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Contributor

Re: Chicken or egg

I am glad you are old enough to have harvested with horses. I am 85 years old and farmed in central North Dakota.

It is not good memories to "push" the horses in hot temperatures. Then we got a 15 HP tractor to pull the binder.

This kept the harvest going but it was harder on the operator but one man got more work done each day. Then

WWII came and we had a shortage of laborers. Instead of bundle haulers we started using sweeep rakes to move

the shocks to the threshing machine. After the war we started to get combines and other labor saving machines.

 

In spite of all the mechanization and scientific changes it still bothers me to see those loyal, beautiful horses go to

the slaughter facilities. Today farming is entirely different and all of the improvements we made to the farm are obsolete.

The amount of planting and harvesting one man can do now is amazing. The sprayer has become a vital machine.

 

Instead of physical power todays farmer must have good management ability and adequate capital.

Contributor

Re: Debt free farming operations

we are farming with no debt........

.......i think debt is an accelerator.....when you get money from the bank and things go OK then you growth faster than if you don´t ask the bank for a loan..............but if business is going down and you get a bank loan then you will get lower ........so it is a matter of how much risk you are willing to take

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Senior Contributor

Re: Debt free farming operations

bowwow 20% use it to short the stk mkt,

 

no risk!!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Debt free farming operations

Cannot imagine strictly farming without debt, unless you had it all given to you.

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Advisor

Re: Debt free farming operations

Agreed.  I know of two families in my area that qualify for that status.  Most BTO's are extremely leveraged.  Others have a wide range of debt.

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Contributor

Re: Debt free farming operations

Size of the farm does not correlate to amount of debt.

 

I would say that a growing size of business normally has debt,  a stable business does not, and a downsizing may have too much!

 

Age shows this well.  Young operators need to expand / start their business, thus have debt. 

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Contributor

Re: Debt free farming operations

Yes, 4wd it is hard to imagine being a growing expanding farmer, utilizing modern, larger machinery to not being

in debt. The only time you may get debt free is when you quit farming because of retirement. At that time you do

not have an inclination to expand any further unless you want to increase your assets for your heirs.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Debt free farming operations

I hate to post this on an ag site becuase its going to offend some people but here goes.  Our food supply has become so industrialised that even though we as a nation have virtually all the food that people need its of so poor quality when it comes to vitamin, minerals, and protein that we have ended up with a society with many health and mental issues that are purely nutrition related.  I wish it weren't so but except for the most dug in industrial proponents even farmers will finally admit it. 

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Re: Debt free farming operations

70 cows, 200 sheep, 50 hogs, 250 chickens.  No debt ,  and living well.   Thank you very much. 

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Highlighted
Advisor

Re: Debt free farming operations

Generally, that may be true.  However, around here, size does correlate to debt leverage (%).  Not saying it's bad or good, just the way it is.  I'm no longer young, but still manage an appropriate level of debt.  I also started out with no inherited asset base either.  Debt, managing debt load is part of the business.

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