Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TBF 023 :: Beginning Farmer Equipment List, Farm Update, and a Hard Lesson Learned

If you are beginning your farm from scratch like I did, or if you are starting a new venture on your existing farm there is always a huge list of things that you feel like you need to have to get started. Back in episode five of the show I talked about making major farm purchases and little bit about the thought process that goes into that, but this week I wanted to talk specifics. What pieces of equipment and machinery did I use as we got the farm and homestead up and running? This is not an all inclusive list, but I do feel like it would give you a good start.

Equipment Every Diversified Livestock
Beginning Farmer Should Buy
  1. Tractor (with a loader)
  2. Stock Trailer
  3. Brush Mower
  4. Hay Rack
  5. Pick-up Truck
  6. Feed Wagon
  7. Hydraulic Hog Cart
  8. Post Hole Digger
  9. Plow
  10. Disk
  11. Drag Harrow
  12. Spring-Tooth Harrow
  13. Broadcast Seeder
  14. Barge Box or Grain Wagon
  15. Seed Drill
  16. Round Bale Trailer
  17. Baler
  18. Hay Rake
  19. Hay Mower (or mower/conditioner)
  20. Three-Point Rotary Tiller
  21. Four-Wheeler
  22. Chainsaw 
  23. Garden Tiller
  24. Flatbed Trailer
The thing about that list though is that if you are like me you will probably go broke before you even get to the end of the list ... or at the very least you won't have enough capital left over to purchase the foundation livestock for your farm! So, what I decided to do was distill that list down to the top-three things that I would get ...
  1. A Chainsaw :: It can be used for construction, cutting firewood, building fence, and so much more.
  2. A Tractor with a Loader :: This is a pricey piece of equipment, but if you shop around ... buy used ... and aren't afraid to get your hands greasy it will be something that gets used on your farm for just about every project.
  3. A Flatbed Trailer :: If you have a small truck, no truck, or just a car that you can put a trailer hitch on the flatbed trailer is the perfect low-cost solution for all your hauling needs on and off the farm. Plus, you can use it to pick-up the things you had to borrow since you were smart and didn't buy everything right away!
If you have an input on the topic be sure to leave a comment below or send us an e-mail.

The Beginning Farmer ShowAs always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn. If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five start rating and review (by clicking the link or the image on the right). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with The Beginning Farmer and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ... 

**Special Note :: A few users are experiencing issues downloading the show on iTunes. If you have any experience with podcasts and how they can play nicely with iTunes I would love some suggestions.**

(if you are interested in the music in this episode check out my brother's record label, Historic Records) 


Rich said...

I agree on the chainsaw advice, and although it might sound a little odd, when I started out I used a welder more than almost any other tool.

I started out with an older arc welder that belonged to my grandfather, and eventually bought a portable gas powered arc welder (so that I could weld anything, anywhere I needed to on the farm).

I built the metal frame of our barn, fixed equipment, fixed our stock trailer, built/fixed mineral feeders, built heavy duty gates, and built our cattle handling area.

With a welder, I can fix, build, and modify an awful lot of stuff and therefore I don't have to spend as much money buying all the little stuff that you need around the farm.

Besides all that, if I was starting out again with just the cattle, I'd want a reliable pickup, a stock trailer (as long as the tires, axles, springs, and floor were in good shape, it wouldn't matter how ugly it was), a simple loading/sorting area, some high-tensile wire to put around the perimeter fence, and some high-quality fence energizers (because cheap fence chargers are the most expensive tool you'll ever buy).

I'd try to buy hay in the beginning, and after I made some money with the cattle, then I'd think about buying stuff like tractors and hay equipment.

Fix it if you can, learn how to fix it if you don't know how to fix it, don't go into debt, don't throw money at a problem, grow your farm on the money you make from the farm, and you are more likely to be successful at farming.

Monte - Farm Real Estate said...

I don't know about everyone else but I would love a ballpark price tag for the list. If you are going to invest in a farm, besides the land, an expected cost would be helpful to aspire to save or finance.

Also, I LOL'd at "I have lots of chain saws". I know they come in different sizes but don't they all cut wood? Why so many?

Joe said...

Great List! I went the flat bed trailer route as I couldn't afford a pickup truck and something that could move the whole family so we found a used Tahoe. It has worked great! Funny, my first blog entry was all about the gear I amassed to function for a very small scale hobby farm.

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