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  1. #1
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    Default Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Hey guys, I'm pretty new to the farm game. I have a 4 acre spot I'd like to plant a few things on, mostly whatever's paying at the time. I am searching for a tractor that will serve my needs, something around the 32-40HP range.

    Few things first: Yes, I do know how to operate a tractor, I used to run one with a loader all the time, but never to farm.
    Yes, I do know the basics of planting/harvesting.
    No, I do not know anything above that.
    Yes, I am crazy.

    So I'm looking hard at a 38HP 2WD JD 1050, but I have no idea how big an implement it can handle.

    Also, this 1050 I'm looking at has a subframe mounted hoe, how difficult is it to remove and attach? (That's a big question I have)

    How big of a Disk can it pull? What about a Grading Blade?

    Do they make a seeder that tills and seeds at the same time? If so, can this HP range pull it?

    Now, I don't have a harvester nor do I plan on buying one for a 4 acre field, so any suggestions on how to pull the crop in would be helpful as well.

    Anything else you might be willing to educate me on would be appreciated as well, and I'll try to answer any additional info you guys need.

  2. #2
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Quote Originally Posted by CautiousCory View Post
    Hey guys, I'm pretty new to the farm game. I have a 4 acre spot I'd like to plant a few things on, mostly whatever's paying at the time. I am searching for a tractor that will serve my needs, something around the 32-40HP range.

    Now, I don't have a harvester nor do I plan on buying one for a 4 acre field, so any suggestions on how to pull the crop in would be helpful as well.

    Anything else you might be willing to educate me on would be appreciated as well, and I'll try to answer any additional info you guys need.
    First things first.

    Let's think about the potential for crops that are going to be paying at the time. Do you mean enterprises that will cover your total cost (variable + fixed) and provide a profit on four acres? If so, forget about producing commodities (field corn, soybeans, wheat, etc.).

    Specialty/niche crops may be profitable, but are labor- and management-intensive, require access to suitable markets, and require savvy marketing. Successful marketing of these crops will require developing relationships with customers over time.

    In my opinion, you should think about potential crops first, then think about their respective equipment requirements.

    Buying equipment and then thinking about potential crops is putting the cart before the horse.

    Steve
    Last edited by smstonypoint; 02-01-2013 at 06:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Specialty/niche crops may be profitable, but are labor- and management-intensive, require access to suitable markets, and require savvy marketing. Successful marketing of these crops will require developing relationships with customers over time.

    In my opinion, you should think about potential crops first, then think about their respective equipment requirements.

    Buying equipment and then thinking about potential crops is putting the cart before the horse.

    Steve
    I'm aware that 4 acres is hardly enough to reach a profit, however I'm simply after keeping the cost of this "hobby" down. Plus I was thinking that after learning more about it and gaining a little experience, I may decide to expand to the 40 acre pasture I currently have being logged. (I am making a decent penny on the logs, pretty happy about that). If I decide to expand to 40 acres, I'd like to have relevant experience. So I'm going to stick with grain and or soybeans. Mostly soybean.

    I do really appreciate the advice, thank you and keep it coming.

  4. #4
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Quote Originally Posted by CautiousCory View Post
    I'm aware that 4 acres is hardly enough to reach a profit, however I'm simply after keeping the cost of this "hobby" down. Plus I was thinking that after learning more about it and gaining a little experience, I may decide to expand to the 40 acre pasture I currently have being logged. (I am making a decent penny on the logs, pretty happy about that). If I decide to expand to 40 acres, I'd like to have relevant experience. So I'm going to stick with grain and or soybeans. Mostly soybean.

    I do really appreciate the advice, thank you and keep it coming.
    Cory,

    I don't want to seem like a party-pooper, but given the fact that you don't own any equipment and would have to have stumps cleaned from the additional 40 acres, planning on growing soybeans and/or grains with your own equipment on 44 acres isn't going to keep the cost of your hobby down -- it's going to increase the cost.

    Right now, other than land acquisition, all of your costs of producing soybeans/grains are variable. From ECON 101, if your average variable costs ($/bushel) are greater than the unit price of your output ($/bushel), you minimize losses by not producing at all.

    If you pencil out the costs of acquiring all of the equipment, clearing the stumps, etc., I suggest that you will find that growing soybeans and/or grains on 44 acres is going to be an expensive proposition.

    Take a look at the soybean and grain enterprise budgets and associated spreadsheets here: Enterprise Budgets : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina. You can modify the spreadsheets to reflect your proposed equipment complement and size of operation (acres).

    Steve

    PS. I lived in Culpepper (on the Sperryville Pike) for 18 months in the early 1970s -- beautiful country. Does your property have Davidson red clay loam soil?
    Last edited by smstonypoint; 02-01-2013 at 10:32 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Quote Originally Posted by smstonypoint View Post
    PS. I lived in Culpepper (on the Sperryville Pike) for 18 months in the early 1970s -- beautiful country. Does your property have Davidson red clay loam soil?
    I have no idea the scientific name for the soil, but yes there is a bit of clay in the 40 acre section. The 4 acre section is unnamed dirt brought in when the construction of my house began, I had them level out the remainder and it just happens to be the 4 acre section I plan to plant. I was planning on having it tested.

    But I live off of Dutch hollow Rd, I believe it's on the other side of the county.

    Also, the stumps are being removed in the process. The guys are bringing the tree and stump down as a whole and burning the stumps in piles. Pretty impressive operation.

    Anyway, like I said before, I'm in this for the love of farming, not the money. The start up costs do not worry me in the least. I would like to have equipment that will produce more than they cost to run, but that's long term. I just need to know what I need to get started.

    I've been doing some research and learned quite a bit, but could use some reinforcement.

    It appears that I shouldn't try to pull anything above an 8 ft disk with a 38HP tractor, is this true?

  6. #6
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Good luck
    Murph ------------

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    Quote Originally Posted by CautiousCory View Post
    Hey guys, I'm pretty new to the farm game. I have a 4 acre spot I'd like to plant a few things on, mostly whatever's paying at the time. I am searching for a tractor that will serve my needs, something around the 32-40HP range.

    Few things first: Yes, I do know how to operate a tractor, I used to run one with a loader all the time, but never to farm.
    Yes, I do know the basics of planting/harvesting.
    No, I do not know anything above that.
    Yes, I am crazy.

    So I'm looking hard at a 38HP 2WD JD 1050, but I have no idea how big an implement it can handle.

    Also, this 1050 I'm looking at has a subframe mounted hoe, how difficult is it to remove and attach? (That's a big question I have)

    How big of a Disk can it pull? What about a Grading Blade?

    Do they make a seeder that tills and seeds at the same time? If so, can this HP range pull it?

    Now, I don't have a harvester nor do I plan on buying one for a 4 acre field, so any suggestions on how to pull the crop in would be helpful as well.

    Anything else you might be willing to educate me on would be appreciated as well, and I'll try to answer any additional info you guys need.
    4 acres? Think strawberries if you're trying to make money on that small plot.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member redfarmer's Avatar
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    Default

    I think you would want a four wheel drive tractor. The you can run with less ballast and therefore less soil compaction

  9. #9
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Matching Implements and tasks to tractor size

    I think you would be well served to come up with a plan that is feasable and to your liking before buying equipment. I agree with smstonypoint in that farming 40 acres will cost you money rather than make you money. I think most of us would jump at the chance to actually make a profit on 40 acres if it were viable. On a small acreage truck farming can work if you have some experience and a market for produce but it is alot of work.

    What I see most people do with small acreages is to work to improve their lot by making improvements to the property over time. That is to put in pastures, building good fences, build and smooth access roads or trails ie. develop the property's potential. There always seems to be something that needs to be done or improved, we keep busy with that. Tractors and the right equipment can make a lot of these jobs much easier to do and in most cases smaller equipment will work given enough time and patience. If you have an interest in tlbs' and need a backhoe I think a used Deere 110 or kubota L45 would be about right for your uses. Both of these machines can handle the cosmetic improvement on 40 acres given enough time. There are other good brands and models to consider but I own a 110 and am familiar with these two models and their capabilities.

    If you really want to farm and have enough money to support the habit then look for larger tractors around 75hp. I doubt it will pay off and the tools implements aren't cheap either.

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