Mike Jay wrote:I think it depends how far back in time you want to go. What did they do 10, 50, 100 years ago in Maine for grain? I'm guessing 100 years ago they did something like shocks standing out in the field. Not sure about 50 or 10 years ago but I'm guessing it involved a dryer of some sort.
Mike Jay wrote:You may want to check with the baker to verify she can really buy all the grain you can produce. It would suck to grow 2,000 bushels (wild guess) and she can only use 200...
Travis Johnson wrote:Katie and I are thinking about dabbling in raising small grains like oats, wheat, rye, etc.
We did not come to that idea lightly, in fact our 9th generational farm has a prior history of raising small grains, and we have grown small grains with huge success for years for use as a green manure. Almost more importantly though, two towns away from us there is a woman that buys small grains for her bread making business, and I have talked with her at length and she needs more grain to mill. I thought maybe Katie and I would over-produce for her, as we have 103 acres that we can dedicate to small grains right now, and yet I was surprised when the woman said she would buy all that we could produce.
So that means we know our farm has the fertility and soil to grow small grains, we have experience growing small grains, have much of the equipment that we need to till and sow small grains, and even have an eager local market to buy what we produce. But what we do not have is actual experience in harvesting small grains.
Getting a harvester is no big deal, but so many other questions remain, like how dry does grain have to be prior to storage? I cannot imagine that it is harvested off the field and then stored, as it would most likely be wet and start to ferment. Does a small grain farmer need a dryer of some sort?
And what is needed for a storage facility? I know most places have steel silos, but that would be vry expensive. I have seen big companies use something like a concrete silage bunker and then put the grain in that, pushing it up with big bulldozers, but is that long-term storage, or just short-term storage? It would seem to me that it is not very sanitary (rats)?
If Katie and I sell our house, we will be 100% debt free, and while we could get a big USDA Loan to start this venture, we do NOT want to get back into debt. That mans getting into this in a cost effective way. Since we have so much other stuff, the only thing we can see missing is a combine, dryer, and storage facility. Am I missing something though?
We would like to put some idle farmland to good use, but we are not sure what that would look like.