Budding but ignorant farmer?

Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:42 pm

I have my Cub and a land purchase is in the works and now I'm wondering what implements I need to make the ground fruitful. What do I need to go from sod to corn?

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:11 pm

Couple of answers.

University Extension office for your state and local. On line or in person. Lots of information there. Also Dept of of Conservation and US Dept of Agriculture. They frequently have worthwhile classes on ag and conservation topics, some times money for projects.

Talk to local farmers and gardeners.

Are you talking about a garden or acres of field corn?

Take your time. Figure out what you want to do with your land. Once you know that, you can determine what implements or equipment you need.

Also check to see if your farm has a number at the Dept of Agriculture. You may need a farm number for some activities or crops.

Edit: You need to talk to the US Dept of Ag if you are planning on planting certain crops. Example, there is no corn base or any other crop base on my acreage. No corn base, probably means no planting and harvesting field corn for sale.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:00 pm

Eugene wrote:Are you talking about a garden or acres of field corn?


I'm only thinking of an acre or two, Eugene. As it stands, the Cub only has a drawbar on it and I have no clue what implements I will need to break the ground.

Can you walk me through the order of events that bring fallow ground to yielding crops? What implements and in what order?

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:29 am

Eugene has some good advise. Check your soil first and talk to your Ag dept or local people in your area. If your soil is as rocky as mine is you'll need some stong arms. After 4 years of "building" my garden I'm still picking rocks out. Picked this one out a couple of weeks ago. Too heavy for my light loader so I got the ford forklift out. probably should have just marked it and worked around it but I wanted it out.
Kirk
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Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:21 am

Soil Test! Before anything else. Find out from your State how to do this, send it off and get that process started because it can take some time to amend soils to the point where they will grow corn. You might be looking at next year before you really get much of a crop. Typically, soil needs lime to increase the PH, weed control is a huge issue, and corn loves nitrogen! Great project!

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:16 am

A lot of work.....I started with a "field" .. Cutgrass short.....Then plowed it....dried then disced it...Should have had it sprayed to kill the grass and weeds...And it needs to be sprayed this year...weeds gone mad in there...Been 6 years...I still plow ever other year...This is my 1 acre garden also...I used a Cub planter and a little push planter for my row crops..corn..peas.. bush green beans... sunflowers....Lot of work...keeps me at home so all is good!!!!Kevin :shock: :shock: :shock: :{_}: :{_}:

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:28 am

Field corn, the type sold to elevators or used on the farm for animal feed.

You will need a plow, disk harrow, harrow, planter, cultivator. Probably a fertilizer spreader or side dresser.

You could harvest a couple acres by hand which is time consuming and labor intensive. To harvest by hand you will need a tractor and some type of trailer or wagon. You will also need some sort of storage to dry the corn. If you are going to sell corn you will need to have it shelled then transported to an elevator. I have left out mechanical equipment to pick ear corn or move the corn because you can move corn with a scoop shovel.

To use the corn as animal feed you will need to either grind the ear corn, chop the ears, or shell it.

Sweet corn, you can leave out the storage, but the corn must be promptly processed or sold.

Point. Jumping into commercial, farming type operation is expensive.

If we are discussing garden vegetables, start with a small plot. See how it goes. You will need some of the equipment listed above, of some type, and not necessarily that expensive. You can always expand as you gain experience.

While your are researching, look into nitch type products for your area. Answer might be quality hay for horses or vegetables sold at the farmers market.

Edit: I know a few folks who grow vegetables and fruits for the farmer market or to sell to grocery stores or restaurants. They make a portion of their annual income in that manner.

Another edit: I have 36 acres that is only suitable for pasture and timber. I have black walnut trees. I harvest the black walnut nuts to sell and then crack for my own use. I can normally harvest and sell enough black walnuts to pay the taxes on the acreage. Fire wood is harvested to heat son's house.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:54 am

Last year I raised 2 acres of field corn.

Spray with glyphosate to kill grass. (Sprayer needed)
Wait a couple weeks.
Then moldboard plow. (Plow needed)
Then disk like crazy to break up clods, and turned over sod. (Disk needed)
Take soil sample to lab. They'll give recommendations based on crop you want to plant and yield goals.
(You'll need 1# of actual nitrogen per bushel of yielded corn.)
Spread fertilizer. (Your local ag place, will have a spreader you can borrow, but it'll be too big for a cub, and you'll likely need 1000#+ of P205, potash, and urea)
I'd put the all the nitrogen (Urea) on pre-plant to eliminate side dressing.
Plant your corn. (Planter needed)
Cultivate as needed (cultivator needed) if conventional, or spray roundup (again, sprayer needed), if planting Roundup Ready corn.
Harvest by hand, (we husked it over several days) or have it custom harvested.
You can store on the ear with a crib (I built a crib), then shell as needed (sheller needed), or you'll need to dry it mechanically if shelled.
At this point you could sell the shelled corn, or feed it.
We have a small grinder and feed the corn along with protein supplement (bean meal), and minerals to make complete livestock feeds.

On good soil you'll end up with 200-300 bushels of corn. Corn is about $4.50/bushel.

Finally, sit back and wonder why you just spent all spring, summer, and fall, and hundreds of dollars worth of equipment to raise $1k worth of corn.

Or...
Let a local farmer give you a few hundred bucks to cash rent your 2 acres, spend the money to buy the corn you need, and ask him if you can ride along with him on the buddy seat in the combine for a couple rounds, so you can feel like a farmer for a few minutes.

Kind of being comical at the end, but being serious about the steps needed per your original question.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:58 pm

grasser wrote:Last year I raised 2 acres of field corn.

Spray with glyphosate to kill grass. (Sprayer needed)
Wait a couple weeks.
Then moldboard plow. (Plow needed)
Then disk like crazy to break up clods, and turned over sod. (Disk needed)

(Planter needed)
Cultivate as needed (cultivator needed) if conventional, or spray roundup (again, sprayer needed), if planting Roundup Ready corn.



Finally, sit back and wonder why you just spent all spring, summer, and fall, and hundreds of dollars worth of equipment to raise $1k worth of corn.

Or...
Let a local farmer give you a few hundred bucks to cash rent your 2 acres, spend the money to buy the corn you need, and ask him if you can ride along with him on the buddy seat in the combine for a couple rounds, so you can feel like a farmer for a few minutes.

Kind of being comical at the end, but being serious about the steps needed per your original question.


That's what I was wondering about, the implements themselves and the order of operation. All of the posts provided good info I can use but I want to start accumulating implements. I see them for sale quite often but didn't know for sure what I might need. A fast hitch might be my first need?

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:00 pm

Eugene wrote:You will need a plow, disk harrow, harrow, planter, cultivator. Probably a fertilizer spreader or side dresser.


Thank you, Eugene.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:30 pm

An acre would make a nice sized truck patch, especially if you can set up a roadside stand or take to a local produce auction. Since you are starting out and in the learning process, I'd suggest planting a quarter to half this year and cover cropping the rest. This way you can get used to your equipment and see what grows/sells in your area. Your extension service is a good source of information as already stated. When I did this for several years, I only planted vegies we ate, that way if they don't sell, you don't go hungry either. For seeds, try to find a place that sells bulk, you.d go broke buying packets for a large plot. The book FIVE ACRES AND INDEPENDENCE has a good section dealing with a large garden. The satisfaction comes a harvest time, and if you can or freeze, setting down to a meal you raised yourself. Good Luck John

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:35 pm

Posco wrote:A fast hitch might be my first need?


Depends if you want to start farming now, or 10 years from now.

The non fast hitch implements are far more common and less expensive. Therefore, easier to obtain. You may still be looking for a while to find implements in good condition, at a reasonable price, within driving distance, but it will be a lot longer with fast hitch.

Frankly, working sod is a debacle with a machine as small as a Cub, especially if you've never plowed before. If you can find a local farmer with some larger heavier equipment to prepare the sod for you for the first year, it is money well spent. Bigger machines plow deeper and bury most of the sod, where a Cub can just flip it over, if that. Bigger machines will work much better to chop up the sod that doesn't get buried and leave you with a smooth patch of ground.

If you absolutely must use your own Cub, I would recommend spraying, plowing, and breaking up the sod as best you can in the fall so it is broken down by next spring. Then plow again and go from there.

Once you're working with already-plowed ground, a Cub will do it all.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:11 pm

tinnerjohn wrote:An acre would make a nice sized truck patch, especially if you can set up a roadside stand or take to a local produce auction. Since you are starting out and in the learning process, I'd suggest planting a quarter to half this year and cover cropping the rest. This way you can get used to your equipment and see what grows/sells in your area. Your extension service is a good source of information as already stated. When I did this for several years, I only planted vegies we ate, that way if they don't sell, you don't go hungry either. For seeds, try to find a place that sells bulk, you.d go broke buying packets for a large plot. The book FIVE ACRES AND INDEPENDENCE has a good section dealing with a large garden. The satisfaction comes a harvest time, and if you can or freeze, setting down to a meal you raised yourself. Good Luck John


I like that " vegetable garden for family of 5" diagram in 5 acres too. it has a simple plan for multiple plantings in a row crop type garden. even though it is from the 30's that is what I am working towards. :D to the original poster the 5 acres book also gives us the advice that we should study the local market and see what product we can sell before we even buy the land for farming. set down and work out a budget and a business plan. weather you want to plant apples or grapes or corn or run an organic badger milking farm would dictate what implements you need. simply buying a farm then trying to figure out what to do with it is a sure way to fail.

edit:
I don't mean to come off as bossy, or trying to put you down for wanting to farm. I am in the same boat. not really knowing a lot about it but have a desire to work the land. I came to the conclusion that my goal is not to make money. because of big agri-biz and subsidies there is no way I can compete raising wheat or corn. my goal is to have fun see stuff grow and keep it small (under 2 acres). if it costs me a little money then fine. but I'm not mortgaging the house buy equipment.. the least i can do is be a little more self reliant. point in case I rasied pigs last year and at the end of it all adding the cost of piglets, feed, butchering, and cureing, the end result was so close to just going to the store and buying 1500$ in pork but I do have a higher quality product and saved a little money. as much as my labor? probly not but it was worth it to me.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:08 pm

Cutting sod is awful. It just flips back over into the ground like you never plowed haha. Well for me anyways. You have to really rough the ground up and break it down. I used a wheel harrow with weights on it to cut it up a bit, but once its broken, you're set for life. I grow sweet corn and tobacco lol they like the soil. I have 9 acres of open land but only actually garden about half an acre. The rest of the land gets used by the local farmer for his hay, for free.

I hoe the weeds myself, I'm only 20 years old so its a piece of cake haha.

Re: Budding but ignorant farmer?

Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:59 am

My lifelong dream seems to be coming to fruition. There's a farm not too far from me I grew up wandering and it has a great sentimental attachment to me. The owner has agreed to break me off a chunk so I can build my log I've been dreaming of. We cut the logs this past winter right there on the property and a friend who is a logger used his skidder to get them out for me. Four days of cutting and yarding in freezing cold temps secured my logs.

I'm not looking to go into farming to make a living, though I come from farming stock, I just want to have some fun and feed the deer. Thanks for all of the replies.

Single point hitch? Got any pics?
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