. We help maintain the trails and main open area and pay dues each year. These types of places are showing up more and more or I am just becoming more aware of them because I am getting into riding more. Could be the outside the box way of making some money on the land if its good riding or outdoor adventure type land. Camp ground and outdoor adventure park.

    Best of luck
    CT230 with backhoe attachment. 84" rake, bucket bite on FEL.

  9. #49
    Silver Member Pharm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    109
    Location
    Middle Tn
    Tractor
    Kubota mx5100, MF 1080

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    We have about 230 acres that has been in our family for almost 200 years. The only reason we've been able to keep it in the family that long is because we have a good relationship with some of the farmers in the area who make a living farming. We have about 160 acres that we partner with the professionals, we pay for 1/3 of the expenses and get 1/3 of the profits ... the rest goes to them - but they do all the work and bring in all the equipment. We grow soybeans and corn with a yearly crop rotation.

    Oh, and I do still have my day job (Pharmacy). I might be able to quit my day job if I lived by myself with minimal expenses - but I'm pretty sure my wife wouldn't put up with it. Kids would have to forget college too.

    Basically I'm only taking care of approx. 20 acres. I've thought of haying but I just didn't see that it was worth the money for the equipment and hassle. I basically bushhog, cut trees down, and try to keep the place looking good.

    We do have a lot of land in timber. The last cut of timber netted enough for a new tractor (kubota). Trouble is we only cut the trees every 25 years or so ... but that's about what I need for my next tractor purchase

    My advice - talk to area growers and owners and see what they do. If it wasn't for the help of others in the community we would have a hard row to hoe so to speak. Farmers coop is a great help as well.

  10. #50
    Silver Member xtruckerbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    129
    Location
    Louisiana
    Tractor
    Kubota Bx 2670 Kubota RTV 900, Kubota L-2600, Kubota G-3200, Kubota Z121S, John Deere L-160 , Ford 3000

    Default Re: Thinking of haying/farming for profit- many questions

    I also have the family farm of 105 acres. Since I don't know how to farm I rent our land out at $170 an acre which they grow corn or cotton. I saved me 25 acres for the house, barn, shop, garden ect. which I plan to raised hay on what is left. I checked several local farm stores about selling them "Horse Hay" . I don't own any Hay equipment, so I found out I would need to bale for the pubic for either a dollar value or on half’s to help cover the cost of equipment. I also found out I could bale 2 or 3 days a week and stay 8-10 miles from the house. It seems farmers with big equipment don’t want to bale less 20 acres so this gives you extra income. We water our grass when needed and fertilize one a year(or as needed) and we do this our self on week ends. We get 3 cutting most of the time. I don’t know if you can live on what you make on the farm....on the other hand hay is not a full time job. The enjoyment and the extra income you get will be a nice addition. Good luck check all your option and take our advice will a grain of salt.

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