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Discussion Forum

Thinking about farming....advise

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smokedoff

08-15-2012 14:17:13
174.254.131.176



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This post was edited by smokedoff at 06:22:14 08/16/12.




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smokedoff

08-19-2012 17:57:00
72.10.93.16



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
I am mechanically inclined, and do enjoy working on equipment. We have always had to do our own mechanizing also, just not enough time or patience to let someone else work on our stuff. I think you are right, make good decisions on the equipment I buy, spend money in the right places, and get equipment to get the job done and see where it goes.

Anyway, thanks for the insight....My wife is scheduled to be induced tomorrow, her due date was last friday, so we will be busy with our new (first) baby this week. I may be away but will keep you informed on how everything progresses with the farm

Thanks! Great Site!

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smokedoff

08-16-2012 17:39:22
209.82.191.143



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
we are on the same page, paul, with the water and the equipment.

pivots are everywhere here, i know a FEW farmers that only plant what they can water, everything else they let go or maybe put in hay or such.



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WyoDave

08-16-2012 19:10:37
75.228.254.97



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 17:39:22  
I can't comment on how your farming will work. Put a pencil to it, and if it looks good, and you want to do it, then go for it.

I will say, a pivot on 35 acres might be hard to justify, depending on what you grow under it. The initial purchase of a pivot is sometimes the cheap part. From there you have operating costs, pumping water isn't cheap, plus the motors to move the pivot. On top of that, don't forget the maintenance. Every tower has 2 tires and gear boxes, switches, plus all the drops, nozzles and everything else. Also, you have the pump, pipeline, wiring, motor starters, etc... if it's electric, otherwise you'll have a stationary engine, hydraulic drives, lines, etc... In addition it is basically a piece of machinery, and only has a finite life. Depending on water type, maybe 25 years + or -. Just figure all that, then see if it's worth it. I have several of them, and they can be worth it. Just do your research first.

David

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smokedoff

08-16-2012 14:20:47
174.229.2.143



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
randall, I am in Ga and thats as specific as I can be until I meet again with current tenants. The soil here is sandy, gets like powder when extremely dry, not much clay at all.

I can see where the pivot could sound extreme at this point but like jack said, if water is ever regulated in this area, I would think regulations would go towards preventing new installations first, then later regulate those with them. Then my chances of having water get way slim, which would make a good yield totally dependant on a wet year, not to mention land rent goes up times by about 4 times if you have irrigation, if I decided to lease it back out...BUT yall are right, payments have to be made somehow by somebody.

Jack, from the little I know, I understand what you are saying. However there are a lot of people here going back to conventional til, at least at this time. A man who deals with farmers in his business told me he believes that as much as 70% of farming locally is conv. til.......which is way up from 4 or 5 years ago, some even going backto cultivating beans and corn.

Now is that why I have the equipment I have, because i'm convinced farming here is going back that direction? Of course not, from talking to others, it seemed this equipment would get me through a few years to get a handle on what direction I was going.
Do yall feel this equipment, although old but in fine working order (the ripper spider w/71s), will hurt yield vs a strip till rig? will it hurt yield enough to justify about a $18k price difference in planters, on a 60 acre farm?

Randall, drag racing is my passion, if I could do life over id be pro stock racing in the 80s...but I have put it down for a while, one reason is I learned, to make $10k racing, start with $100k, when you get down to 10 youll walk away.........i may be about to learn that with farming also huh?

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randallinMo

08-17-2012 05:38:32
216.74.205.155



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 14:20:47  
If you are mechanically inclined and can fix all your own (used)equipment, then you can probably make it with your existing equipment. You will not have the acreage base to justify new stuff....just not enough income coming in to make the payments. Now, if you have the money readily available......that's a whole new ball game many of us have never played in. You will need to halfway enjoy working on all your equipment. If you don't like that sort of activity....that's strike one. (We) can't afford to have the implement dealer come get our stuff all the time and work on it. Use what you have to get started. It makes "dreaming about the new stuff" all the more fun.

I am located in central Missouri and like Paul, deal mainly with getting rid of water rather that dumping more on, (this year being an exception). I cannot advise you on irrigation, nor am I familiar with the peanut crops grown in Georgia. By the way, I'm proud of you for coming back and facing us old farts. You proved you got a pair! Welcome aboard.

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paul

08-16-2012 15:53:58
76.77.199.198



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 14:20:47  
Racing sounds a lot like farming. :)

Up here in Minnesota we have very different conditions, too much water 8 out of 10 years, heavy clay soil. So I'm probably not going to help much with the equipment you need.

But we do full tillage up here as well.

I have hopes strip till will come around some day, but - still doesn't work well with our soft wet cold clay. We need to beat the ground into submission to get it to dry out & warm up.

I would guess in 3-4 years you could sell that stuff for about what you paid for it, and move to something different if you wanted to, so you wouldn't be out a whole lot along the way?

I've just spent about $25,000 a year for the last 4 years on tiling my small farm, for the very same reasons you state with the irrigation: There is a lot of regulation on such things, and it only gets worse. I've seen that in just the past 5 years, more hoops to jump through, more officies to visit. Like you say, it will be stopped some day, and that is that. It happened before - in the mid 1980's they stopped anyone from draining a wetland any more. If you got it done by then, you're good, keep tiling, keep farming, but now - it's just wasteland.

So, if you will have that 60 acres in ag production for the next 20 years, and you have the means to put in a well and a pivot, it would seem to be a good investment now. Whether you farm it or you rent it out, you should be able to recover the costs over the next 2 decades, and improve your bottom line.

But I don't know anything about irrigating, we do the opposite here, tile to get rid of the dang water. 'Here' tile is a great investment. I assume 'there' irrigation is a good investment.

--->Paul

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smokedoff

08-16-2012 08:13:30
174.229.0.52



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
You are right, there is good information here, and I am new here

However, randal, I come up grudge style drag racing, which is where the word smokedoff came from that had such impact on your not at all helpful reply. And in that I developed thick skin early on, so I dont have a problem with your daily amusement, but I also learned what I will and will not tolerate, new guy or not.

No issue with Paul, from other topics he seems knowledgable.

I do think, especially since im new here, that some replies could have been handled differently. You need more information or you need me to be more clear, it can be stated in a way that makes a new person welcome.

I dont care much for assumptions either. I thought rrlund handled his in an upstanding way when I became more clear with him.

I am extremely blessed as I am a third gen family business owner, I have a few hundred acres of land, I am still young and have an opportunity to farm 60 acres of my own land (the only cultivated land I currently own) and make the land more resourceful than renting it out. You are right, paul, I learned years ago to figure outgoing money high and incoming money low. I have a business now that I can come and go as I need and have time to pay attention to my farming.
I appreciate your points of view, even if I dont think they were expressed in the wisest ways. I'm going to talk with the local offices and insuance agencies and see where I stand.
Maybe we can continue this when I know where I stand after getting local information.

Thanks and my appologies anywhere I was offensive or defensive!
This post was edited by smokedoff at 08:16:59 08/16/12.

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jackinok

08-16-2012 10:28:24
162.58.82.136



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 08:13:30  
since you solicited OPINIONS, ill give you a few more. first it appears your equiping your self with the equipment to do full till farming. this in my OPINION is a mistake. for a number of reasons but heres a few.first and formost is simply the weather.global warming or no,we are just entering a cyclic period of increased sun activity.this alone if it follows the historical patterns will make drought and prolonged periods of heat more likely. in this instance,again historically, the folks better equiped to deal with drought conditions are the ones most likely to prosper. no till or a min till regime,in this case becomes the more viable of your options in lots of cases.when you also figure in the current dust and polution laws going on the books,increased water usage restrictions, etc etc ,it Again my opinion makes no till a no brainer in most areas. I foresee, crop prices staying high for the near future,simply because of the gov mandates for increasing ethanol production, ethanol producers no longer having the gov subsidies, and things.but the input cost of everything is going to go up next year simply because of demand on seed stocks, fertilizer costs, and that all important fuel cost.i predict far more water rationing laws and maybe even gov restrictions on the amount of water available for irrigating.
in many ways starting now is not bad,simply because you have a chance to make some real money for the first time in a long time, but in others its also a bad time to get started on the wrong foot. I personaly,again MY OWN opinion , if i were a young person starting today ,wouldnt even consider anything but going no-till. i would park all the equipment i had on the back forty and simply buy equipment that i thought would remain viable at least into the near future. remember also that with increased incomes on farms , the chances of increased gov control goes way up,simply because they think of ways to simply get their hand in the pot. the epa is already trying to enact laws that are somewhat restrictive and show no signs of being reined in.that fact alone makes more modern and adaptable equipment, a better choice for the future. water and its use is already becoming a huge political issue.and the fact that most folks would rather see a green lawn than food on their table that they dont know where comes from doesnt bode well for the future of irrigation. my advice would be to start up right, and keep at it if it is at all possible to do in your area. Again these are my opinions,and do not in anyway reflect the opinions of the management!

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RandallinMo

08-16-2012 10:03:17
216.74.205.155



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 08:13:30  
There you go. Welcome back. You gave us way more information this time than with your original post. We'd still like to know where you are located so as to be more able to understand your local growing conditions, etc. Personally, I'd try your adventure, it sounds like great fun and you'll gain about a million pounds in experience. It will be great therapy and you might even make a little money....doubtful, but maybe. The irrigation plan seems like a little too much too fast, but it's your money. I'd focus on the basics of crop production first. Find a local farmer who will take you under his wing and be a mentor for you. As the others have mentioned, walk slowly at first because the input costs will literally eat you alive if not done right. Ask any question you like. At our age, about all we've got left is answers. We just love it when someone asks us a question.
Drag racing huh?

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smokedoff

08-16-2012 06:24:49
174.229.0.52



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
Thank you



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jackinok

08-16-2012 06:24:05
162.58.82.136



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
nows the time to do it if your going to in my opinion. irrigation if you can swing it is not a bad thing to have even if you never use it. cant help you on the corn and beans, too dry here for either. but talking to the farmers around you would be your best bet there. coffee shops to country folk is like a golf course to city folks.youll find more and better local info there.



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smokedoff

08-16-2012 06:16:01
174.229.0.52



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
I was under the impression that this was a helpful site, I have been proven wrong.

This thread can be locked, deleted, or forgotten about. I've made my last post here.



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randallinMo

08-16-2012 07:31:52
216.74.205.155



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 06:16:01  
This IS a helpful site. YOu have to remember you're dealing with an entire group of battle scared old foggies who like to give advice. When we're presented with what appears to be bogus information we tend to deal with it as such. Paul was "trying" to be helpful for you and I admire his politeness. We as a group tend to tease each other and give one another a hard time. It's our "entertainment" for the day so to speak.
Mister, get off your high horse and come on back. Every "rookie" has to be initiated you know. If you thought my comment to you was harsh, just wait till you cross paths with Dave2.

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paul

08-16-2012 06:48:02
66.44.133.112



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-16-2012 06:16:01  
> I was under the impression that this was a helpful site, I have been proven wrong.

> This thread can be locked, deleted, or forgotten about. I've made my last post here.

Really? You got one negative reply - and even that has a grain of good advice in it, and several that encourage you to tread carefully and think your numbers through carefully.

You started out with a lack of info of what you are dealing with, talking of 'free' land. Which you finally explained a little better, that it isn't free, it's land you own.

And now you're mad with us?

Farming is rewarding, but it's tough. Lot of risk. Putting in 60 acres of corn, you can have $425 an acre in costs - $25,000 on 60 acres - and that doesn't count the irrigation cost or electricity. (Which is a good idea if you can pencil it out on land you own...)

Many of us have seen this situation before. Landowner cashed the yearly rent check when corn is $2-3 a bu. Now things look a little easier to throw seed in the ground and make big bucks in fall. But they don't fertilize right, they use a planter not set up right, they don't kill weeds at the right time, and suddenly their yields are closer to half of what the farmer used to get, and when they return to renting the ground out, the ground is full of weed seeds, the fertility is mined out of the ground.

We don't know you, we dobn't know your experience level. We don't know your plans. You didn't include much info on the 1st message...

So we mention several different possibilities. Things that have gone wrong for others in the past - just to be sure you have thought this through.

And you get mad with us?????? You say _we_ aren't the friendly ones?????

Huh.

--->Paul

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mb58

08-15-2012 18:59:17
98.80.0.134



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
Farmers here are getting the largest returns on their crops money-wise than ever before. There will be some farmers around here that farm a couple thousand acres that will be millionaires when this year is over.



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smokedoff

08-15-2012 17:57:53
174.254.131.109



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
Delete
This post was edited by smokedoff at 06:22:50 08/16/12.



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paul

08-15-2012 22:50:50
66.44.133.112



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 17:57:53  
It costs you taxes, it cost you something to buy/own, and you are losing the rent check, so the land is not free.

You need to farm it and make more than what the rent check would be for doing nothing.....

It ain't free.

However, if you own it, then the irrigation makes a lot more sense, either you or a renter can make that pay off maybe possibly.

It's real hard for a new operator (you) to make top yields just starting out. It takes a lot of time to farm right. As a hobby farm, it can be difficult to devote the proper time to farming. Mess up on fertilizer, or more likely weed control, and you can lose 35-40% of your yield in a couple weeks, and there is no way to recover from that, you just lost out for a whole year.

The current ag bubble we are in will end sometime. Probably sooner than later. As a new farmer, you will think the high grain prices are nice. They will _not_ last. This will hurt a lot of farmers, and will hurt you because you've never experienced it. When the ecconomy heals, we will return to prosperous city folk, a strong USA dollar, and that will kill exports - so grain will return to $3 corn and $7 soybeans. It's real hard to pay back $100,000 with those grain prices on 60 acres. It' real hard to pay the seed and fertilizer in those years.....

Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. :) Just some of the pitfalls for you to watch for. I'm sure you are interested in it and want to go ahead, I'm not telling you not to. Just a bit of a look at the dark side of it all, so you have some perspective.

60 acres is that in between size, big enough you are dealing with real money, but not big enough to live off of. Get caught up in a few wrong positions, and you could be out a big chunk of money. Do everything right, and you still only have income off 60 acres, not going to make a retirement nest egg. The risks are higher than the rewards, money wise, at that size.

--->Paul

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paul

08-15-2012 17:29:54
76.77.199.122



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
Only you know for sure. :)

You didn't even give a location, so no one can really help. Irrigation and peanuts, must be south.

My biggest concern is 'free land'. That is a big red flag to me. It makes you sound very inexperienced, and suspect either the land is very poor, or it will be yanked away from you when it gets improved some.

I couldn't imagine putting irrigation on 'free' land. If you own it, have fun go for it. Get to use 'free' land, well - sometimes you get what you pay for. :) Put that amouint of money into it, and it goes away in 2 years.....

Good luck, I'm sure there is a lot more good to it.

--->Paul

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smokedoff

08-15-2012 16:29:11
174.254.131.176



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
delete
This post was edited by smokedoff at 06:23:36 08/16/12.



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smokedoff

08-15-2012 15:16:10
174.254.131.176



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
delete
This post was edited by smokedoff at 06:23:10 08/16/12.



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randallinMo

08-16-2012 05:27:59
216.74.205.155



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 15:16:10  
Smokedoff.......ok, first off, what kind of name is that? Have you been "smoking" something and you are now "off"? 'Kinda sounds like it. Best advice................keep your day job.



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rrlund

08-15-2012 16:07:11
207.241.137.116



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 15:16:10  
OK. You never know who you're dealing with on here. Some people get stars in their eyes and just seem to think if it grows from the ground it must be free.
Sounds like you've got a handle on it.



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rrlund

08-15-2012 14:57:04
207.241.137.116



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 Re: Thinking about farming....advise in reply to smokedoff, 08-15-2012 14:17:13  
Do you have access to a LOT of cash to get a crop in the ground? If you haven't priced inputs yet,I'd like to be there to see the sticker shock when you do.



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