A main farm tractor in the 100+ horsepower range is needed for a medium size 500+ acre farm
The machine is capable of planting and harvesting about 400 acres of corn per season while also baling 400 or more round bales and running a feed wagon that will support up to 2000 head of cattle.
A smaller operation with only 100 bales of hay and 50 cattle could get by with a slightly smaller machine in the 50-horsepower range but the cost doesn’t drop in proportion to the decrease in capability.
Having too large a machine or too many machines on a small operation further cuts into the already small gross income further reducing profits.
The cost for a large tractor may be $80k and a smaller tractor is $50k fuel cost are lower for the smaller machine but repairs and maintenance are virtually the same for both. Once they have several hours on them the smaller machine has a much lower percent of its original price as its trade value. This only ads to the higher cost associated with small operations.
We are in a time very similar to the 1960s back then a farmer fed 26 people today a farmer feeds 155 people. It takes land and machinery to feed a hungry world with less than 2% of Americans working in agriculture.
In short, the message is the same as the 1960s get big or get out.