Small scale farming and harvesting
Iíll 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. Weíre just on the edge of the Texas Hill country, so topography doesnít allow for vast flat areas to be farmed. Even so, my familyís always been small scale in the scheme of things. Itís only because my uncle owns a worn out Gleaner that it is even worth harvesting. Itís 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; Iím not planning on purchasing a new combine. Weíll 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 Iíve seen some small ones by European makers. Iíd 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? Iíve seen some recently-made peanut combines that are, but they arenít exactly small.