> I would like to think it as easy as Lion has stated but I can't
> for the life of me find the real farms that are making $40K/acre. I'm
> tickled to death with 1% of that for returns per acre in this agricultural
> climate. I'd like to see some more discussion on these high grossing
> operations and how we can actually see more family supporting sustainable
> farms out here on the land.
> Best wishes,
> Greg Gunthorp
Greg, you are absolutely right that we need more information about really
small farms that are really profitable. Last year I GROSSED nearly
$5,000 per acre from a combination of beef, pork, meat goats, broilers,
turkeys, laying hens, guineas, hatchery, hay, market gardens, and farm
classes. That amount of work required 3 of us to work more than full time,
and occasional part time help. NET income was about $5,000 after all the
farming expenses were paid. This year we hope to do better.
The point I have made repeatedly with this micro-farming thread, is that it
very very difficult to make $40k/acre even with a high value crop, and then
only IF you have the capital, labor, climate and market with which to do it,
and focus on very high value crops such as greenhouse flowers.
years of reading about and talking about agriculture in this country I have
never, once, heard of any farm doing food crops even coming close to
This is in no way meant to dampen Lion's enthusiasm, quite the opposite.
I've already adopted some of his suggestions, knowing that he is right about
some of these things. However, his thesis also has points that I feel are
One point he makes is that large livestock shouldn't
be on a micro-farm. Nonsense. If you have chickens on range you
will get good grass, no doubt about it. You can't feed grass to your CSA
members until you run it
through a ruminant. You either have to make hay, which requires huge
investment in equipment, or you graze it with beef, pigs, sheep or meat
Ideally, you would graze that excess grass with milk cows, which I believe
would provide the highest possible return on grass. Even then, the per acre
multi-cropping poultry, market gardens and milk, assuming you have an
of-farm processing facility
and direct market, would be less than $10,000 per acre range.
However, that's still a lot better than the few hundred dollars (or less)
per acre that most farms make now.
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