We occasionally put grain in now, but used to every year and we had a self propelled combine. Only did anywhere from 10 to 30 acres a year, so small amounts.
The combine was to the point where you spent as much time fixing it or unplugging it as you did combining. The last several grain crops we paid a custom operator to do the job despite having a combine in the shed that worked. The custom guys with their larger, newer machines, still had the breakdowns and problems...but their peril, not our.
For what the custom combine bill was it was hard to justify owning a machine by the time you subtracted parts, repairs, fuel etc.
I did look at getting a small pull type, like an IH 80 or similar with the plan on doing no more than 10 acres a year with it. Those small pull types are 40 years old or older and I'd HATE the thought of trying to combine with one of those in the wet falls we normally had. At least a SP you could go, PT no weight on the tractor, be as worse as lugging a baler on soft ground!
If a new smaller pull type was available, I'd look at it, the problem is I could probably buy a LOT of grain & straw for what the machine would cost or buy a decent 30 year old diesel powered SP with 13 to 15 foot cut.
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