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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that while are farming is dangerous, the trend of people making lifestyle changes to start new or hobby farms has it's own dangers.

Long hours, sometimes after working another job mean operator inattention. This isn't unique to hobby farmers, though.

Two other issues are using older equipment that lacks safety devices such as ROPS and seat belts and the learning curve associated with equipment are causing a higher than normal level of accidents among hobby farmers.

More hobby farms leads to more injuries, deaths | Minnesota News | agrinews.com

Y'all stay safe. Keep shields in place, don't get off the machine with it running. Keep everything in good repair and above all don't push yourself or the equipment beyond it's capabilities. Just because Joe down the road did something, it doesn't mean it's safe or that you can get away with it.

Treefarmer
 

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Probably most simply trying to earn the State Agricultural Tax Exemption. Qualifying Revenue can be quite low in many states...
 

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Probably most simply trying to earn the State Agricultural Tax Exemption. Qualifying Revenue can be quite low in many states...
Being in the business of selling fuels I don't agree with that, most of the "hobby" farmers that we have as customers honestly don't even realize that such a thing exists.
 

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Being in the business of selling fuels I don't agree with that, most of the "hobby" farmers that we have as customers honestly don't even realize that such a thing exists.
I agree. When my wife and I bought our land in the mountains of NC, it had about 2 acres of Christmas trees, and we realized we needed the 1025r to help manage it. We found out about the tax exempt permit from the Deere salesman telling us about it.

But the article Treefarmer posted was a very sobering reminder that you have to be vigilant about safety. Especially, for me, was the guy who retired in September to buy a Christmas tree farm and was dead in two months.

Be careful out there, my GTT friends.
 

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Treefarmer;2444530 Two other issues are using older equipment that lacks safety devices such as ROPS and seat belts and the learning curve associated with equipment are causing a higher than normal level of accidents among hobby farmers. Treefarmer[/QUOTE said:
I am a hobby farmer living in a horse oriented town that has enough of us to support three major tractor dealers. I agree with the learning curve part of operating tractors, something that the adult true farmer reached the apex of while still a child
.:greentractorride:

What I see though, is that hobby farmers do not buy old, pre-ROPS tractors. As a group, saving the money to buy the dream hobby farm late in life also means that we have the means to buy new equipment.
:gizmo:


We don't typically buy old stuff, since we have no idea how to go about evaluating and buying used equipment, and certainly most lack the ability to repair it to keep it running. I've lived in a hobby farm equestrian development for the past two years, with over 200 "farms" from 5 acres to 15 acres (interesting, the west coast people who move here call them "ranches"}. I cannot remember ever seeing an older non-ROPS tractor here.

So far the only accidental deaths have been horse-related. Zero for tractors.
 

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Wife and I have a small scale organic farm and 2 out of 3 of our tractors possess no safety equipment such as seat belts, ROPS or PTO safety switches.

The reason why we go with old is not only the price point but the fact that todays SCUT and CUT tractors are absolutely horrible for small scale farming particularly in row crop cultivation. Wide R3/R4 tires, low clearance and obstructed view from floorboards make cultivating crops guesswork at best. Tuff Bilt makes a modern spin off of the Allis Chalmers G which is a really nice cultivating tractor but it is $$$. You need to have a pretty profitable operation in order to justify the cost when you can buy a farmall cub with mid mount cultivators for about a 1/3 of the price.

My Avery Model V that I use for cultivating you have to tuck your shoe laces in because you literally straddle the drive shaft and the only shield it has is the stock half moon guard on it. It's tall narrow and has all sorts of hazards but the tractor does an incredible job of allowing you to get the cultivator sweeps close to the plant.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Different categories of risk

I am a hobby farmer living in a horse oriented town that has enough of us to support three major tractor dealers. I agree with the learning curve part of operating tractors, something that the adult true farmer reached the apex of while still a child
.:greentractorride:

What I see though, is that hobby farmers do not buy old, pre-ROPS tractors. As a group, saving the money to buy the dream hobby farm late in life also means that we have the means to buy new equipment.
:gizmo:


We don't typically buy old stuff, since we have no idea how to go about evaluating and buying used equipment, and certainly most lack the ability to repair it to keep it running. I've lived in a hobby farm equestrian development for the past two years, with over 200 "farms" from 5 acres to 15 acres (interesting, the west coast people who move here call them "ranches"}. I cannot remember ever seeing an older non-ROPS tractor here.

So far the only accidental deaths have been horse-related. Zero for tractors.
I didn't mean that everyone is in the same category. Certainly there are many people with the :gizmo:to buy new and JD has done well serving that market. However, there are still a lot of older machines being used because of price or that's what "Dad" or "Uncle Joe" had or because the older machines worked well for a specific job. As another poster mentioned, the offset cultivating tractors are great for visibility but the flip side (literally) is you dang sure better be careful when turning them on a hillside.

IMHO, the most dangerous combination is an unexperienced operator on a piece of equipment without safety features who is tired from their day job or just a long day on the farm and rushing to finish a job. Each of those is a risk factor but put them all together and the hobby farm resembles Russian roulette more than a farm. For full disclosure, I'm guilty of all of the above at one time or another. When I was an inexperienced operator, there were no ROPS, seatbelts or interlocks. 10-16 hour days were pretty common and you worked until you couldn't if hay was on the ground, the crop was ready etc. I'm pretty sure there were at least a few times when quick reflexes saved me from stupidity. Now that the years have caught up with me, I can't count on the reflexes so I'm a lot more careful about thinking through a job and using safety rules to make sure my foggy brain doesn't do something stupid, like unclogging a machine that's still running. I also have a frequent reminder at farm meetings when I can look around the room and see people with one arms or missing fingers or hear a discussion about a farm accident. The farm community is pretty small and word gets around, I don't know if the hobby farm community has a similar grapevine just because I think it may be more transient with new people getting started and others giving up a farm because of job moves or other factors.

Whether we have a large commercial farm operation or a hobby farm, there are dangers. As you mentioned, livestock isn't alway benign and a 1,000 lb animal can hurt you quickly just by turning around when you didn't expect it. I hope a few words of caution will help everyone be safe.

Treefarmer
 

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We see several wrecked, damaged tractors and Gators every year. Most are folks who moved to the country and got a tractor without any prior experience. Some have never even had a gas engine powered push lawnmower before. Now they moved to their 5 acre homestead and bought a tractor. No idea how to operate it, maintain it. Luckily most of the time it's just broken stuff. Had one where the newby operator got wrapped up in post hole auger. Didnt fair so well.

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