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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #30
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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I am a small farmer, i don't use FCC or crop insurance at all. i put in fertilizer with a small 9350 john deere hoe drill (20', 7 inch spacing), spray with a versatile 580 sprayer, knock it down with a case 4000 swather, harvest with a 550 massey. I haul it all with an old 1971 COE ford 3 ton. Made $40,000 on wheat and oats. keep it super simple, farm, with cash, treat it like a hobby, don't borrow to farm, use cash, if you have a bad year, rent it or chemo follow until you save up enough to put in a crop.
You should average about $20,000 to $60,000 a year if your good with your hands. You don't have to go big to make money, just be smart. put in canola and then get some bee hives, you could make close to $100,000 with the honey.
My neighbor has one quarter, rents it out on hay and went crazy with bees, made $60,000 and was bitching about not making enough.
I never use fungicides or desicate, i spray once in crop, and take what i get. Keep it simple, fertilize it, plant it, spray once, swath it, combine it. DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP WITH THE TECH. Farmers used to do it by hand.
My wife is so happy when i hand over a check for $20,000 dollars for a summer work, then i contract (Mech Designer) for the winter.
I could handle 1 more quarter with my equipment, anymore than i would be chasing the equipment game, and then i am on the dreaded treadmill.
I know some years i make more than my way bigger neighbors with no head aches. just have to be good with your hands, learn to weld, fix everything yourself, You don't need new parts just good ones. Most of all keep your chin up, it gets hard losing a couple of finger nails beating a piece of steel into submission. But always remember no matter how hard it gets, think about the men years ago who seeded with horses, and picked every stook by hand, and fed it into a thrashing machine, and they made money.
Be cheap as heck when farming, only buy anything that is absolutely necessary, no nice to haves. Get small bins so you don't need aeration or anything. One thing that has really helped, was my dad built a shop (years ago) that i store everything inside. nothing ever sleeps outside, makes a huge difference on maintenance big time.
you can make money if you learn how to farm without spending money, LOL.

I hope that helps. also it is nice to put in a garden, and pick berries (Saskatoon berry perogies), and mushrooms off of your own land, that helps offset bills living in the city. Morel mushrooms dried at a store. $400 dollars a pound! i pick them for free. Waiting for the wild pigs to come into the area. There is so much to gain farming that is not based on a dollar.

Also owning land makes you a 1% in the worlds view,Lol
 

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you just got the best advice from combine pilot. The only thing I'd add to that is buy the best condition machine for the lowest dollar amount you can find, don't go looking for a particular brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks for the info combine pilot, it’s givin me some hope. What acres would those numbers be based on?
 

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Was over 220 acres (1/2 section) but water took a lot of land from me, i don't know if it will be back, and the price of land in my area went full retard. I don't know how the new owners are going to hang on to it.
The quarter north is a very nice one. My dad told me a story when he was a child, probably late 1930's to early 1940's, the original pioneer (homesteader) that opened it wanted to retire. My dad remembers the old guy (extremely large man, intimidating) telling his dad, my grandfather, to just take it because it wasn't worth anything,LOL. He was a very fussy guy, it had a lot of fence lines from raising horses and cattle.
My grandfather just saw all the work to maintain it, and didn't want anything to do with it. FACEPALM. It is one of the best around. I always wanted it because i have a quarter directly west, and it is a nightmare hauling grain on a stupid sidehill to get it home.
But who knows, i still have some years, and a you never know how life will play out. i always wanted to get the farm productive enough to replace a fulltime job in the city. i want to hang on because there is still potential to grow it. We all started out with nothing, some grow faster that others, but it is something.
I think as bleak as the weather looks, and the markets suck big time, i feel in my bones there will be good days for farming, just have to weather the storms.
 

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Mine too, have bees here already just not mine. Get paid in honey that I don't use lol.
 

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I haven’t read threw this whole thread, it for what some families have for toys, campers, boats etc, you can buy a whole line of decent old small equipment and be just fine.

Have somewhat of a neighbour that farms 320ac he farms for fun, hates the lake and does this instead. Does just fine.
 

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My Neighbors canola, they seed about 700 acres of canola, my other neighbor has hives all over the place, this year will be a boom, i saw bees still at this time of year with all the late crops and wild flowers, this guy shipped a sea container full of drums full of honey in a year, the canola neighbors are super pissed, since most of it comes off of his crops with no compensation ever. Can you imagine making $60,000 off of the bank, or a seed company. I think it is theft personally, if you really think about it that is a lot to take from a person regardless how, it is his plants to profit from.
 

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A honey bee can fly something like over 2 miles foraging for pollen. So should a bee keeper pay rent to every land owner with a flower on their land in a 2 mile radius?
 

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I agree Iskn, the guys that have the hives here said 2 miles apart is pretty much the closest they will put them. In regards to the canola guys being pissed, was there any crop damage and if so was it his bees or wild bees?:rolleyes:
 
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