Posted 5/23/2020 14:15 (#8275433 - in reply to #8274866) Subject: RE: Starting a custom business
I do some Custom planting, it is pretty lucrative, but hard to find.
I do some custom combining on the custom planting acres. It's ok, but not much margin left in it. The planting helps make up for the small harvest margin. I would not custom harvest if I did not get the planting.
Custom baling paid for a lot of equipment for me in the past. Things change. Custom baling was lucrative before round balers got cheap. It doesn't take many acres of hay for the custom bill to pay for a workable round baler that has net wrap. I run a big square baler and even those are getting to the point a decent used one can be had for not needing to do a ton of bales. Custom baling will always be a thing I'm sure, but actually paying yourself is a real challenge today. I'm going to say with a round baler you need to be 7-10K bales per year to actually pay for a tractor, new baler, depreciation, repairs and a decent hourly wage. The tractor on the front of the baler will make a big difference but you get the idea.
Manure pumping is a whole different animal. Most areas of the state are short manure pumpers. There is money in it if you know what you are doing. If you want to get into that business find some one that is in that business, buy a tractor and tank, and run with them to learn. There are a lot of half a$$ manure pumpers...we don't need anymore of them in the state. Aim for 10 million gallons per tractor and tank. All pumpers have the same problem, help is impossible to find. Tanks can be run with a smaller crew. Hoses need a lot of manpower and that is a real challenge. I've seen a lot of larger crews bring in seasonal visa workers.