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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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poods77
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3 pennsylvania
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2009-09-01          165386


Brand new to chat room and tractors. Just bought a 20 acre property with 5 acres of grass as well as 10 acres of field which I ultimately hope to plant a variety of crops including corn. Driveway is stone and is 1/8 mile up hill, will need something that is capable of snowblowin this. Can anyone help me on the size/horsepower tractor that would be recommended as well as attachments. Thank you for any potential tips you could give me.

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2009-09-01          165388


May I suggest you look at the corn planting first. Are you planting that for harvest and if so how will it be harvested? If a combine or corn picker what width row it the machine? Then you need planters for that width. Then unless no till planters which use a lot of HP you will need attachments to till the ground before planting the corn.

I plant corn or soybeans and use four row planters without any fertlizer attachments. Still that is a lot of weight hung off the lift. So for corn even if you go to two row planters think you should be about 45 hp at least.

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-09-02          165391


Getting a crop of corn from planting to harvest involves lot of different machines none of which are real cheap plus there is a bit of skill involved in knowing how and when to use them. Maybe if there is a neighbor that grows corn he would be wiling to hire out to do yours till you get a bit more experience.
Without getting into the corn farming a compact of thirtyfive or so hp. will take care of the rest of your needs.
As for attachments, first be sure to get four wheel drive, you'll never regret that. Second, a front end loader, you will use it almost every day, I've never had mine off the tractor in ten years. My chice for next most used would be a box blade for the three point hitch. You will use it more than you would think plus it is a good counterweight for the front loader. After that the sky is the limit, rear mount finish mowers, tillers, backhoes, blades, etc.
Good luck. Frank. ....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2683 NorthWest NJ
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2009-09-02          165392


Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwood | view 165391
Getting a crop of corn from planting to harvest involves lot of different machines none of which are real cheap plus there is a bit of skill involved in knowing how and when to use them. Maybe if there is a neighbor that grows corn.......


Hi Frank,

What bushel yield can he expect to get for his 20 acres and what would that be valued at.

In my area we with have some "Preservation Farms" of several hundred acres each that have all the right equipment for corn.

On the other hand we have a Lawyer that owns 10 to 20 acres that he has been playing with to grow corn. I say playing because of the un-harvestable crops his efforts have yielded. Made me think growing corn is easy for some and not so easy for others, the lawyer gave up trying this year. His corn plants were small undersized and of a pale weak color. Looks like he should have analyzed his soil better and applied the right chemicals.

Growing corn feed plots to encourage wildlife can be a lot less demanding for the inexperienced I would think.

Dennis

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-09-02          165393


The advice you get here has to be more general than what you would get from a walk-through with a local tractor dealer salesperson or neighboring experienced farmer. I agree that around 35-45 HP should be right, with a front loader, and can add only a little.

As for the tractor, decide if you want to work in the open or in a cab, and what kind of tire tread. As for brand, the closer the dealer, the better. But the main issues would be the attachments, which are what do the work. You can get them later, but package deals are usually more favorable.

Snow blower or blade? What kind of mower? What other crops? For these, we'll be glad to help, but you should get on-site advice. ....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-09-02          165394


Dennis; That's a pretty tough question about what his yields and return per acre would be. Soil type, drainage, fertility level, weed control, insect control, correct seed for the situation, on and on not even considering weather conditions will judge the final yield.
Return per acre is a pretty tight squeeze this year even with a great yield, Fertilizer costs, especially nitrogen were sky high this past spring along with increases in about every other input involved. The corn crop here is from two to three weeks behind in maturity because of the cool summer not producing enough heat unts for ther crop to mature on time. This makes drying the corn a more expensive situatuion, lots more LP gas than normal.
Food plot corn is a lot less internse, the final yield doesn't matter much so most of the fertilizer can be skipped. Birds like the seeds from foxtail and all the other weeds that will come without any chemical control.
A fellow moved out from the city to a farm a few miles from us and declared that all those nasty chemicals and fertilizers weren't necessary to grow corn. After a couple years of weeds the bank ended up with the farm and he moved away. Frank. ....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2009-09-03          165410


As Frank has said there is a lot that affects corn yield. Too much water can give the results you described for the lawyer. You also have to know there were guess still are those professional crop insurance farmers. :(

A thought, with the economy as it is and also just the way we age and people move, you stand a good chance to find if not all you will need a big part of it from someone who is moving or shutting down their operation. Find out if Penn. has any type of for sale of farm equipment for the farmer. If so those can be good sources for fair price equipment. It can also be a good source for worn out equipment. As to auctions at least here...they are for the seller not the buyer. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2683 NorthWest NJ
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2009-09-03          165414


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 165410
As Frank has said there is a lot that affects corn yield.....


I guess what I was getting at is that if all you have is 20 acres how much money could the poster expect to receive? Gross Revenue?

Then he could determine if it was worth the effort to buy the tractor and equipment required, and all the time and effort.

It was my belief that most of the small parcel land owners here rent the land to the people who have the the large tractors, combines, and sprayers and know what they are doing, and can go to market with a large combined crop.

I am curious as to whether or not my understanding of this is off and that there are actually many micro farmers out there.
....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-09-03          165425


My thoughts on this Dennis. If you are looking to plant corn to sell for grain at best very little profit and then not for years when you are buying the equipment. If sweet corn being sold directly to the end consumer you can make money but all the things that must line up is unreal. Labor and dependable market being two huge ones.

There really is a lot to consider. May I suggest anyone who is looking to raise a crop they know little about the true cost of, contract their state agriculture university and see if they have a work sheet that shows the cost and estimated yields and them the profit or lose results. It is real eye opening to do so and see your best hope is to only loose say $10 per acre. These often are on line.

There can be hidden benefits to farming but you look at those very carefully. Best suggestion there is talk to an accountant who does taxes for farmers.

Oh for what is it worth, I rented my few acres of crop land this year the first time since I have been planting if for at least 12 years and feel sorry for the guy who planted it. He is a pro that has done my combing for at least 10 years and farms a few hundred acres. I am trying to figure out what to plant to even break even for next year.
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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-09-03          165426


I don't want to give the impression you can not make money with 20 acres or so for you can. But you must with 20 or 2 thousand acres be raising what you will make money for your operation. For 20 acres that probably would be produce and in that I mean melons or pumpkins and even some small animals. Have a neighbor who does well raising minature donkeys. There is also plants and such. ....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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poods77
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3 pennsylvania
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-09-03          165430


Thanks for all the advice. I am obviously very new to all of this. I had a simple backyard garden that I slowly expanded to about 2000 square feet that I did entirely by hand with no mechanical equipment-mix of corn, sweet potatoes, hot and bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, cantaloupe, watermelon, blueberries, peas, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, squash, etc. I enjoyed it tremendously and am interested in slowly expanding to planting the 10 acres of crops. The auctions are a great idea and I know of a few potentials that I will check out. I will try to contact local farmers on further tips and will probably visit my local tractor dealers. Thanks again for all of the tips and please feel free to give me any other tips as I can use all of the help I can get.
....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-09-03          165431


Dennis' Gross per acre would be a wild guess at best.
His yield per acre can vary from zero to 200-225 bu. per acre depending on all the factors I metioned earlier. The market price for corn delivered to the local elevator here today is about 3.20 per bu., but that changes almost daily.
So his gross per acre couild be as much as 700.00. Fourteen grand, that's a pretty good income from twenty acres. But now the reality sets in, input costs,on and on, and you are about a hundred fifty to two hundred dollars below the gross per acre. Now we haven't even talked about power and machine cost,land cost, etc. Even with everything going right it will be close to a break even year for many, usually they ride it out waiting for a better market and good yield next year. Eternal optimists, we are called.
Being the poster has lots of experience with vegatable crops that may be a better option if a market can be had for his products. ....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-09-04          165438


Poods77, if you have the time get out and meet the neighbors. Many can give you great advice if only one narrow area. Some may think you are a threat to their income so listen with caution also. Find where the farmers meet and visit with them. That could be local corner store, diner, feed store you get the idea. Be ready to laugh at yourself or to admit I don't know and hope you can help me. Most people are very willing to help if asked politely...hey like here!

You may do well to find a neighbor who will farm the acreage for say one year and you watch him and maybe you can swap his use of that land to work your garden for you. That will only work if he has the size equipment to work a garden. Real crop tractors are too big for most gardens. Or you may find someone who is willing to swap your help for use of machines you need. Often this comes with time though. ....

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Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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farmerdawg
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2 myakka city florida
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2012-06-05          183776


the ideal machine would be from 70 to 90 horsepower which will give you good pto horsepower also with four wheel drive as for the other discussion topics you will have to kinda play it by ear best of luck and keep on farming ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Tractor Size for 20 acres with corn

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2012-06-06          183778


Poods, have about an update?
....

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