Page 6 of 10 FirstFirst ... 3456789 ... LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 95
  1. #51
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    1,697
    Location
    Southern VT, Southern ME
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 HST /410 FEL, R4s

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    At the orchard were I work now we just planted 400 bushes over the past several years so I second the blueberries idea, or you can do a mix with cane fruits too. We have that too. People love that. Small fruit is where its at and are good for PYO operations too. They pack, stack, store, and transport well. With the right planning you can extend all thru the growing season with a mix of fruit and vegetables. I've been growing and marketing fruits and vegetables for close to 20 years now. You have the land so you have opportunity. Start off small and most of all have fun with it. Generally when the business of making money takes over the fun goes out. Mix it up some so can get a feel for what sells well in your area. Talk to resturant chefs if you want to specialize in something particular. Heirloom tomatoes are always big with them. Pumpkins are simple to plant and grow but Walmart also sells them for $5.00 a piece or less. Big ones too. I'm selling less and less pumpkins every year. If you get into growing something you need to decide... do you want to wholesale market to a distributor or do you want to direct retail? Not that you cant do both but its usually easier to focus one way or the other. Strawberries are popular but unless you do everbearing varities its a short season deal. We do strawberries too but found we are more succesful growing them in greenhouses thru to Nov. Diversification. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. What I'm reading seems focused on a single products. Yes Vinyards startups are becoming more popular nowadays with amateur winemakers. (but I read into that people who can afford to play with their money) I dont believe I've read any suggestion about growing sweet corn. Now thats something you can do with minimal tractor equipment as opposed to haying operations. Thats always our biggest seller easily more than 1000 ears a day everyday during the peak times and always sells right thru until season end

    Good money in hay but expensive to work it. And it sounds like you need to make a serious large investment with it. I have two examples to offer. My ex FIL has been doing hay for most of his lifetime has some of the best red clover/canadien timothy mix grass around and easily gets $6.00 a bale from all the local horse owners. Even has a steady buyer all the way from from Cape Cod he meet at winter auction one year. Plus he's retired so he has plenty of time to work with the weather and also does it together with another farmer to make each other cuttings a joint effort. Has a Ford 3930 and Ford 2120, plenty of barns and acid treats treats the hay for storage too. On the other hand the orchard owner's son spends his summers cutting and bailing hay on an old JD 2855 with New Holland 273 bailer and a couple of rickety wagons working bordeline parcels all around the county instead of maintaining the orchard grasses with the flail mower. So by himself usually gets rained on more often than not and if its not raining he's broke down. He only charges $1.50 a bail delivered but its usually weedy or moldy and only good for mulch. Never mind the cost of diesel fuel too, If he's making money just shoot me! This summer he sold some hay to my hobby farm neighbor as he was looking for feed for Icelandic sheep project. I got a call at work one day after that it was my neighbor he says the sheep wont eat it.

  2. #52
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,930
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default

    Thanks for the Info fellas.... DFB, great post. Everything you said made a lot of sense.

    Sent from my Motorola Photon using TractorByNet for Android
    Massey 1648 Cab - Hustler Z Diesel 66" mower
    2007 F450 Crew - 20' PJ Equipt Trailer
    QA 6ft bucket * 5ft Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8ft Rhino Back Blade
    7ft Rhino Box Blade * 7ft LandPride Rake * 6.5ft KK HD Box Disc * Middle buster plow
    WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper * 8ft Ford Brush-Mower
    7.5ft QA snow plow (still under construction)

    345 flawless hrs @ 11/5/14

  3. #53
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,930
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    Well, I ended up getting a bigger tractor, thanks alot A-Holes! lol... no, it's ok... I wanted a stronger loader anyhow. Sold my small Kioti 2 weeks ago.

    After all of your suggestions, and more research online... I'm gonna try the following:

    - 1-2 acres of pumpkins. ( I already have friends with "party stores" in the city willing to buy/sell them).
    - 1+ acres of blueberry startup... this looks to be relatively expensive to startup, and will take a few years to return any $$$
    - 1+ acres of Wine-grapes, region friendly... this also looks like a couple-year return, but I'll use the grapes for myself and advertise for PYO micro-brewer types
    - 2+ acres of x-mas trees, fraser & douglas firs, and blue/white/norway spruce. I'll plant them this year, that'll take probably 3-5 years before I can sell them.

    Thoughts on the above?
    Massey 1648 Cab - Hustler Z Diesel 66" mower
    2007 F450 Crew - 20' PJ Equipt Trailer
    QA 6ft bucket * 5ft Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8ft Rhino Back Blade
    7ft Rhino Box Blade * 7ft LandPride Rake * 6.5ft KK HD Box Disc * Middle buster plow
    WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper * 8ft Ford Brush-Mower
    7.5ft QA snow plow (still under construction)

    345 flawless hrs @ 11/5/14

  4. #54
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,930
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    Well, I ended up getting a bigger tractor, thanks alot A-Holes! lol... no, it's ok... I wanted a stronger loader anyhow. Sold my small Kioti 2 weeks ago.

    After all of your suggestions, and more research online... I'm gonna try the following:

    - 1-2 acres of pumpkins. ( I already have friends with "party stores" in the city willing to buy/sell them).
    - 1+ acres of blueberry startup... this looks to be relatively expensive to startup, and will take a few years to return any $$$
    - 1+ acres of Wine-grapes, region friendly... this also looks like a couple-year return, but I'll use the grapes for myself and advertise for PYO micro-brewer types
    - 2+ acres of x-mas trees, fraser & douglas firs, and blue/white/norway spruce. I'll plant them this year, that'll take probably 3-5 years before I can sell them.

    Thoughts on the above?
    Massey 1648 Cab - Hustler Z Diesel 66" mower
    2007 F450 Crew - 20' PJ Equipt Trailer
    QA 6ft bucket * 5ft Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8ft Rhino Back Blade
    7ft Rhino Box Blade * 7ft LandPride Rake * 6.5ft KK HD Box Disc * Middle buster plow
    WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper * 8ft Ford Brush-Mower
    7.5ft QA snow plow (still under construction)

    345 flawless hrs @ 11/5/14

  5. #55
    Veteran Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,094

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    Looking back through the thread I came on your pictures where you wanted to know what type of weeds were growing there. There is one where I can see for sure some goldenrod and two fast growing weeds I'm unsure of the exact name of but usually that size are called.. Not Me!! and I-don't-know!!!
    Enjoy your new tractor and raising your boys.
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...-36-14_820.jpg

  6. #56
    Elite Member DT86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,041
    Location
    SW VA
    Tractor
    Kubota 9540, RTV 900 and David Brown 885.

    Default

    First and foremost congrats on the new tractor!

    I like the pumpkin idea, cheap start up. Have you considered gourds and / or Indian corn to go with them? Add a straw bale and you have Thanksgiving / Fall decorations to go.

    I don't know anything about the other three other than...

    I love fresh blueberries, they are my favorite. My friend and I went to a PYO patch (about 1/2 acre) last summer and hardly left any berries for everyone else. That guy grew Christmas trees also.

    As for grapes I was under the impression that they were pretty fussy to maintain. Not that I know anything about it!

    And the Christmas trees, around here it takes longer than 3-5 years for guys to be able to sell any. But we do have different growing conditions that could affect their growth rate.

    What ever you do I wish you the best of luck!

  7. #57
    Gold Member SanDucerro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    335
    Location
    Yoakum, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040 - L3130 - ZD326S

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    You might want to rethink grapes - they are a labor intensive crop to manage. You cannot just "let them grow". The vines require constant care (trimming, prunning, weeding, etc..) - not to mention the obscene amount of cash outlay to "setup". We're in the process of putting in 4 acres of vines right now. In addition to the $4000 I spent on the vines at the nursery, I also dropped $5000 on the deer fence and yesterday I spent another $5000 on the trellis system - and I'm not done yet. You also need a watering system (easily $5k if you use drip irrigation), bambo shoots for initial grow "sticks", and grow tubes as well. The bambo and the tubes can be as much as $2 a vine and we have 1400 vines! So we're looking at $2800 in throw away materials just to get the vines established. Once you've got the vines producing fruit the birds will home in on your vineyard in a heart beat - so add bird netting to your costs. If I recall, the netting runs about a buck a foot (but don't quote me on that). I'll have 17 rows that are 315 feet long and 24 rows at 430 feet - I'll let you do the math on the bird netting! And if those prices don't scare you, consider these prices are for materials ONLY - I'm doing all the labor. In addition, the vines will NOT have a harvestable crop for 3 years and even then it's going to be a small harvest. Grape vines take 5 full years to reach maturity.

    The grapes do have a fair market value - about $1000 a ton depending on the variety. And you can average up to 5 tons per acre each year. So, each acre "could" produce $5k in return per year. If you have 2 acres your looking at $10k or there abouts - BUT, growing grapes is a FULL TIME job. So once the labor costs are figured in the rate of return drops significantly. One more thing to keep in mind - grape varieties are VERY region specific. Not all grapes will grow in all areas. In my neck of the woods we can grow Black Spanish and Blanc Du Bois - and that's pretty much it. You'll need to research which varieties would grow well in your region.

    So, perhaps your wondering why I'm doing this if the return is so low and the labor requirements so high? Because we are not only the grower, we're also the wine manufacturer. The numbers simply don't work for low acreage operations unless you're also in the winery business.
    Keith

    Kubota M7040 Kubota L3130

    San Ducerro Vineyards Yoakum, TX

  8. #58
    Elite Member houstonscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,423
    Location
    Oglesby, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L3800, Kubota GR2120, Kubota RTV1100, Kubota 5100sc

    Default

    Mini Hay Balers and Compact Hay Balers | Small Farm Innovators

    Check this out, they have a good reputation. Be aware there are cheap Chinese knock offs of these, they only carry the real Japanese high quality line, and there is big difference.

    HS
    Last edited by houstonscott; 03-12-2013 at 12:28 PM.

  9. #59
    Veteran Member TSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,930
    Location
    SouthEast Michigan
    Tractor
    Massey 1648 HST Cab

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by SanDucerro View Post
    You might want to rethink grapes - they are a labor intensive crop to manage. You cannot just "let them grow". The vines require constant care (trimming, prunning, weeding, etc..) - not to mention the obscene amount of cash outlay to "setup". We're in the process of putting in 4 acres of vines right now. In addition to the $4000 I spent on the vines at the nursery, I also dropped $5000 on the deer fence and yesterday I spent another $5000 on the trellis system - and I'm not done yet. You also need a watering system (easily $5k if you use drip irrigation), bambo shoots for initial grow "sticks", and grow tubes as well. The bambo and the tubes can be as much as $2 a vine and we have 1400 vines! So we're looking at $2800 in throw away materials just to get the vines established. Once you've got the vines producing fruit the birds will home in on your vineyard in a heart beat - so add bird netting to your costs. If I recall, the netting runs about a buck a foot (but don't quote me on that). I'll have 17 rows that are 315 feet long and 24 rows at 430 feet - I'll let you do the math on the bird netting! And if those prices don't scare you, consider these prices are for materials ONLY - I'm doing all the labor. In addition, the vines will NOT have a harvestable crop for 3 years and even then it's going to be a small harvest. Grape vines take 5 full years to reach maturity.

    The grapes do have a fair market value - about $1000 a ton depending on the variety. And you can average up to 5 tons per acre each year. So, each acre "could" produce $5k in return per year. If you have 2 acres your looking at $10k or there abouts - BUT, growing grapes is a FULL TIME job. So once the labor costs are figured in the rate of return drops significantly. One more thing to keep in mind - grape varieties are VERY region specific. Not all grapes will grow in all areas. In my neck of the woods we can grow Black Spanish and Blanc Du Bois - and that's pretty much it. You'll need to research which varieties would grow well in your region.

    So, perhaps your wondering why I'm doing this if the return is so low and the labor requirements so high? Because we are not only the grower, we're also the wine manufacturer. The numbers simply don't work for low acreage operations unless you're also in the winery business.
    That's great info. My family used to make small batch wine from a small family vineyard. We're only talking about 200 bottles a year, pretty small scale. I've always wanted to have my own "tiny wine operation" even if it doesn't make money. It's a great gift. If I ever was able to make a larger quantity, I have "liquor store owner" friends that would market it around the metro Detroit area. We'll see. I have a good sized barn that I can do the processing in. I'll have to look further into the setup costs like you mentioned though. Ironically, my wife said we should try to grow bamboo somewhere, since she wants some for her garden and it seems to fetch a good price if you sell it. I haven't researched it at all tho...

    ---
    If my dirt is poor, as indicated by the weeds seen... that's actually supposedly good for blueberries & grapes. From what I've read, they both like poor soil conditions. Not sure on pumpkins though. We thought about gourds too, that may be an option.

    The Christmas trees are good because I can get them pretty cheap from some large scale nurseries north of me, and they're easy to maintain from what I've read. Good profit return down the road too.

    I'm not making a career out of any of this. It's just a good way to enjoy the property, make an extra buck or 2, and use the whole thing as a tax writeoff for my equipment.
    Massey 1648 Cab - Hustler Z Diesel 66" mower
    2007 F450 Crew - 20' PJ Equipt Trailer
    QA 6ft bucket * 5ft Custom Grapple Bucket * QA Forks * 8ft Rhino Back Blade
    7ft Rhino Box Blade * 7ft LandPride Rake * 6.5ft KK HD Box Disc * Middle buster plow
    WorkSaver SG-26 Stump Grinder * Wallenstein BX42s Chipper * 8ft Ford Brush-Mower
    7.5ft QA snow plow (still under construction)

    345 flawless hrs @ 11/5/14

  10. #60
    Gold Member SanDucerro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    335
    Location
    Yoakum, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040 - L3130 - ZD326S

    Default Re: Looking to start growing & harvesting Hay - with a Compact Tractor. Advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by TSO View Post
    That's great info. My family used to make small batch wine from a small family vineyard. We're only talking about 200 bottles a year, pretty small scale. I've always wanted to have my own "tiny wine operation" even if it doesn't make money. It's a great gift. If I ever was able to make a larger quantity, I have "liquor store owner" friends that would market it around the metro Detroit area. We'll see. I have a good sized barn that I can do the processing in. I'll have to look further into the setup costs like you mentioned though. Ironically, my wife said we should try to grow bamboo somewhere, since she wants some for her garden and it seems to fetch a good price if you sell it. I haven't researched it at all tho...

    ---
    If my dirt is poor, as indicated by the weeds seen... that's actually supposedly good for blueberries & grapes. From what I've read, they both like poor soil conditions. Not sure on pumpkins though. We thought about gourds too, that may be an option.

    The Christmas trees are good because I can get them pretty cheap from some large scale nurseries north of me, and they're easy to maintain from what I've read. Good profit return down the road too.

    I'm not making a career out of any of this. It's just a good way to enjoy the property, make an extra buck or 2, and use the whole thing as a tax writeoff for my equipment.
    Grapes are pretty forgiving when it comes to soil conditions, but they do require certain components - so have your soil checked. Also note that grapes HATE trees. So you'll need to keep your property "shade free" for the most part. They require full sun and want to be planted in an orientation that maxs out the sun exposure. Disease (Pierce mainly) is an issue in most of the country, but you may be far enough north to not worry about that.

    As far as tax write offs go - I can assure you there will be plenty if you plant grapes!

    This is a life style change for my wife and I - so we're in all the way. I've done the research and I'm comfortable with the risk, BUT - I assure you this is NOT an inexpensive solution nor would I consider it a crop to make a few extra bucks on as a part time operation.

    As a hobby? Perhaps - but I would expect to break even at best (and loose my shirt most years) if I did this as a hobby.

    As a "small winery"? I'd suggest you realy think hard about that. Christmas trees and Pumpkins don't have ATF agents inspecting your property or your state alcohol board mandating what you can and can't do. Not to mention liqour tax paperwork requirements!!!! Did you know that - in Texas at least - I have to keep track of every ounce of wine I allow my customers to sample so I can pay the state liqour tax on the amount consumed? And - since my "property" is a winery I can't allow ANY alcoholic beverage on the grounds other than the ones I create and sell (your state regs may be different - but check before you leap).

    As a full blown winery operation? Yes - you can make a living even if you're under 2000 cases a year, but you'll be doing the work yourself. As I said earlier - it's a full time job (but I like it)...
    Keith

    Kubota M7040 Kubota L3130

    San Ducerro Vineyards Yoakum, TX

Page 6 of 10 FirstFirst ... 3456789 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Peanut Planting/Harvesting on Small Acreage with Compact Tractor
    By perdurabo in forum Ag Tractors & Machinery
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-24-2010, 11:03 PM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-12-2010, 03:13 PM
  3. corn growing & harvesting
    By norgeman in forum Projects
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-28-2008, 11:25 AM
  4. Harvesting Hay
    By MikePA in forum Rural Living
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 06-27-2003, 09:16 PM
  5. Hay harvesting options for compact tractors.
    By HayDR in forum Attachments
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 03-06-2003, 10:31 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.