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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any room for a small timer in this forum? I've been reading a lot in here over the last few days, great stuff, but the posters all seem to be huge operators.

I'm looking for advice on how to grow and how to get there. I'm a part time farmer with about 250 acres under management. I'm starting to take the farm over from Dad, and in the meantime my sister (only other child) wants "bought out". My first "major" investment personally to the farm was a 4420 combine, 4 row corn head, 13ft platform. It is a "corn-bean-grain" combine according to the book and labeling, and I've already used it for all 3. It had 2000 engine hours on it, no idea about sep hrs. I've had some repair issues, but not bad yet. I'm located North of what might be called mid-Michigan. If you get your butt in the field and not get stuck, you can grow 95 day corn. I went this route with the combine to chase the ethanol induced corn prices.

What are the thoughts on this machine? How do you guys decide on debt load for new land, or should I just rent? I'm hoping to maybe get a land contract with a balloon payment so I can start paying small amounts, and hopefully build up some operating funds, then have a down payment to finance the land conventionally.

Any thoughts on growth rate, machinery advice, etc. would help. I'm in the market for a 4wd (fwa) All around work horse tractor for tillage and corn chopping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. Sorry for jumping to conclusions on no small guys, just see lots of posts about guys 350hp tractors being too small.

Running that 4420 puts a nice smile on my face. What a sweet sounding engine! Our last combine was a 40EB! Before that a 25 pull type, so it's quite a change. I too am half on the look out for a nice 6620 to get the hydro and hopefully rear wheel assist.

Rumor has it there is a farmer retiring in a couple of years that would open up 70 acres practically next door to me, 40 he owns and 30 he rents form next door neighbor. That would be a nice increase to me, and nice square tiled fields.

Ken, I'll email you in a little while. Seriously considering an upgrade to tractor and tillage, just need to not have a drought this year!

Got some pics of the 40EB just before it was sold if anybody wants a look. Interesting, for an EB it did a good clean job on oats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Combiness, you've got to be a fascinating woman.

Clean under the cab, OK so what exactly do you mean. Where the debris builds up on top of the feeder house and such? Another combine specific question, how imortant is the curtain inside between where the blower air comes in and the seives start. I'm thinking that helps prevent grain from blowing over the chaffers. So you have to slow the fan down, so you likely to get more crap in the tailings elevator??? Anyway, there isn't much left of mine...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
snj,

I'm sure I'm calling it the wrong exact thing in combine lingo world. But if you take one of the square inspection covers off right in the middle of the machine, there's one on each side of mine, and look towards the rear, there's a drape/curtain/canvas hanging from the top across the, uh tunnel? Check your's out, maybe it's wore out too and you didn't know and it didn't matter!

redsteel, I think you're right about land prices, though the owner is known to be a little money hungry, might not be patient enough to rent to me. It would be hard to refuse since it's so close by, if he'd work with me at all.

ebert, 1400 acres would qualify as huge in my neck of the woods, but I understand what you're saying in your area. We do have one huge company farm around here that would qualify as huge anywhere, but 1000 acre crop guys are big here, and there's some big dairy farms maybe 800 - 1000. We're a little too far north for crops, but we do it anyway. Soil varies a LOT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, sounds like I'm doing OK on my choice of combine to most of you! Like the pictures of the 4420 above. My corn head looks a little straighter, but my unloading auger is probably the next thing to be redone. It pushed the bearing out of the end, it's patched and functional, but not great.

Worst repair was the chaffer frame. $1200 part! Ouch! I'd seen the patch the guy had on it, so I knew I had it coming, but he assured me he'd fixed it a long time ago and I wouldn't have trouble. I didn't believe it and took the combine anyway 'cuz the rest looked good. His patch was using sheet metal screws for Pete's sake. But, it broke in another spot instead!

So, the unloading auger seems wore, like too small diameter to where the tube doesn't want to come up on the driver. What's the best way to fix this? New auger flighting? An insert in the bottom end of the outer housing? I just wrap a string around it to lift it up, swing it in place, and pull the string out. Had to have a long enough string to reach the swing out valve in the cab!

Any thoughts on my worn out canvas inside?
 
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