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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ThistleMary, Jun 17, 2017.
What "initial analysis" was incorrect?
Just in my one county of Illinois the soils go from 50 to 250 bushels of yield in a normal yield.
There really isn't that much variability in Production costs so I am amazed that the poor ground is farmed at all.
There can be big differences in the production costs depending on soil amendments, fertilization, irrigation and the type of weed control used.
The numbers you use give a 150 BPA average.
People farm what they own, even if that means using "poor ground" sometimes.
For the OP, this resource might be helpful:
It's a book, but the organization has a field day coming up in Northern Illinois, about growing Artisanal Grains.
I realize that's not your locale, but they may offer a video or transcript of the session.
Not to mention $2/bushel rent vs sometimes $0/bushel rent
Yeah, a lot of people here have stopped growing corn on rented land.
Most have switched over to Soybeans and Cotton
As well as beans you might want to consider lupins. They have 20% protein. The normal variety require a lot of purging before you can eat them, but in Australia we have developed a type that is smaller, yields higher and can be eaten straight after harvesting. It is usually used as animal fodder but you can buy the flour from health food stores. Perhaps there is something like that in the US?
Also don't forget to rotate your crops every year so that pathogens don't build up in the soil. Having a few different grains would be a good idea and you will need to keep enough seed from them all.
Plows , combines, pesticide , herbicide,irrigation ect tend to be the same per acre
No, not all of those will be the same either.
(Herbicides are pesticides)
Many farmers don't own combines and must pay to have their crops harvested.
If one plants Roundup Ready varieties, herbicides used can vary, or there may be none used at all.
In that case they either use manual tillage cultivation, or simply sacrifice production by allowing weeds to grow. Some fields will require more treatments than others.
It costs money and time to irrigate, so if there is enough rain and your soil type retains moisture well, it's not needed at all, reducing costs for that farmer.
Again around here those cost are the same irrespective of yeild.
Combine rates,herbicide and pesticide and irrigation all all done on a per acre basis not a bushels yielded one.
Is it different in your area ?
You're confusing "price" with "costs".
The price is the same for goods and services.
The costs are "all the same" only if all those things are used on all acres.
But they aren't, making actual production costs different for everyone.
If Farmer A needs to add lime and fertilizer to his acre, and Farmer B does not, Farmer A's costs are higher.
If Farmer A has to spray for weeds three times, and Farmer B does it once, Farmer A's costs are higher.
If they both have the same yield, Farmer A's cost per bushel is higher.
It makes no difference if the price of fertilizer is the same for each if only one needs to buy it.
Those items I was talking about have a fixed cost to buy per acre.
Those items tend to be used on all the acres a particular farmer grows corn on.
BFF You need to quit setting up straw men to knock down , it really adds nothing useful to the conversation.
WOW. I am humbled by the responses to this question. Thank you so much, everyone. A lot to process, and I'm thinking I am not the only one wondering what the best grain variety would be for a self-sufficient homestead on limited land space. All comments welcome.
I will be away for a couple of weeks (helping my elderly mother on her own small homestead in western Colorado with electricity but no phone or internet!) and will check back in later. Again, thank you for all comments on this question.
If you don't buy them how much do they cost?
There are no straw men on my part.
Again, that's not always the case, since not every field is identical.
Modern farmers don't waste money applying fertilizers where it's not needed, or irrigating all the fields just because one is dry.
The comparisons were never about "a particular farmer", since you cannot "compare" just one. That could be a straw man itself though.
What initial analysis of mine are you calling incorrect? If the OP has sugar sand, which was my initial statement, than it takes a lot of work to raise a good crop. Irrigation and spoon feeding nitrogen, to begin with. Yields vary by soil type - fact. There's danger in using all averages, but if you have to use one you should use one from your state (or preferably county) to try and compensate for that.
Fertilizer, herbicides, and the like are the very definition of variable costs. You change rates (and costs) based on each field's yield goals, soil type, weed and insect pressure, etc. If you want to get really wild and crazy, you vary rates by soil type. If you are putting exactly the same rate of everything down on every field/acre, you are leaving money on the table IMHO.
Where I'm at every farmer buys those inputs for every field ,except irrigation.
I've noticed where they use irrigation they tend to use it on every field.
Even in the case of fertilizer,one of your straw men that is variable per acre in a bushel basis ,everyone uses it and there is a lot less variability per acre than you might surmise. Those with poor yields tend to use more per bushel than this on good ground. .
Not in the same amounts, meaning the costs per acre are different.
Only when needed. Not every field will need it.
Fertilizer isn't a "straw man". It's either needed or it isn't, and it adds to the cost or doesn't as the case may be. Around here they buy custom blended fertilizers based on soil tests for each field, and only apply the precise amounts needed. I don't believe the farmers where you live are treating all the fields identically. They haven't done that for decades.
How can that be true when you've been saying costs are identical per acre for everyone, and that costs per bushel don't change? You can't use more (or less) and have it cost the same.
It's like watching two monkeys argue over how to fly the Space Shuttle
You noticed that, too?! LOL!! Hate to say it but it's something I've kinda come to expect at HT. The majority of threads seem to contain at least some semblance of a peeing contest.
No that's what I've been trying to tell you.
A combine costs the same amount per acre whether your yield is 250 or just 50 bushels per acre.
A herbicide is applied at the same rate so it cost you the same amount per acre no matter what the yield.
The same with a pesticide.