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downtownjr
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seeing a lot more small farm auctions here in central Indiana than we have in the past few years. Thinking land prices and input costs are making up the minds of a lot of the small few hundred acre farmers. Also many other are nearing retirement and the land sales makes for a nice retirement nest egg.

What are you guys seeing in your area? Is this getting widespread or is it a local phenomenon where I live? It is getting where about a dozen farmers farm the majority of the county. After that it is mostly small 5-10 acre horse farms and folks with a plot and some 4-H livestock. Then the area hay guys round out the farmers.

Thoughts?
 

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Full of questionable knowledge.
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In this area we don't have all that many huge farmers. About the biggest farm up to maybe 1500 acres. I believe it's the irrigation aspect that keeps the average farm smaller here. When farms sell they are rarely over 160 acres because that for the most part is the largest parcel one can usually find in the farm area. We are mostly divided up by Sections of 640 acres and inside of that 4 parcels of 160 acres. Then those have been broken up into 80s and smaller. Now the ranch land is a different story. But not as valuable. I listed sold 145 acres for a guy a few years ago and the neighboring rancher bought it for $45,000. I should have bought it as in that area there has been lots of oil wells drilled.
 

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Havn't seen any more farm machinery retirement auctions YET here.Typicaly they don't start until after harvest (now)

There has been ALOT of land auctions lately.Mostly estates.Over 3000 acres this last week within 20 miles of me.

One 2100 acre sale,15 tracts this week.Investor seeling it.They bought it in the 80's for CHEAP $600-800.Think prices were from 6,000 to 10,500 the first day but they no saled 3 0r 4 tracts.I havn't heard 2 nd day results.

On some of the smaller farmers retiring the next generation is coming home to farm it.Alot of them got the heck out of here when times were not so good on the farm and now they are coming home to roost.
 

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Lots of land sales here. Have thought myself of selling all my non hay (corn and beans) equipment . I have been trying to buy another 130 hp tractor but the price is ridiculous. Most of my repair bills are on this stuff. Retire some debt then add more hay acres and try to go up to 750 acres. Add more cows and try to make more on less. Around here renting ground is a futile endeavor. The biggest problem is labor. I have found one guy a few years older who quit farming years ago when his dad retired. The pay I thought was too high but then again he isnt calling to tell me that the rake or mower or somethng isnt working and that "He wasnt doing anything wrong it just bent or broke driving across the field".
 

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The probem we have is big farmers (anywhere from 6000 up to 30000 acres) and greedy landlords/chidren. These big farmers go around and offer huge rent which makes other land owners want more also. There was just an ad in the paper for land wanted to rent paying up to 500 per acre. When the land owners die and their kids inherit it the kids either decide to sell it or rent it to the big farmers that will pay that much. One piece of land just sold for $14,650. This makes it almost impossible for a small farmer to expand or a young farmer get started.

Pretty much it comes down to greed is destroying the average farmers.

MAKES ME SICK!!
 

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I feel your pain jtpfarm.....but you cannot really blame the children or the landlords for wanting to maximize their rents/income. I find no fault in anyone trying to get all the income that they can....legally...the problem lies within the walls of the agricultural community. Simply put, the small cropper cannot compete with the large scale operations...really thats the way it is in most of the business world...to compete with the big timers you must be willing to offer something that the large scalers cannot....personal attention....and your word that you will be a good land stewart. Look at mlappin....he does the small things for his landowners....hauls gravel....trims trees and fixes anything that is not the way it was when he started. IF we want our children to continue with agriculture, we must teach them the value of owning land, and educate them well(college) in agriculture so that they can compete. The problem lies within the agricultural community....we can learn to adapt and compete or get left behind. It never has been easy for most...but that's life....and its short.

Regards, Mike
 

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I understand what you are saying Vol, but on the other hand, what does a 90 year old landlord need all thet money for? Some people (very few) are looking to help the small farmer get going and refuse to rent to the big farmer even if it means less money. The problem started when more fortunate farmers quit caring about other farmers. I remember my grandpa telling me that way back his neighbor was offerd a piece of land and he said "no, i have enough, give it to the other neighbor cuz he needs it more". But that was whe people cared about others which many only seem to look out for themselves now.

The way i see it is if you cannot be in every feild in a tractor at least once a year then you have too much. Some of the big guys aroud here live 150 miles away in the city and just pay emloyees to do everything. Thats not farming.
 

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Apprentice Forage Grower
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That is farming! If you refuse to agree that it is you will never compete! You must understand what you are up against in any business endeavor. Myself I am not in it for the money. I have a full time job that supports my hobby. I would love it if some day I can farm for a living. But to start I cannot support myself doing this. As with any business a large capital investment is involved. The guys sitting 150 miles away understand this. And if they are making money all the better for them!

This is what the good old U S of A was built on. People working hard and investing their money wisely!

I work hard to build my tiny pretend farm so that someday I can maybe compete with the BTO. Until then I know that I cannot but I do it anyways. Is it fair? No. But at the same time last year I doubled my acreage. Small as it is I went from 10 to 20. I believe it is because my neighbor knew what I was about and that I did not plan to only buy the land to make money. I want to better it. I am happy that this opportunity knocked on my door. I was able to double acreage again when my brother bought another 20 and then found a better parcel. To buy it I bought the 20.

The free market is what we strive for. All the better if more people are involved.
 

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No, thats not farming! Farming is not sitting in your pickup all day on the phone and letting someone else make all the decisions and do all the work. Farming is hard work and something to be proud of. These big guys have no pride in what they do. Or give a shit about the land. They spray roundup over and over because its easy and they are too big to do anthing else and now they have resistant weeds which are spreading to neighbors. They are out there in the mud ruining the ground because they have so much they cant wait. The elevators all favor them when it comes to fertlizer and stuff so even if the smaller guy called first they still have to wait. They drive up rent prices and make it near impossible for a young person to start farming and have put other guys completely out of business by stealing their land. I guess its no suprise that the have to have body guards with them in public or when they go to look at a piece of land due to getting the shit beat ou of them in the past.

Its also no surprise that they were hitting short little steel posts in the middle of their bean feilds last fall. You reap what you sow fits pretty good i guess.
 

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Hay Master
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I understand what you are saying Vol, but on the other hand, what does a 90 year old landlord need all thet money for? Some people (very few) are looking to help the small farmer get going and refuse to rent to the big farmer even if it means less money. The problem started when more fortunate farmers quit caring about other farmers. I remember my grandpa telling me that way back his neighbor was offerd a piece of land and he said "no, i have enough, give it to the other neighbor cuz he needs it more". But that was whe people cared about others which many only seem to look out for themselves now.

The way i see it is if you cannot be in every feild in a tractor at least once a year then you have too much. Some of the big guys aroud here live 150 miles away in the city and just pay emloyees to do everything. Thats not farming.
Years ago, I lived in a small town where a Walmart was being built nearby. Most of the small business owners were crying that they would be put out of business because no one would pay their exorbitant prices. Those who only sold commodity items were right....They went belly up. Those who sold specialty items, that Walmart didn't carry, further differentiated themselves and found that they made even more money than before Walmart. The Walmart drew the customers. When they couldn't find everything they were looking for, they shopped in the little town. Yes, some small businesses went belly up, but the town itself was improved, still prospers, and became a better place to live.

You seem to be looking for someone to hand you some ground on a silver platter because of notions from a bygone era. It isn't likely to happen. That 90 year old landowner is probably improving the legacy he will hand down to his children, it's his right. Yes, people used to turn down land, they still do if it would cost them more to farm it than it was worth. It just doesn't happen much anymore because of the higher crop and land values. But, it's still farming and if you want to do it, you need to change your victim attitude.

Lots of small farms are doing very well. They differentiate themselves from the big boys. Want to grow corn? Grow sweet corn. Soybeans? Grow edamame. You'll just have to work harder and be more creative than the big guys....That's farming!
 

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Dont get me wrong, i had nothing to do with any of them things, or have any idea who did. I ageree that it is shameful. But is it not also shameful to take away a mans entire livelyhood by stealing away all his land (700 acres) when you already have 15,000 acres? That is just as heartless as whoever put the posts in the field.
 

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Years ago, I lived in a small town where a Walmart was being built nearby. Most of the small business owners were crying that they would be put out of business because no one would pay their exorbitant prices. Those who only sold commodity items were right....They went belly up. Those who sold specialty items, that Walmart didn't carry, further differentiated themselves and found that they made even more money than before Walmart. The Walmart drew the customers. When they couldn't find everything they were looking for, they shopped in the little town. Yes, some small businesses went belly up, but the town itself was improved, still prospers, and became a better place to live.

You seem to be looking for someone to hand you some ground on a silver platter because of notions from a bygone era. It isn't likely to happen. That 90 year old landowner is probably improving the legacy he will hand down to his children, it's his right. Yes, people used to turn down land, they still do if it would cost them more to farm it than it was worth. It just doesn't happen much anymore because of the higher crop and land values. But, it's still farming and if you want to do it, you need to change your victim attitude.

Lots of small farms are doing very well. They differentiate themselves from the big boys. Want to grow corn? Grow sweet corn. Soybeans? Grow edamame. You'll just have to work harder and be more creative than the big guys....That's farming!
Im not looking for land to be handed to me or feel i am a victim. I havent had any dealings with these big guys and hope i never do but know people that have. These guys will show up ant peoples door 2 days after their relatives funeral wanting to rent their land. That is just cold.

A couple years ago they went around offering $1000/acre for 3 years on a contract all up front. Then when the prices went down they hired an expensive lawyer to get out of the contracts and make the land owners give the money back.

What i thought was kind of funny was one year they forgot to land a feild and the next year they went in and planted 250 acres that didnt belong to them. They then told the farmer they were going to go in and dig it up if he didnt pay them for it. He replied "just try it".
 

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I've also seen where guys have gotten most of their rented ground taken away.Spoiled rotten rich kid that wants to farm just offers more rent till he gets it.He absolutly doesn't care if he is taking away the other guys income.He doesn't even care if he nakes money farming it,he just WANTS it.His rent offer is "What ever it takes"Landlords should also be ashamed to rent to people like this.

jtpfarm,Is Chicken Phil buying in your area also?Last I heard 32,000 acres.Goal of 40,000.Think he is in mid 80's?He buys it and has it custom farmed here by larger operators.
 
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