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.