Farming Thread

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
kel said:
Funnily enough, I was hoping to buy some land my family had that's gorgeous and really the kind of place I'd like to live. There's not much land there, but everyone along that stretch actually owns a long, thin plot of land and most of them only use part of it (where there house is), so I could probably rent this unused land off adjacent people for dirt cheap (previously they, like my family, had just let a nearby farmer grow hay on it to save themselves the trouble of having to maintain the land as required by the HoA). …..
Here's a short film about regenerative farming and sustainable agriculture, including a couple doing bison (skip to 5:45). It's a bit hippie-dippy but still inspiring.
Interesting hearing about the chickens. I didn't know they did that. Maybe I'll get a few. A family member has a 10.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently. My family has land that was handed down that we actually rent for cash crop. It takes re-investment to compete, and labour, but I believe if you can create something that is commercially viable you can really expand onto other peoples land at a reasonable rate. Once you know you can 'beat the rent', expansion becomes really possible.

There is a demographic issue in a lot of cases where the children aren't actively taking over their parents farms because they are pursuing a career elsewhere.

kel said:
Here's a short film about regenerative farming and sustainable agriculture, including a couple doing bison (skip to 5:45). It's a bit hippie-dippy but still inspiring.
I didn't see the attachment.

Market Garden below: It's pretty impressive what this guy did with a vision and very small piece of land.
 

Laner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
If you get chickens for eggs, you better LOVE eggs. You will be drowning in them. Most people have them, so the eggs are not easy to get rid of. My cousins two oldest boys are in high school and play football. Both are over 6'4" already and each one eats over a dozen a day. He did tell me at Christmas that he is getting pretty sick of them but knows their value.

My family trades eggs for chicken meat between them. My cousin raises the egg layers and my aunt raises the meat chickens. She just buys the chicks every spring and harvests them in the fall. They are free to pretty much run around their massive coup.
 

kel

Pelican
NoMoreTO said:
I didn't see the attachment.
Durr. https://invidio.us/watch?v=3Ezkp7Cteys

NoMoreTO said:
Interesting hearing about the chickens. I didn't know they did that. Maybe I'll get a few. A family member has a 10.
Definitely look into combining different types of animals. One thing eats the waste or byproducts of another, is resistant and fights parasites that would infect the other, etc. If you have an orchard, ducks will eat the snails that might go for the fruit, goats will eat weeds on olive vines and are meant to be good to use your first year if you've got rough brushy land that needs to be trimmed back and manured so that better grass for ruminants grows the following season., lots of kinds of poultry will eat ticks if you have a potential lyme problem, etc.

If you aren't familiar with him, look up Joel Salatin's stuff. If he didn't exactly invent it he definitely seems to be the number one person who spread the popularity of rotational grazing, "stacking" land usage, cheap moveable infrastructure, etc.

ex.

https://invidio.us/watch?v=hdRps1zhwnQ&t=11m40s
https://invidio.us/watch?v=TfT49gaiktg

Greg Judy is another good one for talking real pragmatics.
 

TheMost

Robin
Thinking of starting a bakery. Any idea the cost of buying a new 2000 bushel grain silo and having it set up and installed? I know there are lots of used ones available for less than $1000, so the more interesting question is what is the cost to transport it and have someone set it up. Assume conical top and hopper bottom. Not a farm, but farms do have grain silos. I think a silo is a great way to take advantage of bulk pricing and smooth out market fluctuations. I ask about 2000 bushel because I was told that is the smallest size available, 1500 or 1000 bushel would be even better.
 

roberto

Pelican
Gold Member
TheMost said:
Thinking of starting a bakery. Any idea the cost of buying a new 2000 bushel grain silo and having it set up and installed? I know there are lots of used ones available for less than $1000, so the more interesting question is what is the cost to transport it and have someone set it up. Assume conical top and hopper bottom. Not a farm, but farms do have grain silos. I think a silo is a great way to take advantage of bulk pricing and smooth out market fluctuations. I ask about 2000 bushel because I was told that is the smallest size available, 1500 or 1000 bushel would be even better.
You know you have to mill grain to make flour, right? And you know that milling is actually an exceptionally complicated process? You know about hagbergs, proteins and grain count?

Grain silos are for animal feed. Bakeries have flour silos, and buy it in as flour. Much less hassle- concentrate on baking.
 

TheMost

Robin
roberto said:
You know you have to mill grain to make flour, right? And you know that milling is actually an exceptionally complicated process? You know about hagbergs, proteins and grain count?
I've been milling and baking for a while now. My sour-dough ancient grains process doesn't care about the complications you mention. There is more to milling than grinding grain into flour, but that work will already be done by the time I take delivery.

Grain silos are for animal feed. Bakeries have flour silos, and buy it in as flour. Much less hassle- concentrate on baking.
Grain silos are for all grain, not just animal feed. Almost all grain products you've ever eaten have been in a grain silo first. Probably in one of the giant 100,000 bushel models.

I'm looking for the cost of transporting and setting up a 2000 bushel silo. If anyone here knows that as a ballpark number, that would be nice.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Spectrumwalker said:
NoMoreTO said:
Anyone worked with this baler or baling in general?

Hell yeah.
On a separate Note, I'm trying to come up with a paddock system for Bison farm. I drew this up for a government program to get some funding to turn it back into pasture and some fencing.

Paddock A has Small pond which I will dig out. Long Term the Corrall would be up this way. 25 acres

Paddock C is second main paddock. 30 acres.

Paddock B I was thinking of using as a smaller paddock, perhaps to wean off calves or to separate out animals onto some really well preserved pasture prior to slaughter. 8 acres

A question for anyone who has worked paddock systems. Should I have a water line? How would the hustle of refilling the water using water wagons be? Also I Am thinking of quality of water.

The fencing will be a major cost as noted with highlighted areas around bush because of the land shape. But this is primarily to incubate the business to expand onto larger lands.

This planning is all a year or more out, as this season I will be putting the grass down. If its unviable I might pull back and just bale hay for a few years.

*** Feel free to pick it apart a little, I'm early on in the process so can shift pretty easy if something might work better ***
 

Attachments

kel

Pelican
Could you maybe build fencing through the trees, making your fencing more of straight lines? I'd imagine if the trees are too dense to build a fence that they'd keep the bison from traveling from one to the other as well, or they'll be sparse enough to build the fencing e.g. from the right lower corner of B to the left lower corner of C and then up to a clearing somewhere. Then they've got a bit of wooded area to take shelter in if necessary, too.
 

Bolly

Pelican
NoMoreTO said:
A question for anyone who has worked paddock systems. Should I have a water line? How would the hustle of refilling the water using water wagons be?
I'll speak to what I would do if had land that didn't have a water system in place. I would absolutely spend the money to put lines in out to tanks in the pastures. Hauling water blows. It's such a time consuming pain in the ass. It will get real old real fast. Putting lines and stock tanks in it'll cost ya up front, but having to constantly haul water will cost you in the long run with fuel and time. If you had a small place and doing intensive grazing and could get by with like a mobile water tank you could tow around, that's one thing. Or if you have a real small herd. But for larger sized places or if you're intending to grow your herd, I'd say prepare early and then let the herd figure out where the water is. Some guys get pretty carried away in my opinion with like portable water systems to try and prevent undergrazing or overgrazing in certain parts of the pasture. If you ask me, cows are kinda like horses and dogs. They like familiarity and repetition. Makes em feel safe. Especially the calves. They're pretty stupid. When you're changing water locations around, it confuses the fuck out of em, stresses them out, and they don't gain weight as good. I prefer to just have tanks, and have it act as nothing more than a man made pond for them to always know where to go.

I don't know about bison, I'll assume it's way more than a cow, but a cow can, not that they necessarily always do, but can drink up to anywhere from 30-50 gallons of water a day. I mean they can suck down a gallon of water like I would take a shot of whiskey. In the summer months they'll drink a lot, or in rainy weather, or dewey mornings not as much because they stay hydrated from the moisture on the grass they're eating or drink out of puddles. But when it's happy hour and they decide go in their cliques to crowd around the bar drinking, they'll suck down a whole tank pretty pretty fast. Point being, if you rely on hauling water, you'll be doing it constantly and probably won't be able to keep up with them especially in time when your herd is expanding.

Now, that being said, if it were me, I'd still have a water wagon, or a water truck for emergencies even with a water line system. Like where I'm at a we have an old, and I mean old ass, army truck converted with a couple big water tanks on it. It takes both hands and all your strength to turn the fuckin thing. The old beast doubles as a firefighting rig too. Something to hold us over until the big boys arrive. Which when you're out in the sticks is a pretty long wait. But shit will go wrong. Pipes will crack, leaks will happen, cows will bust a hydrant (craft some boards around the hydrants to protect em a bit), whatever, and you'll still have to haul water until you get it resolved. Especially in the heat. But no way you wanna be hauling water if you don't have to. I mean you gotta drive allllll the way out there. Beat the shit outta your truck. Stand around with your dick in your hand thinking of something else you need to do or would rather do instead of watching water drain from one tank to another, drive alllll the way back home, beat the shit outta your truck again, fill the tanks on the truck back up, get sidetracked; forget to turn the hose off and then have a big lake in front of your shop. lol.

When in the meantime you coulda just have had stock tanks with self regulating floats on them to do the job for you that keeps up with the herd. With the floats as long as the water's on and the hydrants open, once the cows drink the tank down to a certain level it will release and let the tank fill back up. But if you do put lines in, whether you do it yourself or hire someone, put some markers to give you an idea of the where the water lines are buried. Or perhaps a real good map. That way when something cracks you got an idea of where to dig. If you're lucky sometimes it's obvious when the dirt is dry and there's a big wet spot in one area, but other times, more often than not, because on a ranch you'll be constantly haunted by Murphys Law, you won't be so lucky. I battle every year trying to find water line leaks. It ain't fun.

I'm curious about what you're gonna do for fence. Fence and corrals for Bison looks pretty serious. I love fixing and building and fence. Kinda my forte, I do a lot of it. A lot of guys curse every foot of it. I never understand why. Just you and the peace of the hills. Maybe some classic rock. No stinking tractor engines. I'd like that as a side hustle one day when I get my own place for extra cash. Expenses and tool costs are low, good way to make extra money.

I'm the water, stock and fence guy where I'm at. Feel free to reach out. I got decent wifi for the time being but won't come April.
 

Tex Cruise

Kingfisher
@Spectrumwalker - You wrote what I was thinking while I was thinking it. Hauling water very quickly becomes a pain in the ass chore that has to be done no matter how busy with other things/sick/injured you may be, if it's hot/cold/raining/dark etc. All can be avoided for the initial outlay of some troughs, valves, pipe and trenching. I'm currently part way through upgrading the water system here to something that my Grandfather would have been amazed by, yet it's only a few thousand dollars per stage. Nothing compared to the time it will save, and reliable clean water the stock will have access to.




TheMost said:
Thinking of starting a bakery. Any idea the cost of buying a new 2000 bushel grain silo and having it set up and installed? I know there are lots of used ones available for less than $1000, so the more interesting question is what is the cost to transport it and have someone set it up. Assume conical top and hopper bottom. Not a farm, but farms do have grain silos. I think a silo is a great way to take advantage of bulk pricing and smooth out market fluctuations. I ask about 2000 bushel because I was told that is the smallest size available, 1500 or 1000 bushel would be even better.
You're probably right that the cost of moving a $1000 second hand silo would make it prohibitive. I see plenty of those for sale around here too.

I'm not sure why you were told 2000 bushel was the smallest available, maybe by that particular manufacturer, because a 1000 or 1500 should be easy to source. They are here in Australia anyway.

It might be worth looking into a Poly silo rather than a steel one in the smaller sizes, they are qutie cheap where I am. I could have one delivered here brand new probably cheaper than I could miove an old 2000 bushel one.

Side note: Years ago working on another farm, there was a silo at another site about half a mile or a bit more from the other silos. The bloke before me had got a quote to have it moved but it wasn't worth it.
Because it was on skids I suggested to the owner that I could just drag it there. He agreed that even if it took me all day it would still be worthwhile. I warned him that there was of course a chance that it might fall over and be destroyed. He accepted that there would be nothing lost in that event, as it was useless to him where it was situated.

So I hooked onto it with a chain and towed it very slowly with a large front-end-loader (in reverse so I could watch it very carefully) all the way to it's new site next to the other silos. Only took a few hours and worked a treat.

It did collapse very spectacularly a few years later though, being at least 50 years old. We think it was because of the grain moisture being too high, and it being riveted, not bolted, together. Lucky it didn't cost more than a few hours work and a bit of diesel.
 

TheMost

Robin
Tex Cruise said:
You're probably right that the cost of moving a $1000 second hand silo would make it prohibitive. I see plenty of those for sale around here too.
Probably would still be less than the cost of buying and installing it new. But to start up the bakery I have to make sure I have all the money on hand before beginning, that is all.

I'm not sure why you were told 2000 bushel was the smallest available, maybe by that particular manufacturer, because a 1000 or 1500 should be easy to source. They are here in Australia anyway.
My source was an old farmer friend in the prairies of Canada. Everything is bigger out there.

It might be worth looking into a Poly silo rather than a steel one in the smaller sizes, they are qutie cheap where I am. I could have one delivered here brand new probably cheaper than I could miove an old 2000 bushel one.
Poly silos are awesome, and less than $1000 lets you store many more bushels than I would need. However, in a city warehouse situation, doing food prep, poly silos are too vulnerable to rats and mice. When I get to the stage of renting land and having someone plant barley and wheat for me, poly would be a great way to store the grain out in the field until it is time to bring it into the city.

Side note: Years ago working on another farm, there was a silo at another site about half a mile or a bit more from the other silos. The bloke before me had got a quote to have it moved but it wasn't worth it.
Because it was on skids I suggested to the owner that I could just drag it there. He agreed that even if it took me all day it would still be worthwhile. I warned him that there was of course a chance that it might fall over and be destroyed. He accepted that there would be nothing lost in that event, as it was useless to him where it was situated.

So I hooked onto it with a chain and towed it very slowly with a large front-end-loader (in reverse so I could watch it very carefully) all the way to it's new site next to the other silos. Only took a few hours and worked a treat.

It did collapse very spectacularly a few years later though, being at least 50 years old. We think it was because of the grain moisture being too high, and it being riveted, not bolted, together. Lucky it didn't cost more than a few hours work and a bit of diesel.
Nice. I live in a high humidity area; think I'll need to have the extra attachments to hermetically seal it and dehumidify it when the seal is broken. I'd happily store the grain in 1 ton bulk bags, but just as with the poly silos, I'm concerned about rats.
 

Tex Cruise

Kingfisher
I think there might be a mix up of terms between Australia and US (Edit: Sorry, Canada). It sounds like you're talking about what I would call a Silo Bag, when what I meant was an actual Polyethylene silo like this.
 

TheMost

Robin
Tex Cruise said:
I think there might be a mix up of terms between Australia and US (Edit: Sorry, Canada). It sounds like you're talking about what I would call a Silo Bag, when what I meant was an actual Polyethylene silo like this.
Thank you that did the trick. Turns out there is a local manufacturer of plastic silos, so I put in a request for quote.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Interesting Article on the pushback against software in Tractors.

Kenney leads a grassroots campaign in the heart of the heartland to restore a fundamental right most people don’t realize they’ve lost—the right to repair their own farm equipment...Kenney says the software barriers create corporate monopolies—and destroy the agrarian ethos of resiliency and self-reliance.
The company says the world needs digitized farming to feed the 10 billion people expected on Earth by 2050.
At least half the repairs Davis sees involve code faults triggered by emission-control systems. The faults render vehicles inoperable—a bit like a mouse incapacitating an elephant. He can replace the exhaust filters and particulate traps that throw a tractor’s codes, but dealerships won’t provide the software to restart it unless he or the owner hauls the machine in or pays for a mechanic to make a house call.
For Nebraska farmers, horror stories about tractors “bricking,” or shutting down from a computer fault, are as common as waterhemp in their cornfields—and just as annoying. A Deere spokesperson says, “Help is never more than a finger tap away,” referring to the communications equipment on modern farm implements. But getting a machine running again isn’t always quick. Bill Blauhorn of Palmer lost half a day of harvesting corn while waiting for mechanics to drive 65 miles to his farm to reset the software on his 2017 Case IH combine.
As things stand, Deere has the technical ability to remotely shut down a farmer’s machine anytime—if, say, the farmer missed a lease payment or tuned a tractor’s software to goose its horsepower, a common hack widely available through gray-market providers. A Deere spokesman says many manufacturers can remotely control vehicles they sell, but Deere has never activated this capability, except in construction equipment in China, where financing terms require it to.
The Right to Repair - Farmer fights John Deere
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
I was looking at the following mix for my pasture. Its a custom seed guy, I can get a one time kick in for the government for restoring grassland, so I figured good to max out the legume. I was advised to sow some oats into it to keep the weeds down and sell it as a premium hay.

The Land will need to be tiled, so I have heard that Birdsfoot Trefoil is a legume which doesn't cause bloat in animals, and works well on poorly drained soils. (As opposed to Alfalfa)

Any thoughts?

35% BF Trefoil
5% Alsike Clover
20% Treasure Timothy
10% Palaton Reed Canary Grass
5% Kentucky Bluegrass
5% Devour Orchardgrass
5% Tetrasweet Perennial Ryegrass
15% Meadow Bromegrass

I will most likely go with a custom guy to plant it, given the timeframe and me not having a drill with a grass seed box its best to get it done right. With success I won't be doing this job on the regular, just frost seeding overtop.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Updated Pasture Mix.
Timothy 20%
Brome 20%
Switch Grass 10%
Perrenial Rye Grass 10%
Birdsfoot Trefoil 20%
Alfalfa 20%
Oats Cover Crop 2.5 bushels / Acre

Land Prep Plan
(1) Plow - Soil Save (Its a clay so there is a concern that a plow will cause the clay to bake and clump up)

(2) Disc & Packer

(3) Springtooth Harrow

(4) Planting*
 

Tex Cruise

Kingfisher
Sowing time here. Already got 2 paddocks down to oats with ryegrass/clover mix and some radish and turnip in there too to see how that goes. Doing another one tonight/tomorrow with just oats/ryegrass as there's a good bit of clover coming up already .

Got a rock rake here the other day to go over this paddock that's been covered in loose rocks for ever, and picked them all up yesterday with a Bobcat and truck. Two afternoon's work and now that rocky hill I've known all my life looks like a painting of an English meadow.

What was really cool though is the ancient stone tools picked up by the rake that I found this morning when I was walking about.
They might be hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of years old. It's incredible to find and hold a well worn grinding stone or axe, being the first person to pick it up in who knows?
 

Bolly

Pelican
Tex Cruise said:
They might be hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of years old. It's incredible to find and hold a well worn grinding stone or axe, being the first person to pick it up in who knows?
So awesome.

I was out discing a hay field one time and as I'm passing the row I just did I look over and see something sharp poking up out of the ground. Lucky it didn't pinch the tire. But I go grab it and it's an old hay hook. You could tell it was hand made, probably at least 100 years old. At the end of the day I stood there holding this thing; looking out at the field and got this surreal ghostly connection to the past envisioning the guys of old doing the same thing I was more or less but all by hand and horse. Some guy was out there picking up small square bales by hand and loading em onto a wagon, dropped his hook and there it remained ever since. You think about all the history and events that went by as things like this just sat there in the ground as the world turns until you dug it up. I could just hear some ole boy saying "ah shit where'd my hook go?" I use it as a coat hook in my camper.
 
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