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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More

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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-29-2012 12:49:03
68.114.237.14



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Acreage, next year, for the horse farm I have been making hay for. I have a good idea about how a good majority of the work gets done through an ok amount of personal experience, a good amount of research & a life-long interest. But, I haven't had to tackle much of the buisness end of things or be responsible for large acreage. Well, to me it's a big jump going from 2.25 acres to a minimum of 28, maximum of about 65 - 70. No, not that I'm a bad judge of land, I just don't know any exact numbers yet, due to a couple of adjoining tillable parcels owned by other people that may rent their land to the horse farm. It also needs to be measured off. I'll be able to fill in the details when I get them.

I'm also running on a t-i-gh-t budget. It's one of the reasons why I would like to operate a little extra land.

Machinery requirements are another thing on my mind. Need to make sure I'm properly equiped. My running tractors are two Farmall H's, one with a narrow front & loader, the other has a wide front, a Farmall 400 & a Cub that needs minor repairs. I would like to put a turbo on the 400 at some point. It might help the tillage problems that I'll bring up here in a minute. Just wanted to point out that I do realize the extra power is capable of turning my tractor into a pile of parts if the machine being worked is to big.

For tillage, I have a 2-14 Oliver plow, a 10' Krause disc, a 9' IH 401 spring tooth, a 7' IH trailing rotary hoe & a cultivator for the Cub. My first concern is my plow. Isn't it awful small for all that acreage? I do have plenty of time on my hands, but the ladys won't have any money left if I'm out there for 10 years plowing 28" at a time. I've thought about upgrading to a 4-14 plow or a 10' chisel plow. The local IH dealer/owner did indicate that my 400 would be fine with a four bottom provided I can steer clear of any clay & I wouldn't be able to pull the chisel fart enough to do any good. Alas, the clay that you find around here is like 70 year old hard axle grease with a little bit of sand mixed in. A well ballasted 400 with a chisel plow would find every wet & sticky spot on the property the hard way. This is where I'd like to know if a turbo on the 400 would pull me through or make my tractor scrap. Would a 3-16 plow on the 400 with no turbo be a waste of fuel? Should I opt to have two H's with 2-14s? Host a plow day for the local club? A part of me wants to abandon the plow completely in favor of something that will give me a near table-top flat surface. No more furrows, hummocks, ruts, etc. But, what kind of tillage tool will do that, especially with 55 hp.?

Seeding will be done with an IH #5 endgate (broadcast) seeder, followed by the rotary hoe in a separate pass. It probably is not the intended use of the rotary hoe, but I don't own a land packer. It's the method I used to put in my pasture mix & it worked great. If by chance you guys think I should roll the field after broadcasting the seed, please speak up. I also have a 14x7 grain drill that's on wood wheels. It's about 90% there. I would feel better about using it if I could find pneumatic wheels. I do have an IH 230 two-row planter. Needs a lot of work, though. Not sure if I'm planting any corn. It all depends on the verdict about mixing rations for them.

Harvesting of the cover crop could be done by binder & thresher, as I have both. I'm not relying on that idea & have a small SP combine I'm looking into. The binder is ready to go, the thresher needs a bit of work & a few minor parts. I don't have anything to harvest corn except the chopper (horses don't eat corn silage, do they?). Should be able to find a corn head for the combine, provided I get it & need one.

Hay tools are an IH 120 7' sickle mower that bolts onto my wide front H & #2A rubber-on-rubber hay conditioner, an IHC rake/tedder on steel, a NH 144 hay inverter, an IH 47 baler with a #10 thrower that still needs to be attached, 1 throw wagon & 3 flat racks. Wouldn't mind a second mower-conditioner rig like what I have. It would be helpful as a backup or a second machine to help knock the hay down faster.

The rest of the stuff is a Hardi ES-50 sprayer with a 14' boom, NI 217 single beater spreader on a 213 box & a Gehl 188 Self Propelled Chop King with 3RN corn head only. The chopper needs a few repairs & I'm still looking for a hay head.

The details about soil type, conditions, etc., are waiting until I am 100% certain that I will be operating the land. I can tell you there is a small creek that runs through the big field & there's currently ethanol corn on the ground that needs to be plowed. I'm not that good at identifying soil types yet. If the soil is the same as everything else around, it's sand, rocks, clay & not always in that order. As mentioned before, if I've left out a detail, please ask.

A grass mix with or without a legume will take up a majority of the acreage. The rest depends on ration demands. There could be the option of rotational crops or every last inch could be pasture if we don't have to mix feed. I don't know how economical it would be, but I would like to double or over-seed the grass mix. I love my stand & that's exactly what I did to get it. It's been five years & there's barely a handful of weeds in it, too. Even after one manure application. Not sure what the tonnage is per acre, but I avarage about 230 tight 14"x18"x36" small squares on my 2 acre piece. Oh, oats will be the cover crop.

Before I forget, there's some interest in mixing their own vitamin/mineral/whatever rations for the horses. I don't have a problem with this idea. A Gehl 65MX with fiberglass tank has been on my wish list for a while & any excuse to use a collected machine is usually a good one. No, I'm not worried about finding parts for that old mixer. I do have a problem with not knowing much about blending what I need, compounded with the issue of sourcing all of this um... stuff the horses need. Half the stuff is unheard of, by me, the rest sounds awful expensive. One would think with all of the stuff thats in these pellets, horses founded GNC!! How else could they have survived all these millennium? All humor aside, is it economically feasable to mix our own rations? There's 20 horses at the farm & if we mix up an extra batch or two & sell it, that'd be great. If anyone wants to know what's in the pellets, just ask. I'll have to scan the tags & post them

And lastly (at least for this post), how do I charge for all of this? There can certainly be enough money & hay to go around & make everyone happy if it is done right. Should I charge on the half for the cut, rake & bale job & everything else is hourly? They require either 2000 or 3000 bales per annum. The rest is sale-able.

Ok, I think that's everything for now.

Many thanks in advance!

My apologies if it was a hard read. I'm trying to compose my notes into something that makes sense to y'all.

Mike
This post was edited by Crazy Red Power in SE-WI at 09:50:45 07/30/12.

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Teddy (punchie)

08-04-2012 01:22:59
74.98.58.35



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
HI Mike

While I have some time here's a little more information.

I use an Oliver radex 2 bottom 16" plows for years now behind a WD Allis and or an H.

I use a NH 477 Haybine Used a NewIdea number 30 sickle mower for years.

This year By far was some of the best hay, cut 725 Bales in 1.5 hours, with D-19 Allis and the 477 haybine.

Using the sickle mower you will need about 5-6 more hours of drying time. But I think they make a little better hay. I know allot of guys that don't set the rolls on the haybines, they wring there hay too much when cutting it.

Need to get a good old grain drill for seeding steel or wood wheels ok as long as sound and useable< I still use an old oliver 46 graindrill on steel.

Some type of packer if you plan on aflafla. Need a good bed to seed aflafla.

Cost of planting a new hay field with aflafla in pricy. Seed, fuel, time, fertilizer, lime, can be hard to make ends meet. Takes me and average of three years to start to make good money from a hay field. But we are only getting about $3.00 a bale, If I could get around $4.00 I could just about do it full time a make money.

Hay normally makes one to two good cuttings and up 2 more so so cuttings. I average around 5-7 tons per acre. But work stops me from getting first done on time. I normally can't start until 10-15 of June and should start 2nd or third week of May.

One hay field I planted just to try was weeds and small trees, a wetter mid summer, I disked it mowed it let it sit about a month mowed and disked again two weeks later disked it again and packed it and than planted Aflafla and Timothy, work out just a well as plow ground. Like I said it had small trees in it but they are all gone now , some years year later. We did fine a few small trunk pieces in the field, had to chainsaw a few trees, about an acre of over ground field that was not cut or planted for so 10 years or so. .

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Teddy (punchie)

08-02-2012 03:51:22
74.98.58.35



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
HI Mike

Look up custom rates online and see what others are charging. In PA If I understand thing there are only about 35 farmers that take a few minutes to fill out the papers.

If time to bale is an issue plant a different type that is long or shorter. One timothy I plant, yields a huge first cutting, in a Aflafla / Timothy Mix This year was 162/acre on 5.5 acre field and 183/ acre on a 3.75 acre field. these are 3 year old fields and a normal for me for age is 7-9 years if you feed it good and watch cutting at wrong moon signs etc.

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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

08-02-2012 21:25:07
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Teddy (punchie), 08-02-2012 03:51:22  
Hi Teddy,

I forgot all about early & late maturity grasses & such (yeah, Im' still a little green when it comes to seed selection & planting. :v)) That is going to come in very handy with all of that acreage & only 7' of cut. I am getting better at cutting by the moons. It seems if you blend the foresight of the Almanac with the "instant" forecast from the NWS, one can make good dry hay.

I don't know if the rates apply to "antique" custom work, but I do know a plow pulled consumes fuel regardless. Guess I'll set a rate, maybe based on an avarage of rates from around the area, see how much gas the tractor sucks & how long the whole thing takes & adjust if necessary.

Thanks,
Mike

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Erik Ks farmer

07-31-2012 16:35:15
199.192.211.59



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
a jd van brunt will bring about $350 here. I gave $400 for a 500 IH with good fert boxes last fall.



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johndeere720diesel

07-31-2012 14:54:27
64.135.196.20



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
Looks like a good plow if that's what you want I'd buy it. I have a 4btm fasthitch plow for my 560 works good



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HoosierHog

07-30-2012 22:17:39
69.130.186.216



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
My 2 cents - Keep the IH H with loader sell the other keep the 400 sell the cub sell the hay inverter, cycle mower, and the conditioner. Sell the corn planter and the 2-14 plow. Buy a IH 560,706 ,806 2500-3500$. All can handle a 4 bottom plow an 12ft plus discs and field cultivators all can handle the job. Id buy a mower conditioner like a NH 479 1000-1500$, I'd buy a small wheat drill with grass seeder 150-300$ I'd buy a 3-16 or bigger plow. Don't worry about growing grains (corn or beans) for horses it's easier to buy in bulk pre mixed from the feed mill. Also keep in mind that when the Farmall H was biult it was considered a 160 acre tractor you can use what you have and upgrade as you go.

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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

08-01-2012 14:46:20
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to HoosierHog, 07-30-2012 22:17:39  
Why sell the inverter? It makes drier, fluffier windrows than my rake could.

Just curious,
Mike



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Hippie1st

07-31-2012 16:31:41
71.66.235.150



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to HoosierHog, 07-30-2012 22:17:39  
H,hog
Id like more info on a wheat drill w/grass seeder. For $150 to $350.
Not try to be smart, Id like to buy one. Make,
Model, Size.
Thks
Hippie



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eastfork

07-30-2012 15:31:59
69.57.88.15



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
With the equipment you got, you could easily do 5 acre parcels in rotation. Example 20 acres would be 4 fields set up on a 4 year rotation or something like that. The only thing is if you have enough time, each pass would take a couple of days. I would make sure though that you make enough money each year to buy one newer piece of equipment. As far as growing grain, I would just hire it done like someone mentioned when she's ready its time to go! Also I have never heard of making a feed ration for horses. I just give 'em hay and put out a mineral block. Why make more work? If you get behind on baling the hay you could probably hire someone with a round baler. I use round bales for my horses, its a whole lot easier. I'm not sure about your question of what to charge. If its for putting up hay on someone elses land the going rate is usually the land owner gets half the bales then you buy them back or at least thats what I've done in the past. FYI, if I were you I would looking for a 9ft haybine long before a new tractor. If you plan on hay as the major money maker thats where you need to invest in equipment. Think of it as how much more money could you make or time saved with a certain piece of equipment.

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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

08-01-2012 14:42:41
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to eastfork, 07-30-2012 15:31:59  
I looked at an areal view of the land & it's not too bad. The largest field is a hair over 10 acres, the smallest is 2. Shouldn't be so bad with 3-16's & I have plenty of time to do it in. May even split that 10 in two.

Not sure where I'm going to hire a combine from, yet. The guy that does custom work around here is the same one that's losing out on the acreage on the horse farm. There's a few custom large square balers in the area, but no rounds. Good thing I have a year yet.

I don't understand the rations, either. There's a fiber pellet & a forage balancer they're currently buying to suppliment the hay. There are more ingredients between the two than there are chemicals in my pack of Camels. Just might leave the mixing alone & just buy the old Gehl mixer for the collection.

A larger haybine is now up to fourth on the "To Get" list.

Thanks,
Mike

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GordoSD

07-29-2012 20:02:44
64.33.250.162



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
Build a business plan. Start with best . great annual hay yield. 5 T per acre, 200 dollars a ton? Dairy quality alfalfa. just figure your best gross. Shoot for that. Then figure your input costs per year for 5 years. Now you have a number you can look at for equipment cost. Looking at what you have I would say dump ALL of it and start new. You don't need any plows. You need good tractor a large disc, a 12 wheel rake, and a good NH BR 780 Baler, A 3/4 T truck and a flatbed trailer. 966 IH diesel 7k Rake 6K Baler 10K Rent a seeder.? Truck (you have?) Trailer 5k

Sell your junk (-3k)

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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-30-2012 09:41:03
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to GordoSD, 07-29-2012 20:02:44  
Believe me Gordo, if I currently had the scratch for all of that equipment (the 966 would have to be a new McCormick, though), I'd have it. It's certainly becomming more of a reality as I'm beginning to get a bit older & my back injury dictates that I should save up to mechanize & keep all my loads hands-off. I'd keep the "junk" for the tiny fields & to keep the collection interesting. :v)

Not having a truck sucks. Only way to put it. I had a truck, but as I went over it, it had the potential to be an outdated gas-sucking money pit. So, I rid myself of it in favor of a money pit I can at least cut my hay with. Lol!

As for the top dollar hay, that will have to wait, too. I want that here on the family farm where I can keep a close eye on it. The current renter has a ways to go on his lease, yet. I also have to practice & perfect my putt before I can operate the farm here. Working with old equipment for a horse farm is just what I need to hoan my (temperment) skills. There's this feeling I'm going to be talking to the Good Lord quite a bit.

Could you give me an idea of what a good framework would be for a buisness plan?

Thanks,
Mike

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paul

07-30-2012 11:56:42
76.77.197.102



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-30-2012 09:41:03  
List out your expenses and your incomes ifd this were a normal year, project them out 5-10 years, and what items you will need to replace & modernize. Will you be expanding, will you improve your product so it fetches more, etc.

Have a nest egg set aside for when the wheels fall off.ombine had a hyd control segment (2 lb hunk of iron with holes in it) go bad during bean harvest a couple years ago. Cost $2500 to get going again. Not much else to do, like hay, beans you either harvest or watch it devalue rapidly when it's ready to go.....

And that last bit is the trouble you will have with nickle and diming this stuff. Works fine when you are doing your own 5 acres and having fun; but when you have real money invested, and others depending on you to get the job donre, your old stuff is gonna let you down and let them down and someone is going to lose money.

So you gotta get your ducks in a row whebn you start renting or custom farming for others. The costs build up real quick.

--->Paul

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Erik Ks farmer

07-29-2012 18:55:33
199.192.211.59



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
Red if I were in your shoes, I would walk away from that deal. Once you get into it you're going to be at their beck and call. Right now you have machinery that works for you and is paid for and you enjoy what you are doing. That is not a bad place to be...believe me I know the other realm all too well this year.



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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-30-2012 09:19:16
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Erik Ks farmer, 07-29-2012 18:55:33  
Erik, the best I can tell you is, I'm curious as to how a year with them turns out. And... if curiosity killed the cat & I die trying next year, I can at least say I've lived up to that point.

Not too worried, yet, about being at their beck and call. Though it's on my mind as the plans get made for next year. Just like anticipating the worst. If the plan is a failure, I can always go back to what I'm doing.

Thanks,
Mike

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paul

07-29-2012 13:57:28
76.77.197.102



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 12:49:03  
Us corn/bean farmers might have some ideas but not sure it relates so well to what you are doing.

It sounds like you are mostly hay farming, with a little grain just to break up the rotation now and then?

If you stay under 25 acres sounds like your equipment will work fine. Your 55hp tractor should pull 3-14 or 3-16 pretty good.

If you get over 50 acres, I'd want a bigger pony, not just a turbo, but a bigger pony with a higher clearance tillage tool.

Harvesting grain, I'd want a fella with a real combine in the wings I could call & be done with it if need be, harvesting can get _Real_ expensive when bad weather is coming and the old small stuff 'needs a little work'.

--->Paul

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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-29-2012 23:07:03
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to paul, 07-29-2012 13:57:28  
Someone with a backup combine is a great idea. I'll have to start looking around & check out my options.

Now that I think of it, a turbo is only an increase in power, not weight. Glad you got me to thinkin' about that.

A bigger pony would certainly be something to save up for. Don't have the scratch for anything decent right now. I should have mentioned I'm on a very tight budget.

What type of high clearance tillage tool would you reccommend? I'm not too savvy on contemporary tillage equipment.

Yep, hay farming. About 15 acres will be in rotation. The rest will be semi-permanent pasture mix.

The 400 with a 3-14 or 3-16 plow sounds like it might not be a bad idea. I'll have to find another Oliver.


Mike

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jstalk

07-31-2012 05:26:05
70.60.1.22



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 23:07:03  
400 will pull 4 14's , lose the chisel thought. get a 10' disc and harrow, and get a haybine of some sort, sickle bar and all the extra trips arent worth it, an H might be a 160 acre tractor but you'll be glad youre not doing that much believe me.



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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-31-2012 11:04:17
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to jstalk, 07-31-2012 05:26:05  
Yeah, I think I'll worry about a chisel plow when I get a bigger tractor. The disc I have, but a haybine is close to the top on the shopping list. I wouldn't turn down a second sickle mower & conditioner setup either. The ones like what I use are run in tandem. It IS more grease fittings, tires, etc. but I'm used to using this setup. When I move up to a windrower, it's going to have 14' of cutterbar, a cab & air, I assure you. :v) Probably a cab on the next tractor, too!

Mike

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paul

07-30-2012 07:46:06
66.44.133.112



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-29-2012 23:07:03  
In general, the newer a plow (or shisel plow, or field cultivator, etc) the farther apart the bottoms will be, the higher up the main beam will be. This allows morethrash (cornstalks, straw, etc) to pass through the machine without plugging up. Likewise, a 16 inch bottom plow will allow more trash to pass through than a 12 inch plow.....

--->Paul



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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-30-2012 09:48:34
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to paul, 07-30-2012 07:46:06  
I've been looking at the plow (link below) for a while. It might be the right size for the 400, but I see what you mean by clearance under the beam. There isn't much there. Also, if four bottoms are too many for the soil at the horse farm, couldn't I just take the last bottom off? Or does it not work that way with those older plows?

Mike

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paul

07-30-2012 11:48:40
76.77.197.102



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to Crazy Red Power in SE-WI, 07-30-2012 09:48:34  
In my soil, an 85+ hp tractor got worn out fast pulling a 4-16 plow. I now run a 140hp tractor on a 4-18 plow, and that seems to be a good match.

Obviously I have kinda tough soils. :)

You need to be able to move the tailwheel up to be behind the 3rd bottom if you drop one off. Without looking too close or knowing much, it appears that would be possible?

--->Paul



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Crazy Red Power in SE-WI

07-31-2012 10:45:46
68.114.237.14



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 Re: Need Advice: I Have An Opportunity To Operate More in reply to paul, 07-30-2012 11:48:40  
A-ha! I think I found one (link below), but I may have to act fast. The brochure I have on it says there's 21" fore & aft clearance & 27" from backbone to share. Plenty of room for 10" plowing. Sounds like just what I'm looking for. The one in the link below seems to have been dropped on it's tail wheel & I don't think a new lift rod is going to be easy to find.

Mike

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