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Getting Started in Row Crop Farming


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6 replies to this topic

#1 PA Katahdins

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 10:22 PM

Ok guys I have a question for you. I just got out of high school last june and plan on taking over our family farm next year and farming it myself. We have rented it out for the past 8 years since we got rid of our dairy cows. I do know corn yields are at about 130bu to the acre on average and beans are at about 50bu for our ground. What I am wondering is what kind of costs will I have per acre for each crop? I am trying to figure out what kind of money I will need to start up, we still have all our equipment, only thing I will need to buy in that department is a new corn planter.

Thanks for all your help,
Ray

#2 mlappin

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:19 AM

Already missed the boat for this year, we had fertilizer, seed and most other inputs locked in last fall before it looked like not only was corn going to stay up, but was going to rise. By this fall a better answer could be had far as your actual costs, atm it's anybody's guess just how high inputs can actually go. You could always just ask around, see who's getting what from where then call them and get some quotes.

How many acres as well? Prices will be even higher if you don't have enough acres to get any bulk discounts. If your borrowing any money at all to get the crops in the ground, figure on having crop insurance as a must from the lender. Because of the higher row crop prices, crop insurance will be going up as well guaranteed.

I'm not being harsh here, just realistic. Your bean yields sound good but corn sounds a little low. We averaged 57 bushel beans last year and 178 on corn in Northern Indiana. I was rather happy with the corn yields considering with as wet as it was till the middle of July here I thought several fields might be a complete loss. With the increased costs on inputs and even at $5 corn, with a 130 bushel yield it most likely will pay for itself but profit will be limited. Take this with a grain of salt though as I'm making the comparison with what I know we need here to turn a respectable profit.

EDIT: When I first started out crop insurance was a must from my lender. Once I had enough assets to cover the operating note each year they considered crop insurance to be optional, but it still makes em happy that I have it.

Edited by mlappin, 05 February 2011 - 12:29 AM.


#3 swmnhay

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:59 AM

I was wondering the same as mlappin.Why only 130 bu corn?If you can grow 50 bu beans and only 130 corn its a no brainer.Inputs on beans are way less then corn.

How many acres?

Buy a NEW corn planter?How big?Not cheap.Can buy used and rebuild way cheaper.

Is hay in the rotation?Just wondering this is Hay Talk.If it isn't we are a friendly bunch and still will help you out.

#4 PA Katahdins

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:57 PM

The yields I averaged on I put a little less then what the average is so that I wouldnt be over estimating anything. Corn is really about 140-145 bu per acre on average, sometimes more if its a good year. Beans I am not 100% sure on the average but I know thats about the average for our area. Swmnhay, yes I meant a used planter as a new planter is too high of a cost to be buying when I am starting out. We have 145 acres that are tillable, 10 I already have in alfalfa for my sheep and plan on reseeding one of our 13 acre pastures next year also in orchardgrass for hay. I planned on locking in my prices this coming fall so I will hopefully get lower prices than what I would next spring.

Thanks guys,
Ray

#5 mlappin

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:35 PM

Have another farmer that you're close to? See if they could buy you're inputs along with theirs so you can get some bulk discounts. We've done this for people before and ended up planting it for them as well. Might talk to someone about getting your corn inputs and planting it.

#6 PA Katahdins

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:57 AM

mlappin, yes we have tons of farms around here, some larger and some smaller. I never gave it a thought to talk to them about combining orders for it being cheaper. I know all our neighbors would be more than happy to help me since there isn't many kids around here getting back into farming, most don't want anything to do with it.

#7 swmnhay

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:12 AM

You could maybe exchange labor for custom work and have them do some planting or other work.

BUT.If you do it remember you HAVE TO help them in return.I've done stuff for people before and at times they are to busy to help you back.




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