Farm Income - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-03-2009, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Illinois
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Farm Income

We recently purchased a small farm. I have promised my doctor that when our current house sells I'll quit working. DH is retired. I have disability insurance so I'll have 60% of my current income. One of the reasons we've purchased this farm is that we can use it for income/reduce expenses. Of course, we no longer have to board.

How do you use your property for income?

We have chickens. I'd like to get sheep. We have about 10 acres in hay. Other ideas?

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-03-2009, 12:24 AM
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I used to try pretty hard to keep an income coming from our land. I grew veggies for farmers market and sold eggs from the house.
I finally quit everything except what I could give to our local food bank (it is tax deductible) but I have even stopped doing that and have scaled things back to just what we use.
I think anything you grow is better than raising livestock as far as a fast income goes. Unless you raise goats or sheep for wool which are a pretty quick turnover. I have friends who have grown mushrooms for sale at farmers markets and they got a pretty good clientele built up in local restaurants. Any produce you try, its best to start off at a large farmers market. They are great places to meet food brokers if you are growing a specialty crop like mushrooms or herbs. Local chefs are great buyers and if you can get them buying you can be your own broker.
Just something to think about
I even started an echinacea patch but had a hard time finding buyers back then. I think its easier now.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-03-2009, 12:49 AM
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I only have chickens as they are easy to keep and supply me with fresh eggs. Other than that I have about 6 acres which is used for crops - a local farmer does all the work for most of the crop, in return I get about 30 sacks of Oats and 10 sacks of corn. I also have all the straw, but I have to get it baled myself.

I am also building an anerobic digester - it will produce methane which I will run a generator with - this will supply all my electricity and even have extra which I will sell to the local grid.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-08-2009, 10:03 PM
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100 bales per acre say 10 acres x 4 cuttings at a low average of $5 per bale = 20,000.00

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post #5 of 6 Old 07-09-2009, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shmurmer4 View Post
100 bales per acre say 10 acres x 4 cuttings at a low average of $5 per bale = 20,000.00
Ah, we can't get 4 cuttings this year. Too much rain. Just got the first cutting done because no rain was predicted. Guess what? It rained. Hopefully, a cow farmer will purchase it and we'll make it even on this. Small bales go for $3 if they are really good and pure alfalfa. Last year they got 400 bales for the first cutting. In the past they've only done two cuttings a year.

So...hopefully, it'll stop raining so they can take that hay out and grow up some more. Then we can get another crop in...keep some, sell some. If we're lucky, really lucky, we'll get a third cutting this year. Oh, it costs $1.20 per small bale to have it cut and baled.

I figure, if we're lucky, on a good year, the hay will pay for the taxes. That's about $3000.

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?

Last edited by Joshie; 07-09-2009 at 12:31 AM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-09-2009, 10:40 PM
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How the heck do you get 100 bales per acre? What size bales?

Depending on the weather (drought, normal, etc) and the property, I've seen 30-60 bales per acre and its usually considered pretty lush around here.

And $5 is low??? Hay prices here are averaging $2-$4 per bale. It got up to $5 & $6 a bale when we had the drought, but prices have drastically dropped this year. Plus you have to factor in the cost of baling it - either having someone else do it or the cost of equipment upkeep & gas to do it yourself.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

Last edited by Cat; 07-09-2009 at 10:42 PM.
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