Category Archives: Farm Equipment

Equipment for Farming Part 4: Equipment for Grain Harvesting

Harvesting grain crops is an intensive process that involves planning, skill and the use of advanced machinery.  In order to effectively farm many of the grains we find in Canada including Wheat, barley, and Canola, a Canadian Farmer will require several pieces of equipment:

Swather for Cutting and Drying

In Canada, where we have a short growing season, farmers often use a swather to harvest wheat. This piece of machinery is necessary when a grain does not have enough time to dry before harvesting. The swather cuts the stems of the plant and forms a  windrow, which is a uniform row of cut small grain crop left to dry before combining or further harvesting. Farmers who own combines that aren’t equipped to reap, or cut, the crop often use swathers.

A Combine is Essential to Grain Farming

The combine is the central part of the harvest. A combine “combines” the 3 harvest tasks: reaping, binding, and threshing. Combines have removable, crop-specific heads so that they can be used to harvest many types of crops. A combine can often hold a large amount of wheat, but when it fills up, it needs to be emptied before the machine can continue.

A Grain Truck to Transport the Harvest

Grain trucks transport the crop from the fields to the storage facility. A Grain truck is animportant piece of machinery that works alongside the combine allowing grain to be transferred quickly and efficiently. The truck can then transport grain from the field to storage units or shipping points. Grain trucks work best when equipped with large, specialized wheels to provide the traction required to move through the fields.

Grain Augers

When the grain arrives at the storage facility, a grain auger moves the grain into storage containers. An auger is a motorized, rotating, spiral shaft similar to a drill bit sometimes encased in metal tubing. It works like a pump for grain moving grain into or out of storage. Most augers are powered by a tractor or combine.

Grain Dryer for Straight Cut Crops

When a farmer skips swathing, or the crop still has a high moisture content a grain dryer can be used to dry the crop to an acceptable moisture level, which is usually below 12% for long-term storage. These stationary machines use energy to heat and blow air over and through the crop in order to speed drying and reduce spoilage.

Bins and Storage Units

Bins and silos are used to store grain. Metal or concrete bins or silos are covered structuresdesigned to aerate and continue to dry the grain. Proper Storage is a must, as improperly stored grains can quickly spoil. Grain elevators and bins are often designed to move the grain in order to facilitate even drying.

The Right Equipment is Key to a Farm’s Success

The right harvesting equipment can help raise efficiency and keep the property in top shape. Farming equipment costs can be substantial, and it’s important to take advantage of all sources of funding available to your farm. Whatever you decide: Buying new or used equipment will be a key to your on-farm success. Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

5 Important Tips for New Farmers

Be Practical

Some farmers become too focused on their ideologies. New farmers, particularly those in urban areas  and farmers using sustainable techniques , may focus all their energy on big world issues — environmental, economic or political. A global focus may cause them to miss small opportunities in front of them. They may get discouraged that their local actions are not having enough of a global impact.
These ideologies can also keep small farmers from working with others who may have a different point of view or approach. The established farmers and support network are critical supports for a new farmer getting an operation started.

Sell Direct to Build Capacity

Seek out the path of least resistance. Visit the local farmers’ markets to sell your produce as you get the hang of what you can grow and sell. You will grow your customer base and learn what they want to buy. By having a direct relationship with end consumers you will get valuable feedback and also not become overcommitted to large orders you may initially have difficulties filling.

Have the Right Equipment

Some farmers may not have the right equipment to get started.

Although bootstrapping can work well for hobby operations,  farming on a a commercially viable scale requires capital. A huge sum is  not needed to start a small farm, but farmers starting out will require basic equipment: a tractor, a seeder, walk-in cooler and perhaps other small machinery. Cheap solutions like trying to spread seed by hand, or trying to use consumer refrigerators can end in problems. The right equipment can make all the difference.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

Some small farmers try to take on too many things right from the beginning. New farmers need to  focus on one or two things until they become successful. As in any business, trying to take on too much can be the mistake holding a beginning farmer back from every getting the ball rolling.

Treat Farming as a Business

The single most important factor in farming success is to approach farming as an actual business. Many farmers have big and noble ambitions, but you need to pay attention to the bottom line if you want the farm to succeed and grow over a long period of time.

If you are ready to start or expand your farm, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help you find funding. Use our funding finder tool:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

Things to Consider When Buying a Farm

farm-for-sale

When you are considering buying a farm, it’s important to be prepared for some of the hidden challenges that will come up. A lot of things will seem self-evident but here are a few things to consider that may not be:

A good Real-Estate agent will save you time and money

Farm properties are a unique category of real-estate. There are many complex aspects to purchasing a farm that is not involved in the urban real-estate market. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable in farm and rural issues. Getting a good agent in the mix will save you both time and money when you buy a farm.

Availability of local markets

Although you may not sell all of your main production at the local farmer’s market, these types of locations can add a lot of needed cash flow to the small farmer. Having one nearby will allow you to maintain cash flow throughout the year by marketing complimentary items. If you have some crops that appeal directly to end users, you can maximize your margins by selling directly at the market rather than to resellers.

Infrastructure on Property

What sorts of buildings and improvements are on the property? How many of them are useful to you in your farm business plan? Is there infrastructure or buildings that can be adapted to your needs if they don;t already match them currently? If the farm comes with equipment, or a stockpile of resources like hay or firewood you may be able to use them to increase your returns.

History of the land and site evaluation

What sorts of crops or livestock were raised on the property previously? Are there any parts of the property that have had different purposes in the past? The current owners may provide information, but consulting with the neighbors may also yield valuable insights about the farm you are buying.

Tax status & zoning

What will your property taxes be? If the land is zoned as farming, you will have to keep it in prodcution in order to keep the lower farm tax rate. If it’s not zoned for farming, you will have to inquire with the local zoning authority how to get the proper zoning approved.

Soil tests

Comprehensive soil tests and profiling will  help you prepare for the best crop choices for your new farm. If you are interested in organic production, it would be wise to test your soil for residues and other heavy metals that may inhibit your ability to grow organically. This can be expensive but worth the investment.

Access to Water

If you plan on buying a farm, this is by far the most important resource to consider before you buy a farm. Water rights law is very complex and making sure you understand your rights and usage is extremely critical.  Know if you rights are currently valid and active. What are the water sources on the property?  It is also important to know what year your rights date back to. Senior water rights always get the water first. Do you have ponds, creeks, or wells that you are legally able to irrigate from?  What is the drinking water source? If from a well, test your water for metals and other contaminants.

A little bit of planning while you are looking for your new farm property can save big headaches in the long-run. If you are starting or buying a farm, Canadian Grants Business Center can help you locate the funding to get your farm business going.

Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

$350 Million in new Funding for Canadian Dairy Industry.

The Canadian Government has just announced two programs worth $350 million for Canada’s dairy sector. The Funding is meant to help farmers and processors invest in new equipment and technologies in order to increase productivity and farm profits.

A closeup of a dairy cow eating hay in the barn - chewing his cud.

A $250 million program will help Canadian dairy farmers update their technology and equipment to boost productivity. Robotic milking equipment, automated feeding systems or new herd management software are examples of what would qualify.

A second $100 million fund for dairy processors would be available to help modernize their operations or diversify product lines for new markets. The idea is to encourage Canadian producers to take advantage of newly opened European markets.

The new assistance package was designed based on what the government heard from the dairy sector during consultations in recent months. The government plans to keep talking to farmers and processors over the next few weeks as it finalizes how the programs will work, including additional online consultations.

In order to maximize the chance fo success for local producers, it is important that they take advantage of this funding: There are a lot of farms that need updating in Canada.

When you are ready to start or expand your farming business, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

Funding for Farm Upgrades: Grow Your Farm in 2017

 

Starting or expanding a farm can be a challenge, but is also very rewarding, both financially and in terms of personal satisfaction.

There are many farm grants programs set up to facilitate farm investment and encourage growth.

Farmers regularly apply and receive funding for a variety of business purposes including:

  • Barn construction and upgrades
  • Livestock purchase
  • Seed and fertilizer purchase
  • Tractor and combine purchase or lease
  • Land acquisition and clearing
  • Installation of Irrigation Systems
  • Installation of Tile Drainage
  • Fencing
  • Implementing Technology Upgrades


Farm upgrades can be a great way to drive on-farm productivity in 2017 and for tomorrow.

If you are ready to start or expand a farm, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help find funding. Find funding at:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

Equipment for Farming Part 3: Dairy Milking Machines

When running a dairy farm, milk production is the main source of farm revenue, and so the dairy farmer will try to maximize the quality and quantity of milk produced by the herd.  Dairy farming has a unique set of equipment requirements as compared to other types of animal farms focused on raising livestock for consumption. The milking setup and equipment can have a major effect on the efficiency and quality of the milking process.

There are several levels of complexity when it comes to milking equipment. The least complicated is hand milking, which is not really viable for a commercial farm in today’s day and age. As we go from less complicated to more complicated milking equipment setups, we see a whole range of setups starting at the simplest labor intensive vacuum assisted setups all the way to completely automated robotic milking stations.

Fully automatic milking systems are somewhat popular in Europe but remain much less popular in Canada. The majority of dairy farms in the Canadian market continue to use more traditional, cost effective and easily maintained equipment.

A typical milking machine extracts milk from the cow’s udder by vacuum. They are designed to apply a constant vacuum to the end of the teat to extract the milk, transfer it to a container, and maintain blood circulation with a regular squeeze.

A milking machine installation consists of a system of pipes connecting the various vessels and other components through which air and milk flow. The system operates by vacuum, and therefore requires forces to be applied to function. Atmospheric pressure forces air, and intra-mammary milk pressure forces milk, into the system. The combination of these forces causes flow. To work continuously, air and milk must be removed from the system at appropriate rates. The air is removed with a vacuum pump and the milk is removed by a milk pump.

The right milking equipment can help raise efficiency and keep dairy cattle in top shape.

The cost to build a milking parlor (milking facility) with equipment can range anywhere from $30,000.00 on the low end upwards of $300,000.00 for large and complex installations. Milking equipment costs can be substantial, and it’s important to take advantage of all sources of funding available to your farm. Whatever you decide: Buying new or used equipment will be a key to your on-farm success. Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

Equipment for Farming Part 1: Cattle

In order to properly plan for a new or expanded farming business, proper equipment is a must.

Different kinds of farming require different equipment. Cattle farming is more than just a business, it is a lifestyle. There is paperwork,  production, and everyday chores to keep you busy. Here are just a few:  fence mending, feeding, vehicle maintenance, grazing management and animal health tasks.

A cattle farming operation should be as efficient as possible. This way, an operator can be more productive and have more time for projects and personal time. The right Cattle equipment helps an operation run efficiently. A tractor can pull a trailer that carries feed, and eliminate the need to drag around bins. An auger for the tractor can change digging for fence post installation and repairs from back breaking work to a more manageable task. There are other useful tractor add-ons like a soil turner that will help grass regrow, and attachments to help prepare and harvest hay.

In addition to a tractor, the following groups of equipment are a must have for most cattle operations:
Cattle Handling Equipment
This is the equipment necessary when moving, weighing and inspecting cattle. Equipment includes: calf tables, cattle headgates, squeeze chutes, loading chutes and cattle handling accessories such as weighing scales, head chains and squeeze chute adaptors.

Corral Systems
Corral systems are small enclosures that help contain animals and limit movement. Corral systems are either permanent or portable.  Prices depend on the number of cattle it can hold, as well as additional features. Some corral systems have adjustable alley sections, arena panels, a smaller holding pen, adjustable alley gates and alley frames that can connect directly to a squeeze chute.

Cattle Feeders
This equipment is needed for cattle feeding. Cattle feeders are a must in feedlot settings and are highly recommended for ranchers raising grass-fed cattle. In feedlots it is where cattle are entirely fed; for pasture cattle, it is also needed for giving nutritional supplements. Feeder equipment includes: creep feeders, bale feeders, bulk mineral feeders and bunk feeders.

Waterers and Water Tanks
Large livestock require a lot of water.  Cattle waterers include troughs and bowls. The materials range from galvanized steel to rubber to concrete waterers.

The right cattle equipment can help raise the herd and keep the property in top shape. Farming equipment costs can be substantial, and it’s important to take advantage of all sources of funding available to your farm. Whatever you decide: Buying new or used equipment will be a key to your on-farm success. Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!

Farm Equipment: Winter 2017

Many people think that farming is a 3 season activity in Canada. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The winter months can be among your most productive as a farmer. Whether you spend your time tending to livestock or networking with other farmers there is never a better time than now to plan for the coming season and accomplish the prep and planning tasks that successful farmers know are so important.

The winter is a perfect time to look forward to the coming season and ensure that farm equipment meets the project requirements and is in good working order.

It’s important to properly store of equipment. Rust is the enemy of metal equipment. If metal equipment is left outside, it will rust and deteriorate faster than if it is kept inside,  and out of the elements. If inside storage space is not available on your farm, use heavy-duty tarps to cover farm equipment when not in use.

In the winter inspect your equipment well. Worn parts need to be replaced and make any needed adjustments. Make sure your equipment is clean and dry, especially moving parts.  Remember if you use a pressure washer to keep water away from sealed bearings. After drying, lubricate moving parts and protect it from the elements. Treat any bare metal on all farm equipment with grease or use rust-preventive solvent spray. If you can keep moisture away from bearings and unpainted critical steel parts, this will help prevent rust.

A shop built for farm equipment will pay off in the long run. If you are building or expanding a shop, consider the size of all your equipment and the area inside to perform your maintenance tasks. Consider space for storage shelves and enough room around the equipment to perform maintenance and repair.

Some off-season effort can lead to much better productivity in the growing season.

If you are ready to consider acquiring new equipment or investing in a farm shop, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help. Find funding at:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

 

Funding for Farm Fencing and Irrigation

Fencing

Fencing is an important part of livestock farming. Depending on the type of livestock that you will raise, you will need to choose a fencing strategy accordingly.

The first choice is between stationary and portable fencing options. If you are planning on moving your animals around, you will not want to invest as much in permanent fencing, but rather into something flexible.

Your final choice of fencing has to take into account the species of livestock. Horses, cattle, hogs, goat, sheep and chicken all have specific needs to minimize fence maintenance and possible injury to the animals.

Electric fences can often be a good choice for horses, cattle, hogs and goats.

  • In the case of hogs and cattle, you will need to choose high tensile wires that can stand up to the demands of large and heavy animals.
  • When choosing fencing for horses, the primary concern needs to be visibility in order to avoid high-speed collisions. There are electric fences that offer wide tape inserts, as an alternative to conventional wooden fences.

Irrigation

Choice of irrigation systems is going to reflect crop choice, field location, and growing medium. In addition to the delivery method, it is important to properly
size and support the system with appropriate pumps, tubing, and regulators. There are a fe w common types of irrigation systems, some of which are better for certain applications.

  • Drip-line irrigation is a system of water lines that allows a controlled amount of water to be applied. This can be a good choice for row crop, orchards, and berry applications.
  • Outdoor Sprinklers can spread water over a relatively large area are quick to deploy, and can have applications in dust control, frost protection and cooling in addition to irrigation.
  • Foggers & Mist Lines are a good choice for indoor growing installations like greenhouses.

If you are ready to consider installing farm improvements like Fencing and irrigation systems, the Canadian Grants Business Center can help. Find funding at:

http://www.canadiangrantsbusinesscenter.com/Funding-Finder.html

Or call us Toll-free at:

1-888-231-0075

New or Used Farm Equipment: Which is Better?

The trade-offs of new versus used farming equipment remain a hot topic for many in the farming community. What everyone can agree upon, however, is that in order to succeed in the business of farming, you need to have access to the right equipment, and it needs to get the job done in a reliable and predictable way.farm_equipment_grants

Here are a few reasons to considering purchasing new vs used equipment for your farm:

 

Reasons to buy New Equipment:

There are many reasons that you should consider buying new equipment. Some  reasons to buy new include:

  1. If you plan to keep the equipment for a long time: new equipment may offer a longer lifespan.
  2. If you plan to trade in yearly: Some operations need the latest technology. Buy buying new, you can make sure you are running the latest technology, and when something better comes along, your equipment will retain value to act as a trade-in.
  3. Less likelihood of a breakdown – In most cases, new equipment is more reliable than used equipment. When it does break, you can count on warranty service to get you back up and running quickly, and on budget.

Reasons to Buy Used Equipment:

When buying new isn’t the right choice, buying used can fit the bill.

  1. Lower up-front cost – You can take advantage of the great deals on almost new equipment that other farmers traded in. Sometimes you can buy almost new equipment that is at a better price.
  2. Used equipment has wiggle room – Used equipment prices are more flexible. Negotiation can make a good deal great.
  3. Good for back-up machines – Having a second piece of equipment to take over in case your main equipment breaks can be invaluable. This also can alow an increase in production during crunch times.

Whatever you decide: Buying new or used equipment will be a key to your on-farm success. Start or expand your farming business now: the Canadian Grants Business Center can help.

Contact us Toll-Free at 1-888-231-0075 or Contact us now to find out more!