Small Farm start up - Page 3 - The Combine Forum
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post #21 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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What would be your version of basic crop insurance, I’ve started to look into MASC, was planning on stopping in at the local office for further info

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post #22 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:52 AM
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Go for it. If you have low payments/rent on the 80 start there. One thing that I will pass on to you by a long passed away farmer is "If you can't make money on 80ac, what makes you think you can make money on 800 or 8000?" Are you going to be able to make a living on 80ac-no, unless you grow pot. Then you are set for life one way or the other lol. All BS aside, you mentioned it as a hobby so your time is free. I do do spraying for a few hobby farms(<200ac) and they do good enough to cover the farm expenses and give them the nostalgia you mentioned, nothing wrong with that. Also think of it this way, all of my hobbies cost me money and have next to zero chance of getting anything back. At least with hobby farming you have a chance of getting some money back. One last thing if you choose to go ahead. Your new boss, mother nature has been a real bitch the last few years. Something to keep in mind

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post #23 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 01:29 AM
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I say have at it. I would say you have the right attitude, by having accepted that you won't make much money at it, that there alone is half the battle. I have seen several people get a small piece of land and think they will the fairy tale dream and live off it, only to quit a couple years later because there was no money in it. There are advantages to being a small farmer. You can try more niche markets or grow crops that larger farms don't have the time for or don't want to mess around with. Quality control is easier for something like that on a small farm. There is nothing more rewarding than farming, no matter the size.

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post #24 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by truempty2 View Post
What would be your version of basic crop insurance, Iíve started to look into MASC, was planning on stopping in at the local office for further info
My advise would be to grow low input crops the first few years like Oats or soybeans. I have land in the south east and Canola can be a train wreck if mother nature turns on you. On 400 acres of canola if you all of a sudden lost 100 dollars an acre or more , it would take many years to recover. I am not saying to cheap out on inputs but know your costs well. Oats and soybeans are probably the only two crops with MASC that will come close to covering your crop payments.
crop production cost estimates
wheat 320 dollars acre
oats 231
canola 338
soybeans 301


This includes land rent and fixed costs but of course does not include buying equipment, or buying 5000-6000 dollar an acre land.!
Good luck
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post #25 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:04 AM
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sounds like you are about where i was a decade ago. started renting a few hundred acres from a neighbor, which turned into about 750 for a year or two. then bought the place where i live now but settled back to about 500ac or so. start off with some cheap iron easy to wrench on iron and your off to the races. My .02$ of advice though: get crop insurance and get yourself the interest free cash advance on it and try to go over that spendng on inputs. no sure if it works differently in sw man than in ontario but i can use pretty much that to pay for most of my input. other than that, dive in and keep your chin up, you'll have good years bad years and worse years but there is nothing i would rather be doing
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post #26 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:22 AM
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Go for it. You sound like your thinking this through. Get started and grow from there. Base hit can win the ball game the same as a home run. I farm 4-500 ac and small mobile seed cleaning on the side, wife doesn't work off the farm and we manage to get by fine. Live within your means.
Grow a few acres each year for next years seed when you can and save on cost. I run older well maintained equipment. Gets the crop in and off the fields.
I'm literally surrounded by bigger farmers (millionaires that made their money in other professions) who have all the latest and greatest of anything, but I wouldn't say they enjoy life anymore then we do. Seem to always be working, running in circles trying to get things done.
One thing for sure I've learned from cleaning on many farms, of many sizes, is that no two farmers do things the same way and we all think our way is the right way. But what I like to do is listen to what they have to say and learn, and try some of their ideas.
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post #27 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 11:56 AM
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Excellent points by Gleaner. Try it out first. Don't get yourself in so deep that if you hate it you are stuck with it. Life is too short to be PO'd all the time because of something that was supposed to be a "hobby" that you can't get out of.
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post #28 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 02:03 PM
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In the area of Iowa I am from (not far from cptusa) today pretty much every family that I grew up with has at least one person who farms the family farm but it is not large enough to live on so they also have a full-time job in town. They do fine: the small farm makes enough to pay the farm expenses and slowly build up a line of used machinery. From what I have read here, the Canadian farm economy should, at the least, do as well for you.

You are doing it exactly the right way: investigating what it looks like financially, and as long as you keep the "pencil to the paper" so you don't get in over your head, from what you write, you will enjoy it immensely, and you will do fine.
Your statements that you think your job is flexible enough for you to do harvest is huge: as you must know, hiring someone else to harvest your crop when it is ready is usually pretty much impossible. Keep the pencil working, but my hunch is that for the amount of acres you will start with you may be better off hiring someone to seed and spray for awhile.
Keep the attitude you have now and it will all workout, and you will be thankful you "took the plunge."
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post #29 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by truempty2 View Post
What would be your version of basic crop insurance, I’ve started to look into MASC, was planning on stopping in at the local office for further info
You said you were SE MB so Luc at the St Pierre office can be a good source of info. If I remember correct, if you talk dollars and cents, either the 50% coverage or the 80% historically are the best bang for the buck, with I think the 80% better than the 50% (As tho using crop insurance makes any dollars or cents) But Luc can help you.
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post #30 of 102 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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My initial thoughts are to buy a older combine and grain truck, custom seeding, spraying and tillage. I hope to find a decent tractor and implements but not sure if I want to dive in that deep in the first year. Grain would hopefully go straight to market. The input guys that I have been talking to have been pretty good, are they all pretty close in price or does it pay off to shop around ?

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