What to plant??

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Fire-Man, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have two fields---about 17 acre's--that I just bought a tractor to keep them disked(and other things) so they don't grow up into tree fields. These fields were rented for years till the tobacco poundage was taken off of them. I am trying to decide if I should plant a few acre's of corn, being I use about 100lb a week for my chickens and ducks. I have also bought 56 bags of deer corn this season. My neighbor has bought over 100 bags of deer corn and he would be glad to get it from me if I grow some. I have the equipment to plant it, but gathering it is another story. I haven't checked with the local combine man to see if he has a min. acre's to come cut it. Then if I get him to gather the corn it will be shelled(no Picker in my area that I have found yet)---I got to have somewhere to store it, but the hunters want cob corn. I am looking for a one/two row corn picker with a price that doesn't knock me down. When I was young we would break it by hand, but I feel that would make the Labor to high. I quess I am thinking---I am going to disk these fields anyway---I could put another day into it and some cash and plant a few acre's. I am not wanting to get rich, but would like to make a few bucks per hour for the time I invest into it. Anyone on here store shelled corn in a floored barn or something similiar. In my younger days my dad would have the combine to pull up to a two room building and dump all the shelled corn into it--I guess this would still work. I am thinking if I do this and it works out OK--I will continue year after year. Any Advise?? Thanks Randy
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try looking for the Picker in , Any ag. papers in your area. as well as salvage yards. Bye the way if you were to post the state your in that might help.As I have seen quite A few 1,and 2 row pickers in the country for sale. you might try posting A ad in A paper in farming country . You may also find A corn bin cheap too. If you post in the papers. Try asking at the sale barns. Also equipt. dealers might know where one is at..
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Kernal corn, esp in a warmer climate like yours, needs to be below 15% to store - even 14% for long-term storage.

    Around here we don't get the corn down to 20% some years, and need to start harvest at 22-24% to get done before the snow comes.

    I'd look real hard for the picker, & have a building with cracks in it to store the ear corn so it dries. You can store ear corn at 24%, as long as air can flow through it. By summer it will be 15% or less.

    --->Paul
     
  4. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Good to be thinking about how to get your corn harvested and stored, but there's a lot more to getting a profitable return on a corn crop than pulling your disc over the field and spreading some seed. Corn takes a lot of nitrogen. The ph in the soil needs to be near neutral or the corn can't use the nitrogen. Need a soil test. Are you planting narrow rows or wide rows? Plant populations? Shorter season and a smaller yield or a longer season variety and larger crop with the risk of having too much moisture in it at harvest? How do you keep the weeds down? Careful cultivation with some herbicides? Perhaps you'd like to prevent all weeds and plant a Round-up Ready variety of corn and spray Round-up on it and skip the cultivation? Organic corn required a lot of mechanical and hand cultivation, ho, ho, ho,.
    Getting the equipment to pick ear corn just so the hunters can have it on the cob leaves you with the job of shelling the rest of the crop for your other uses. Perhaps you can just hire the harvest as shelled corn and try to convince the hunters to use shelled corn (better yet, convince them to stop baiting altogether due to animal health risks, baiting deer promotes the spread of TB in deer). If I had your open fields, I'd want to have it planted to something, too, but I think you'll find that even if you don't count your land or your time, you can buy it cheaper than grow it.
     
  5. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    I think haypoint's right: as cheap as corn is, even with today's better prices, I doubt you can grow it for less than you buy it for. Finding a crop that a small farmer can make money on isn't easy. I've heard that flowers are one of the better cash crops; you might look into that.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rent the fields to the neighbor with the combine.
    Find out what they get for cash rent in your area.
    If you and your neighbor feed that much corn to the deer, you could plant some of the odd shaped areas your self, and leave then stand over winter for the deer. Maybe go out and shuck enough for your critters by hand.
    Do you hunt deer? They love a standing cornfield.

    This way you'd have some cash, plus feed without a great lot of manual labor.
     
  7. Ole Man Legrand

    Ole Man Legrand Well-Known Member

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    Rented land always gets depleted of Lime, especially where tobacco is raised. Have the soil tested.for the PH. You will probably need 2 tons of LIME per acre. Jay
     
  8. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I understand that in NC that they are planting grapes where they used to grow tobacco.
     
  9. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Back when I was younger we always picked by Hand,me and my Brother always got the Down Rows..It it all in a Corn Crib.

    big rockpile
     
  10. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    What are your neighbors planting? I agree with Ole Man Legrand first thing to do is have the soil tested, and add what's needed back.

    Another idea is to plant grass (combination of grasses including some clover to help with the nitrogen). That way you can either hay it (and sell the hay) or raise some animals. Our Highlands browse as well as graze therefore keeping the cedar seedlings out of the pastures. We have hair sheep as well as the Highlands. (this way you wouldn't have to disk it. If you disk it ((and don't plant)) you'll lose your top soil.)

    Pat
     
  11. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My Location--South Carolina is on the page in the right corner-------------Yea I have seen several pickers in my area for $1800 to about $3000---But I see several on E-bay for less than $1000 but not close to me.


    Uncle Will-----------My neighbor that has the Combine is not the same neighbor that buys all the deer corn----The one with the combine is the man that rented the farm for years-----till the tobacco poundage was removed. Now he does not want it--------He planted soyabeans(?) on it the last two years he rented it----He never planted corn. I already had pine tree's and sweet gum tree's growing all over the fields from it not being used this past season.

    Pat mentioned that disking it and not planting it destroys the topsoil--------If I was not going to plant part of it---would it be better to bush-hog it???? Thanks Randy
     
  12. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why don't you brush hog and see what you've got. We had our four acre pasture disced because it had deep furrows in it and I didn't want to break an ankle. The discing pretty well destroyed the wild carrot and goldenrod cycle. The first year grasses came up and some nice broadleaf weeds. The second summer it was a nice pasture. This year it's even better. This is without seeding anything other than oats at one end to get some food growing.

    What grows in a field tells you what does well in the field. What does well in the field will tell you what is lacking in your soil. Corn is a hungry plant and I would probably want to build the soil up before putting corn in.
     
  13. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    Not planting does not destroy the topsoil... you lose it to erosion and the dust blowing off.

    I agree bush hogging makes much more sense than disking. As I said, if you had grasses growing, you can either make hay off it (around here if you let someone else hay it, they get half and you get half ((without having to work)), or raise some meat on it. Are the 2 fields fenced? (and are the fences in good shape?)

    If nothing has been done to it, after you bush hog it, I'd over seed it too.

    Pat