Thought this would be the place to ask     : Farming Ranching Agriculture  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Thought this would be the place to ask : Farming Ranching Agriculture -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Farming Ranching Agriculture Forum

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 10-30-2004, 12:38 Post: 99516
matthewh



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

Hello all. Love this forum. I just bought a house on about 3 acres of old farm land. The land has been recently plowed. My question is: How do I try and turn over a little money with this land with out to much overhead. I live in the house, and hate to just have a field. I've never farmed, but I'm handy as a farm hand. Also I have a john deere M and a mitsu satoh with implements. Any advice please.
Thanks all.
Matt






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 10-30-2004, 15:59 Post: 99518
hardwood

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 Thought this would be the place to ask

I know of several folks in our aeria who make a decent second income by raising vegetables on a few acres then selling them in the local farmers markets during season. My wife makes it a point to be there when they open as fresh vegies, home made pies, etc. seem to sell out real fast. It's a lot of hard work, but probably the best return on the dollar invested, compared to any livestock enterprise, such as Emus, Alpacas, etc.. I'm sure quite a large startup investment is needed and like any kind of livestock the market can go your way or aganst you and either make or break your venture. Others may have better ideas too, but in any case good luck in your new enterprise. Frank.






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 10-31-2004, 04:58 Post: 99541
harvey



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

Nothing quite beats watching someone grow stuff and offer the extras for sale.

We buy lots of fresh veggies all summer this way.

You may not make a living from it but it will pay for your expenses of growing. And you always have the freshest of veggies in the summer, with no or little waste.






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 10-31-2004, 05:58 Post: 99544
BrendonN



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

One thing you might check into is if there are farm stands in your area that are "missing" something. If you could grow something they are not and sell it to them wholesale, it would remove the work of having to retail your product yourself (manning a stand all day, etc). Might not get quite top dollar, but for many folks it may be worth it not having to deal with the retail side of things. I am planning to try Indian corn this way next year. Mini pumpkins and gourds are popular too.






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 10-31-2004, 07:07 Post: 99546
Art White



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

If you are figuring on selling them yourself to make the most of your investment you would need to be in the right place. You would need to have enough stock to make it worth while for the customers to come back or enough for the word to spread and be able to have enough stock to grow with. The farmers markets in many towns would be a good outlet to sell at but again means more time invested. A good relationship with an existing stand to broaden their market might be a good avenue with the least investment in your time without having the retail to worry worry about. The organic markets are one of the fastest growing markets for farmers and organic products do bring a good price.






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 10-31-2004, 09:48 Post: 99564
matthewh



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

It seems like the knee jerk reaction is produce. What about ornamentals, trees (to sell as saplings) or even planting pine to eventually harvest straw 2x year. Does anyone know if these are lucrative?

I'm looking to do more than break even.
Matt

Back to produce. I live in a good location and could hire someone to man a stand. However, It would take a couple of seasons for me to get the hang of it, and I truly question the profitability once you consider the time spent to condition the land, purchase seeds, plant, maintain, maintain, maintain, maintain, maintain, harvest, and sell. I could be flat out wrong though. I enjoy hobbies, but was thinking along the lines of a little less time intensive.

Matt






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 10-31-2004, 10:13 Post: 99567
denwood



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

I own a garden center so I have some experience in what you are asking. One thing I can say is growing and selling are 2 totally different things. Most anyone can grow something but just try to sell something when demand for it is low. Things also go in cycles. What is short one year is excess the next. Many things require special expensive equipment and the only way to justify is to go large scale. I.E. baling pine needles or digging trees. You have a small piece so you may want to look at a low imput product that is easy to unload or has shelf life. If you go with produce, look for local produce auctions. It is an easy way to sell with almost no imput and in large quantities of whatever product is ready. You may take a hit on price if there is a glut or low quality, but usually people do well around me. Christmas trees are a product with shelf life and a moderate input level. If they don't sell one year, they are a little bigger the next. Not a lot of special equipment for choose and cut.






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 11-01-2004, 07:52 Post: 99612
yooperpete



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 Thought this would be the place to ask

I would caution you on thinking that you are going to make big bucks with a road side stand, or that you have to invest next to nothing to make this money. Likewise, it may take several or a bunch of years to grown Christmas trees.

I don't know your area, climate nor soil conditions. If you are in a farming community what are they growing. Is your community full of roadside stands or is there a large operation close to you? How about traffic on your road?


Possibility #1-Something for no work at all.
Three acres is not allot of land. I get about $125.00 per acre renting land to a farmer. Generally even a smalltime farmer is going to want atleast a 5-10 acre field minimum to make it worth his while unless he is just next door. He may want a hay field, etc. Some farmers rent land on the share basis(ie land owner gets 1/3rd and farmer get 2/3rds or a similar ratio).
Possibility#2-Berryfarm
I don't know if your region is a good candidate for this. Raspberry, blueberries or strawberries may be something unique. You can pick these or have the customers come and pick them.
Possibility#3-vineyard
You could try growing grapes and bottle you own brand of wine. One of my best friend's son is going to try this. You need just the correct climate and soil. This is a longshot!
Possibility#4-Nursery products
Can you get small trees, shrubs and plants cheap to grow and prune into a slightly larger size and resell. This is also a very competitive area if you have a nursery close or big chain store forget it.
Possibility#5-Veggie market
Most areas always have room for the basics like sweet corn, tomotatos, peppers and a few pumpkins. A roadside stand may be your best bet. Remember to keep you corn stalks and sell them for the holidays. In the South some other veggies may also be popular. If you do the math, at $3.00/dozen you gotta grown a lot of sweetcorn!
Possibility#6 Christmas tree farm
Plant a bunch of small trees, trim them several times a year and wait about 15 years.

I would enjoy the scenery and let the land grow idle.






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 11-26-2004, 17:08 Post: 101111
earthwrks

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 Thought this would be the place to ask

With farm land increasing being gobbled up, here in SE Mich. it is common to lease your land to another farmer for growing such things as soybeans and wheat. Around here the "lease price" is usually one-half the gross proceeds from a crop. A friend of mine with 40 acres has made anywhere from $300 in a bad year to $1200 in a good.






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 11-26-2004, 17:14 Post: 101112
kubotachick



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I'm in the landscape business, and i would recomend growing...but not for ornamentals, do christmas trees. Its kind of a set it and forget it thing. It will consume your field and also its not as high maintanance as an ornamental field (vector wise). If you do ornamentals, it would almost be a better idea to invest in a spade and to the digging yourself rather than make other people buy...






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