Anthony, your farm IS a business, there is no question about that. And in NY, even a 1/2 ton PU with a trailer can be commercial and need the DOT #. Why? Because our beloved NY Legislature adopted the USDOT regs a few years back- the whole shebang! That's why we no longer have the non-CDL class C here that used to be required to operate a truck between 18 and 26K. NY was always 7-10 years behind the rest of the country, so they just blindly adopted the regs entirely and that got us to this point. We spent more time educating farmers, landscapers, firewood haulers, etc. on what they needed to do to comply than anything else. It's not all that hard or expensive- the DOT # is free and in your case you'll only be subject to inspection when you have the trailer hooked, same as me with my 16 foot stock trailer. So 2 simple handmade signs with your DOT# and name/farm name/whatever, fire extinguisher, triangles, fuses, tie down, etc. and all the rest is just upkeep. I;m completely serious when I advise you to contact your local NYSP Barracks and to get in touch with any of the CVEU members if you have questions. I spent many, many hours at a guys farm or business going over his trucks and trailers and equipment before he ever even hit the road to get them legal. It's not hard and no one is going to be "out to get you" for asking. The NY Farm Bureau also publishes a handbook in regs, rules and exemptions that the CVEU are issued that is very helpful.
90% of the problems I saw on the road from small timers could have been prevented with a simple phone call for information. We never pounded the guys trying to do things right, but those who knew they were wrong and just played dumb got little sympathy. After you stop that guy the 3rd time in a week doing the same illegal and dangerous thing your tolerance level drops significantly. OTH, in the 6 years I spent as a NYSP DOT Trooper, I met a lot of really good folks that I still enjoy a friendship with today. Half the battle can be won with a little effort in making that first phone call.