For generations, farming has kept the American agriculture industry booming. For many people, agriculture is an integral part of the American economy contributing 100 billion dollars each year. Yet right now, it’s in a massive state of transition.
Farms, both big and small, are no longer hand plowed or manually tended. Automation and technology have changed the face of farming, and small farm equipment is now more advanced than ever before.
Countless products find their origin on the farm. From food to leather or even your favorite IPA—it all begins on a farm.
Identifying Your Farm Needs
According to the USDA, large scale farms average 1,421 acres+ and small scale farms average 231 acres -1400 (ish) acres. This metric is the very first place to start when determining your farming needs.
The worst thing you can do for your budget is to go shopping when you don’t know what you need. Whether it’s groceries or small farm equipment, everything can suddenly become a need when it’s sitting there in the showroom, all shiny and new.
When shopping for farm equipment at an agriculture equipment dealership, you need to know your practical needs. What works for one farm will not work for another, and then there are the personal preference options that can increase or decrease the price of your equipment.
The best place to start thinking about your equipment is on your farm before you hit the showroom. Make a list of the daily/weekly/monthly tasks that need to be accomplished, and then you can make a list of the equipment that is required to complete each job.
Small Farm Equipment
When running a large scale operation, your farm will require large scale equipment, but many small scale farms are just as essential to the overall industry. With these smaller farms, you will need to scale back the size of your equipment, but there are a few items that are on the must-have list.
Since purchasing farm equipment is a significant investment, you will want to consider what is known as the seven P’s of purchasing: Price, performance, power, parts, product support, prestige, and preference.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Ford or Chevy (okay, it does matter, but we’ll leave that decision up to you) every farm needs a reliable pickup truck to help transport everything from feed, building supplies, or whatever haul you need.
Make sure whatever truck you decide on included a hitch package. It’s a small addition but one that will get used quite often.
Compact Utility Tractor
Sure, they’re the smaller versions that are seen on larger farms, but this piece of small farm equipment will prove invaluable. Their smaller engines are still packed with enough power to do all of the heavy lifting or leveling that your farm may need these tractors are a must for any size farm.
When working on a small farm, you want to get the most use out of your small farm equipment as possible. Tractor add-ons can help you accomplish multiple jobs with one or two pieces of equipment.
Tractor add-ons such as a grapple bucket, tooth bar, chain hooks, and a carryall will help you speed through the long list of daily tasks.
Depending on the type of farm you have will depend on your needs. If you have livestock, then there are a plethora of options you can choose from.
Watering systems, feed systems, and fencing should always be at the top of the list.
Mini Combine Harvester
Owning a full-size combine harvester for a small farm is not economically sound. More massive combine harvesters cost a lot of money to operate, and for small farms, this would eat away at your annual budget almost immediately.
Making the most of your time means investing in the equipment that can get the job done efficiently and without hesitation. Harvesting equipment such as a small wheat harvester or a small combine harvester is ideal for saving time and money.
There are a couple of varying models for you to choose from, and depending on the size of your small farm will determine which one you want to use.
There are the walking type models that you can manually operate. These push models are ideal for the much smaller farms with smaller production and limited budgets.
As much as we wish, every single job could be automated, that is not the case. Not all tasks require the use of technology. Some of them require good old fashioned hand tools.
These tools may not be automated; however, you won’t want to skimp on quality tools. From rakes, wheelbarrows, hammers, wrenches, drills, tool chests, etc. you will want to purchase quality equipment that will last a long time.
Warranties and Repair
As with your other small farm equipment, you will want to invest in guarantees should they be offered. There is a significant financial investment when it comes to purchasing farm equipment, and a warranty helps to protect that investment.
If your livelihood depends on your farm’s production then to insure, not only the farm but the equipment on the farm, makes good business sense.
Many of the major insurance companies offer business insurance for farms. There are also specialty insurance companies that provide coverages specifically designed to cover for risk that all farmers carry.
Count the Costs
When purchasing your small farm equipment, make sure that you count the costs. Not just the purchase price but the overall price it will be each day/week/month etc. to operate your machine.
This information is just as vital and essential as the rest and, if overlooked, may cause that brand new piece of equipment to sit in the barn unused. Choose wisely.
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