cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
steeringwheelholder
Senior Contributor

Side businesses

What are some good side businesses that complement row crop farming? I know of several, such as seed sales, custom trucking, auctioneering, repair work for neighbors, and livestock farming. What am I forgetting that is a good fit for the slower times in winter and summer? And no, golfing and fishing don't count! Haha, thanks.
0 Kudos
8 Replies
tree fmr
Advisor

Re: Side businesses

Fishing puts food on the table, so it should count? I have a sister in law who makes soy candles, markets them in local stores and at farmers markets.  This year expanded to having schoold kids sell them for fund raisers, not sure how/who just know she did some.  Also has a garden for fresh produce at the farmers markets.

Do an internet search for "cow pots" this is an interesting business too.

Tags (1)
0 Kudos
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Side businesses

You may be joking, but some farmers around here make good fall and winter money  guiding hunters for deer, duck, etc.  I have a cousin who started quail hunting on some of his land, too.  Calls for good liability insurance, but it can be done, and can be fun. 

 

 

0 Kudos
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Side businesses

Identify something you like and are good at and try to find an aspect of it that would fit your question.  The best job to apply for is one you identify and create yourself.

0 Kudos
steeringwheelholder
Senior Contributor

Re: Side businesses

Not much guide hunting around here. Some guys lease the hunting rights out for a yearly fee though. Mostly deer and some turkey. I had thought previously about refurbishing older hopper trailers and semi trucks, as well as grain trucks. Paint, good tires, all the little things fixed, etc. But high commodity prices have the guys around here buying nice newer trailers and trucks. They don't want old steel hoppers anymore. And they put 2000-2005 semis under those nice aluminum trailers! Ka-Ching! I'd be afraid of getting stuck with some of that if I tried. It would be nice to be diversified into something non ag related.
0 Kudos
Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Side businesses

I do some welding, mechanic work, and general construction/repair.  Not a lot anymore since we got the kids, but enough to keep me sharp on carpentry, pouring concrete, bin building, etc.

I have worked on equipment that had been taken to a professional shop, and been called if I wanted a job there as a welder more than once, so I can't be too bad at it.  I do general MIG welding & hard surfacing for the most part, with occasional more challenging jobs.

I even have a lathe/mill in the shop, so I can custom make bushings, bushing/bearing drivers, taper shafts, and cut keyways.  You'd be surprised sometimes at how often a shaft breaks on a combine on Saturday, just after dinner.  Often, the only difference between the $300 shaft that will arrive in 2 days, and a blank of equal length, are a couple of keyways cut in the right place.

I still am sort of 'on call' with some local guys who do construction and remodeling work, when they need another guy, or when one of them can't make it.  Window replacements and roof work are the most common things we do there.

 

0 Kudos
idalivered
Advisor

Re: Side businesses

I know a couple (well 3) farmers that re high school and college basketball referees. Usually evenings and keeps them active. I know some guys that are in the seed business and keeps them very busy. I'm glad they want to do it, and I can only guess at the headaches involved. Many , many years ago I built winnebagos in the winter.

0 Kudos
nwobcw
Advisor

Re: Side businesses

 Rental properties.  With people losing their homes, more people are renting now.  By choice or necessity.   Many former home builders looking for work too, so if repairs are needed they can be done cheaper than in past years.

0 Kudos
farmandfire
Veteran Contributor

Re: Side businesses

Here is a list that I am currently involved in.

commercial snow removal

prescribed fire 

custom welding

contract helicopter spraying

The snow removal fits really nice into the farm operation due to the slow time of the year. The prescribed fire operation usually happens before the spring planting season and if all goes well the helicopter shows up right after the second pass of glysophate. The welding is a hit and miss when and where the work will come from. Once the area knows you weld they will call anytime of the year including when your trying to plant or harvest. And they usually neeeded it welded yesterday. That can be the tough one to try to make time for. Sometime I would like to gain a few more acres and give up some of the sidelines, but for now it pays the bills. Plus I'd like to sleep sometime in the near future also. Smiley Very Happy

0 Kudos