Smallholding advice.

WelshSmallholder1404

Member
Livestock Farmer
Hello,

Future smallholder from West Wales here. I plan on buying a smallholding in the near future with my partner. We are based in West Wales and will probably buy something fairly small (3-5 acres) to keep a couple of sheep, chickens etc. If we take to it, really enjoy the lifestyle - we will probably upgrade to a bigger place with more land. I'm a doctor and she is a nurse and so we have the ability to save hard, upgrade and then I could go 1-2 days a week and she could stop working altogether. We have a plan to maybe go bigger in the long run (40-50 acres - or more???), have a few cows for beef, 50-100 sheep etc. We are very good with money and are hoping we can leave medical careers early to live a peaceful life in the countryside. She is from a farming background in the same area we plan to buy, so we would be very well supported by that and her father is keen for us to have a small place first and then upgrade to somewhere bigger if we are really enjoying the lifestyle - a very logical approach.

I am a bit of a prolific planner, and have done a ton of research about it all but am struggling to come up with the sort of tractor we would need? I would absolutely love to get out in the tractor mowing, tedding, raking and baling into small bales if possible. Not really sure how feasible this is with a small farm of around 40-50 acres in the very long run? I would probably need a one fits all type of thing - can do those jobs, be used as a loader etc. given we'd only be a very small smallholding. Just wondering if anyone has any advice for us on the reality of our dreams, type of tractor we would need, how feasibly we could do our own bales etc? I'm certainly not expecting to be running a JD5090R with brand new equipment - as wonderful as that would be. Maybe they'll come down by the time I need a tractor eh?

Absolutely ANY advice is certainly welcome, I LOVE thinking about these things in great detail so if anyone has any pointers, would be very much appreciated. Not sure if we are living in some crazy fantasy world and being ridiculous so please advise if so. Not looking to become rich out of farming for sure lol - our current jobs pay far too well for us to be doing this for the money, but if we can have our current careers as a fallback, would be lovely to live a happy life, and turn to them when we need a bit more money if things don't go so well. We'd more than likely stay working minimum 1-2 days a week but who knows - if we are mortgage free and paying the bills, why the stress?

Thanks,

E
 

RushesToo

Member
Location
Fingringhoe
Hello,

Future smallholder from West Wales here. I plan on buying a smallholding in the near future with my partner. We are based in West Wales and will probably buy something fairly small (3-5 acres) to keep a couple of sheep, chickens etc. If we take to it, really enjoy the lifestyle - we will probably upgrade to a bigger place with more land. I'm a doctor and she is a nurse and so we have the ability to save hard, upgrade and then I could go 1-2 days a week and she could stop working altogether. We have a plan to maybe go bigger in the long run (40-50 acres - or more???), have a few cows for beef, 50-100 sheep etc. We are very good with money and are hoping we can leave medical careers early to live a peaceful life in the countryside. She is from a farming background in the same area we plan to buy, so we would be very well supported by that and her father is keen for us to have a small place first and then upgrade to somewhere bigger if we are really enjoying the lifestyle - a very logical approach.

I am a bit of a prolific planner, and have done a ton of research about it all but am struggling to come up with the sort of tractor we would need? I would absolutely love to get out in the tractor mowing, tedding, raking and baling into small bales if possible. Not really sure how feasible this is with a small farm of around 40-50 acres in the very long run? I would probably need a one fits all type of thing - can do those jobs, be used as a loader etc. given we'd only be a very small smallholding. Just wondering if anyone has any advice for us on the reality of our dreams, type of tractor we would need, how feasibly we could do our own bales etc? I'm certainly not expecting to be running a JD5090R with brand new equipment - as wonderful as that would be. Maybe they'll come down by the time I need a tractor eh?

Absolutely ANY advice is certainly welcome, I LOVE thinking about these things in great detail so if anyone has any pointers, would be very much appreciated. Not sure if we are living in some crazy fantasy world and being ridiculous so please advise if so. Not looking to become rich out of farming for sure lol - our current jobs pay far too well for us to be doing this for the money, but if we can have our current careers as a fallback, would be lovely to live a happy life, and turn to them when we need a bit more money if things don't go so well. We'd more than likely stay working minimum 1-2 days a week but who knows - if we are mortgage free and paying the bills, why the stress?

Thanks,

E
You really need to do a cash flow forecast and be very realistic about your profit margins.
There is little money in looking after animals and crops to the end of their life as they are considered commodities. It really needs to be a vocation rather than a way to get rich. Almost everyone on here will tell you that you need to think through the plans you have, setting yourself realistic targets and allowing yourself to have good and bad years before you meet them - not always in this order.

If one of you continues working at their day job and the other works at the business you should make it through to a working lifestyle. Farming is like heathcare, it is in the main a vocation rather than a business.

You need the same drive, just accept there will be less money. It is down to the individual which of the professions best fits, think long and hard about this - it makes and breaks relationships and lives
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
I had the luxury of a JD 6230 Premium when self employed but changed to a Zetor 7341 Super Turbo when I was no longer putting the hours in the seat needed to justify the shiny tractor. The Zetor cost me £13,00 plus vat with a bucket, muck graip, bale spikes and forklift forks and 1,200hrs on it. It pulls a 9 ft Krone mower adequately, powers a haybob easily, lifts hay, straw and silage big bales comfortably and will take a tonne on the forks with care. The JD was complex with a computer and lots of 'make life easier' stuff but to be honest the Zetor has been frugal and reliable and quite pleasant in a simple way, all you can ask for at that price point.
I too would recommend buying the bigger place if it is at all doable. They are not making any more land and parcels that size will only increase in relative cost as more folk want to adopt the rural lifestyle. If it is too big to utilise rent some out or dig a pond, plant some hedges to break it up, make it your own personal paradise that is as fun to walk around as it is to work. My place was formerly arable and is now broken up with trees, double fenced hedges, a pond, reed bed and no walk has to be the same as yesterday's.
The joy of owning a developing patch of land that you have designed (helped evolve) and brought to fruition is immense.
 

24/7 farming

Member
Location
Donegal
I farm 50ish acres, but also work 5 days a week!, the farm does make a bit of money, but it does not pay the bills!!, by time the books r balanced it might pay for a nice family holiday... if its been a good year! I could farm it more intensely for certain, but it would need to make 10 times what it currently does for a proper living and I can't see how that would be achievable without some serious diversifications... and the associated torture that would go with them!!!
At the min tho most of what it makes is poured back into the place... drainage, fencing the odd bit of replacement machinery or something, and there is always something!! Its a nice passtime tho!, and at the min it is wiping its own face!
We have cattle, crops and make our own hay (probably the most profit/acre on the farm!), but hay only works cos we have our own small/old kit and can b ready to roll as soon as a weather window appears, also in this part of the world small bales r becoming a rarity so always seems to be good demand, we don't actually use any hay ourselves because it's not guaranteed, last year we made none as the weather never appeared.
Have a good think what size tractor u want/need, we have 3 (inherited 2... mf 35 and 148... both still employed tho!), also have 4wd mf398 with loader, mainly bought due to the size and weight of silage bales, 148 can manage dry stuff, nothing else. Saying that wouldn't be without the loader nw either!
However, the 398 takes little or no part in hay making as it's mostly too big!... can't mow cos we hav a 5.5ft mower and 398 tramps too much, too wide for the baler and sled combo we have (can't get past the previously dropped bales).
We also only have/use/can justify a little ferguson plough and grubber etc for bits of reseeding we do (tired contractor for that once.. used a 4f reverseable and it was just too big in our 2-3 acre fields, and he pulled out stones (and stone drains) that hadn't been seen for decades!). Again 398 is too big for these jobs with the smaller kit, altho it is boss of the landleveller, roller etc, and savage handy wit bucket on front to gather stones as ye go. A handy day will plough 2 acres with the 2f ferguson tho and its enjoyable (mostly!). So, just remember a bigger tractor will need bigger kit to go behind it!
Saying all that I love what we have here and have no intention of giving it up!, hell I might even drop to a 4 day week once the house mortgage is cleared!!
 

Al R

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Wales
Cant really see the need for a tractor unless moving silage bales.
until recently all the tractor did here was roll 30 acres of corn, cart corn for 1 day and do some topping. Very tempted on getting rid of the tractor and I’m over 500acre. I do have a manitou though which only had a few years.. contractors cart and stack the bales.

with that budget you could buy a 100-200 acre farm!
 

WelshSmallholder1404

Member
Livestock Farmer
Cant really see the need for a tractor unless moving silage bales.
until recently all the tractor did here was roll 30 acres of corn, cart corn for 1 day and do some topping. Very tempted on getting rid of the tractor and I’m over 500acre. I do have a manitou though which only had a few years.. contractors cart and stack the bales.

with that budget you could buy a 100-200 acre farm!
You can't get a mortgage on land so I am told so that is just what our budget will be unfortunately. Besides, best I can find at the moment is around 90-100 acres for our price range. Thanks for the advice on a tractor, very much appreciated.
 

AGCO reports sales increase of 43.5% compared to 2020 figures

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Written by Agriland Team from Agriland

The tractor manufacturer AGCO, which consists of brands such as Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, reported its results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021.

Net sales for the second quarter were approximately $2.9 billion, an increase of approximately 43.5% compared to the second quarter of 2020.

AEM

Reported net income was $3.73/share for the second quarter of 2021, and adjusted...
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