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Thanks! I am busy, there is always something to do. I buy my pigs as 30-40 lbs. and raise them up to around 280lbs.  I just have a couple small dirt pens with maybe 12x20ft sheds.  I just fill there 80 bushel self feeders with ground corn and soybean meal mix and I have a 70 gallon watered for them.  Most days I just fill there waterer which takes about 5 minutes. When they are small it takes probly 3 weeks for them to empty there feeder, but when they get up to 200 lbs. it’s more like Every 7-8 days. I grind my own feed which takes around 1.5 hours to grind and put out for them. My hogs really don’t take a lot of time and I market almost all of them to individuals for butcher.  

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My cousin started farming in 75 in 78 he realized he did not have enough land to not have a job. He worked at a trailer mfg place and did a pretty descent job of farming 270 acres of ditch flood irrig

If everyone was a part time farmer it would be a happier more content country. I don't care if all you got is a garden and a goat. It is how man was supposed to spend his time on earth.

For ten years I drove truck 60 hours a week at night and farmed 600 acres when I could. Was that part time? Help a neighbor now spring and fall around 40 hours a week while still being a truck driver.

There isn't really any one right answer for this. There is a million ways to farm. There are people that make pretty good money growing a couple acres of vegetables, but it takes a ton of time. Corn and beans are less labor intensive but you need a lot of equipment, so more acres needed to cover overhead. I dont have what too many people would call a real farm, but I grow a couple acres of alfalfa hay to sell to horse people, plus layer hens and a garden for us. The only reason I make money on the hay is because I use my dads dad's equipment. If I had to buy a haybine, rake, tedder, baler,  and wagons I would need own more ground to be worthwhile. 

I agree with what was said earlier, see if you can find a local farm you can help out on. You will learn a lot, and get some much needed connections if you do decide to try it on your own. Believe me you will need them. 

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There's bunch of You Tube videos of small & large farmers doing their thing on their farm... google & check out what interests you.

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On 2/1/2021 at 5:47 PM, Halftexan said:

Is 250 acres profitable?

I wager that if you are concerned about profitability, I can find you something more profitable to do with your time and money than farm 250 acres, no matter how much time you have or what your skills are.    I have a full time job and try to farm 250 with cattle also and do it because i have "the sickness"

 

 

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13 minutes ago, cjf711 said:

I wager that if you are concerned about profitability, I can find you something more profitable to do with your time and money than farm 250 acres, no matter how much time you have or what your skills are.    I have a full time job and try to farm 250 with cattle also and do it because i have "the sickness"

 

 

...sadly...very true...:(

Mike

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I've always found that any amount of farming was a full time job compensated for with part time pay. But it's the getting to "playing" in the dirt part I never outgrew....

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It depends. Soils, climate, markets, etc. 

You could easily make a living here on 250 acres of cattle ranch with the addition of several poultry houses.

250 acres would be a huge You pick operation for strawberries, etc since your close to Houston.

Thx-Ace 

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If everyone was a part time farmer it would be a happier more content country.

I don't care if all you got is a garden and a goat.

It is how man was supposed to spend his time on earth.

It is a quiet time to reflect on the important things in life.

When something, be it plant or animal is dependant on you, it gives you purpose.

Me? I'm just a crusty old codger but the cows don't care and that makes me feel like I am contributing somehow.

Full time or part time don't matter as long as you get out there and do something.

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11 hours ago, sandhiller said:

If everyone was a part time farmer it would be a happier more content country.

I don't care if all you got is a garden and a goat.

It is how man was supposed to spend his time on earth.

It is a quiet time to reflect on the important things in life.

When something, be it plant or animal is dependant on you, it gives you purpose.

Me? I'm just a crusty old codger but the cows don't care and that makes me feel like I am contributing somehow.

Full time or part time don't matter as long as you get out there and do something.

Very great point!

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I got Flowers (wholesale cut peonies) bees and I am looking into some berries. May go with you pick. Wife has chickens. 
 

19 hours ago, sandhiller said:

If everyone was a part time farmer it would be a happier more content country.

I don't care if all you got is a garden and a goat.

It is how man was supposed to spend his time on earth.

It is a quiet time to reflect on the important things in life.

When something, be it plant or animal is dependant on you, it gives you purpose.

Me? I'm just a crusty old codger but the cows don't care and that makes me feel like I am contributing somehow.

Full time or part time don't matter as long as you get out there and do something.

and this is why. Very well said. 
 

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4 minutes ago, AKwelder said:

I got Flowers (wholesale cut peonies) bees and I am looking into some berries. May go with you pick. Wife has chickens. 
 

and this is why. Very well said. 
 

Neighbor had 20ish acres of hemp out this year. Had been renting the farm out for 30 yrs, 50 tillable. Grand kid just out of college talked grandma into a new pole barn and 1 fld for hemp. On a US highway but let the tennant who farms the rest put a corn wall to reduce visibilty along road. I farm right across highway and from my hills could observe.  They were very quiet about it. Think it was part of a pilot program probly.  Thought about putting a sign up on the highway "YOU PICK HEMP   open 10PM - 6AM  just walk through corn "    ?

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On 2/4/2021 at 2:05 PM, Halftexan said:

In y'all's opinion where do you get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to land? To be more specific harvesting grain and perhaps livestock.

...well, Halftexan......you are not giving up easily...thats obvious.....It is also very good, because you will need that dogged determination to succeed  in your farming endeavour......:)......For reasons that elude me...Farmers seem to be regarded as one of the lowerlife forms.....this by the great unwashed...nothing could be further from the truth.....

Luck !!

Mike

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On 2/2/2021 at 6:56 PM, Halftexan said:

Sadly not, I don't know much about the ag world and am trying to learn more. I am an airline pilot and am gone about 3 days a week so I'm looking into part time farming. Just trying to get information on how the operation works and if my situation is doable. I have always loved farming and wanted to dive in but never got around to it.

Here is my take on your situation and what I would do. I'm a third generation dairy farmer, it's my only source of income beside what my wife makes part time. 

 

If I was in your shoes, I would purchase a nice plot of land that would be in my budget, it is going to help you if you can purchase land that has been already cleared and in fields already. Take a small amount and grow a larger sizes garden, gardening is in its own sense, farming. You can sell your commodity at local farmers markets, and get a good sense of what it's like on a smaller scale before you dive in head first. Rent the land out to local farmers and make your intent known of what you want to do from the beginning. You want to learn everything you can to eventually farm your land on your own. Let the farmer know that you want to learn, and would like to help if you can. Best way to coax this would to be rent him land cheaper than that of the neighbors prices or his set price. I don't know your financial portfolio, don't need to. As long as you aren't going backwards on it, and he is happy with price, that's all that's needed. You are going to learn more hands on that you ever will reading out of a book or whatever someone is telling you about what they know. You are going to want to meet with your local soil service about your land purchases and have them help you make your land as profitable as possible when you start to farm it on your own. As much as farming seems like a lone star occupation, it honestly takes a team. It's going to be you at the front, the bank and your budget calling how much and when, and unforeseen prices depicting all of that on top of what you and the bank are thinking. It's going to take your agronomist and soil service to help you determine the next step in soil health, and what will need to be added or just left alone. It's going to take someone (or you) to broker your commodity to sell or whatever seems best for the future. It's not just what the neighbors are doing, it's what looks best for you and to trust your guts most of the time. 

 

Here's my take on farming. It is never part time if it's in your heart. Farming isn't an occupation, it's a life style. It's never been about the money for me or my family, it's always been about family, living off what is on front of you, and the joy of knowing at the end of it all, the minutes, the hours, days, years, and your life, you set forth to better your life and do the same for the land. You just happened to make some money some years and lose some the next. It's not always a profitable operation, some years are a wash, and you just keep your head above water long enough to make it till next spring to start over again. It's beginning to become extremely difficult in our area to become a first time farmer. Price of land vs. the profit you can make farming is a hard one to pencil out and make it go. That's the other thing too, everyone says it's going to work on paper when you try to run a budget, but guess what, repairs happen, fires, floods, tornado, whatever, it's going to happen. No, not every year, hopefully, but just be prepared, it's going to not work out some years. It's a life style, it's a good one, and it's the most honest. You don't feel like getting out there today because you don't want to and have a hang nail? Well, guess what, you just missed the last day for two weeks of planting weather, and now, you're behind, you don't get a good crop, and you miss out on a very nice profit margin. You get out what you put in, period. 

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52 minutes ago, mike newman said:

...well, Halftexan......you are not giving up easily...thats obvious.....It is also very good, because you will need that dogged determination to succeed  in your farming endeavour......:)......For reasons that elude me...Farmers seem to be regarded as one of the lowerlife forms.....this by the great unwashed...nothing could be further from the truth.....

Luck !!

Mike

 I could teach anybody to be a farmer, It's a process. You dig a hole, put a seed in, put dirt on top, up comes the corn.

Mike Bloomberg  "Expert at growing face plants"

Spending $936,225,041.67 on failed presidential race. Priceless.

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7 minutes ago, Halftexan said:

Just starting out is it better to pay someone to spray your field or buy an old sprayer?

Easier to pay someone, then you don’t have to worry about pesticide licenses. 

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28 minutes ago, Halftexan said:

Should I be looking for a field that already is equipped with an irrigation system?

If your area lacks in rain. Irrigation systems can be costly to maintain and repair. Our soil holds moisture very well, so our area doesn't have them.

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I'm wondering if you should start working or volunteering with a farm before you jump into anything or make any decisions.  Sprayers aren't a deciding factor in our area.  It is real easy to hire it done.  As for irrigation it has it's place.  If you are growing produce it is a must just about anywhere.  In many areas irrigation for traditional crops is completely unnecessary or in questionable years cost prohibitive.  You really need to decide what crops you are going to attempt to produce before you get into the equipment aspect of it.  To decide crops you really need to get out there in the field and understand how they grow and what is involved.  On the sprayer front there are pull sprayers 3 point sprayers single sided and high lift vegetable sprayers directional air blast sprayers orchard sprayers etc. All of these sprayers have a place depending on crops.  Although equipment can hold value its value it isn't going to help to buy things then change your operation and no longer have a need for them.

What works for me isn't how my neighbors operate and probably different from anyone on here.  That doesn't mean I am wrong or they are wrong.  It means there are so many ways to get the end result and they differ from farm to farm let alone region to region.  

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43 minutes ago, Halftexan said:

 cause my schedule is not fixed.

That is the reason you need to find more experience. There are cheaper ways than in the field with your money on the line. Some will disagree but some book learning about what crops interest you is good. Some things need doing when the crop and weather all comes together ? some are much more forgiving. Hard to explain from the other side of the screen.  Just something to add to your list of things to think about. As well as how will other people in your life react if plans need to change at the last minute.  You promise to go to the ball game  (or anything else) , and the bugs move in spray today or the crop is gone. A bit extreme but then again harder to schedule any ag practice without the experience, and still not a exact science with it. 

 

But a few with no personal experience do manage to succeed in farming, some luck as well as good planning helps. Most will answer your questions here and never sugar coat the answer. A few will tell you just forget it. But even if you never make a dollar on the real growing of a crop, if you have money to invest the billionaires are parking money in ag land. If your willing to get dirty and sweaty most farmers will be willing give advice if you ask. 

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I don'd know much about farming being we've just got a hobby farm but I found a book in a thrift stone, "Out of the earth" by Louis Bromfield (I think) It's an old book and the guy is kinda strange but I thought it might be helpful.

Also a friend of mine sent me this book, It really rocked my little boat.

http://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/press/Weeds guardians of the Soil (3).pdf

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