Small scale farming and harvesting - The Combine Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Small scale farming and harvesting

I’ll preface my questions first:
I currently farm only 33 acres of wheat in central Texas. My uncle whose place is next to mine usually does my harvesting (when applicable) with a Gleaner M series combine. The whole area is primarily ranchland, but there are a few farmers (like my family) in the area. We’re just on the edge of the Texas Hill country, so topography doesn’t allow for vast flat areas to be farmed. Even so, my family’s always been small scale in the scheme of things. It’s only because my uncle owns a worn out Gleaner that it is even worth harvesting. It’s not profitable for me to hire out my harvesting and only marginally so with access to an old worn out combine. My question is really a theoretical one, on the future of small scale farming; I’m not planning on purchasing a new combine. We’ll make do with obsolete stuff like we always have. Combines just seem to be getting bigger and bigger (and costlier and costlier) all the time.

Do US farmers have access to small plot combines, apart from resurrecting old machines? I know Kubota makes some (primarily for rice) and I’ve seen some small ones by European makers. I’d imagine importing one would be cost prohibitive (if not regulatory), not to mention the problem of procuring parts for imported machines.

Does anyone make combines that are pulled behind a tractor anymore? I’ve seen some recently-made peanut combines that are, but they aren’t exactly small.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 11:35 AM
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Re: Small scale farming and harvesting

Got some cool pictures of 7721 and 9501, the last pull type made by JD according to the post. Not exactly "small" though. And the 7721 isn't exactly new, but if you went down to a 6621, wouldn't take a huge tractor to pull it and parts should be available for a while. There are other, perhaps costly options like you mentioned, including sticking with old worn out stuff, like I do.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 03:56 PM
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Re: Small scale farming and harvesting

i think plot combines wouldnt work too well. 8' head at best, mostly 4-6 in most cases(correct me if im wrong). would be hard to outrun the fuel bill i would think. a deere #95 would be ideal, usually 1500 or less, cheap to fix, easy to run. although hard to find, a deere 4420 would be great. 10-12' head, with a few more creature comforts. there is a family around here that doesnt farm a whole lot and they have four of them. they dont get much done but its kinda cool to see all of them in a field.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:04 PM
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Re: Small scale farming and harvesting

Come up to canada. There are thousands of John deere 7721's both in use and parked in the bush. Needs a 125 horse tractor to run. Can pick 'em up for a song. But alas, you are in texas, and we are a long way away...
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