small farm equipment and compact tractor implements

small farm equipment and compact tractor implements

Starting a small farm is no small task. Small acreage farming has become more prominent for a variety of reasons some started with a hobby farm to grow their own food and sell their surplus, some are starting small organic farms to meet that demand, some are starting small hemp farms, and some small farms are just another way to make extra money at the local farmers market. These farmers are finding out how to make money farming 5 acres while some only have 1 acre.

Making money farming is not easy. Large commercial farms are always looking for ways to save money and small scale farming is no exception. Growers start by finding the best tractor for a small farm that they can rely on. There are many small farm implements and equipment that farmers use with their small farm tractors to get laborious farming tasks done such as ground prep, shaping raised beds, laying plastic mulch, farm clean-up, and other things that would require a lot of hired labor which would cut into their profits. A farmers tractor and implements are the tools he relies on to get things done in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost as in years past.

Finding quality farm equipment for sale and buying the right implements can be a daunting task for any farmer whether theyre staring a small farm or expanding a large, industrial farm. Farmers can get small farm equipment and tractor implements from various sources. Sometimes theyll get new farm equipment from local farm equipment dealers or directly from the manufacturer. Some farmers get used farm equipment on Craigslist, but many buy at auctions. There are farm equipment loans that enable farmers to get the farm equipment and tractor implements they need to grow profitable crops for small farms.

Kennco Manufacturing, Inc has taken its 45 years of experience in building the best raised bed shapers, plastic layers, and transplanters in the industry and developed farm equipment for small farm growers.

All of our products are built with the purpose of saving the grower money and our small farm equipment is no exception. The implements are perfect for farmers with small farm tractors, more variety of plants, and the same need to save money as the big guys. All while having the Kennco durability our customers have come to rely upon.

ghana's illegal galamsey gold mining affecting cocoa farmers, chocolate supply

ghana's illegal galamsey gold mining affecting cocoa farmers, chocolate supply

Obuasi, GhanaKwaku Asare grabbed his machete and trekked through the bush to his cocoa farmthrough winding pathways and hills, past ominous pits of muddy water, and underneath the low-hanging canopy of dried cocoa leaves. But the trees were bare. A few rotting cocoa pods littered the ground, while other stunted pods refused to ripen on the branches.

When the Chinese came, they told me that my plants were not yielding anymore because there was so much gold under the soil, Asare said. After a few years of low production, he sold his 14 acres to a group of small-scale gold miners, also called galamsey miners, with a Chinese sponsor. The money is gone now and Asares land is poisoned.

Kwaku Asares story is not uncommon in Denkyira Asikuma, a small farming village nestled amongst cocoa plantations outside of Dunkwa in Ghanas Central region. At least 30 cocoa farmers in the village have sold their land to miners who quickly excavated, pumped in water and chemicals, and abandoned their pits when the work was done or when soldiers chased them away.

Gold mining has always been a part of Ghana, from the ornate jewelry of the Ashanti kings to British colonization. In the last several years, however, largely unregulated galamsey mining has ramped updue in part to Chinese investors who bring sophisticated equipment and a lagging economy that makes the prospect of striking gold too sweet to pass. These often illegal operations can result in contaminated water, deforestation, and a rise in violent crime. (Learn more about the real price of gold.)

Illegal gold mining in Ghana further exacerbates a volatile cocoa market. In 2014, experts predicted a global cocoa shortage by 2020. However, cocoa production statistics have been unpredictable since then, according to the most recent data from the 2015-16 growing season. That year, there was a cocoa surplus, attributed to a prolonged rainy season. Recently, the price of the bean has plummeted to historic lows on global commodity exchangesnegatively impacting the profits of West African cocoa farmers.

In 2011, Ghana produced a record-setting amount of cocoa, weighing in at over one million tonnes. Since then, as illegal mining steadily ramped up, cocoa production has trended downwards, with a drop to 740,000 tonnes in 2015.

Several other factors have been blamed for the volatile nature of the cocoa market, most notably climate change, which can usher in an extremely dry season one year and excessive rain the next. Deforestation from illegal gold mining may speed up such effects.

Gold and cocoa are both integral parts of Ghanas economy and national identity, yet the two resources coexistence has contradictions. Cocoa was first planted in Ghana in the 1870s, and the former Gold Coast colony became the largest exporter of the chocolate-making beans for the next century, until neighboring Ivory Coast surpassed them. Two decades after the arrival of cocoa, the legal Obuasi gold mine was founded. Closely regulated, the big industrial operation transformed a small Ashanti village into a cosmopolitan city with tennis courts and golf clubs. For decades, miners toiled underground in the sprawling complex. Today, the mine is no longer producing gold and galamsey miners have quickly filled the void, wiping away cocoa farms in their path.

Ghanas government has struggled to balance the economic boon of small-scale mining with environmental and safety protections. The Small-Scale Gold Mining Act of 1989 implemented a system for obtaining small-scale mining licenses. These initial galamsey workers were groups of nine or less artisanal miners working by hand to dig, pan, and wash gold. In 2006, an updated law stipulated that only Ghanaian citizens could receive mining licenses and required permits from the countrys Environmental Protection Agency and Forestry Commission. Although some small-scale mining operations therefore do have legal permits, many of them dont, and many partake in illegal activities such as employing foreigners or crews of hundreds, using mercury, or using heavy machinery. To many in the country, the term galamsey has thus now become synonymous with criminality.

The single-lane highway from Obuasi to Dunkwa is lined on both sides with a string of excavating machines and gold-washing outposts. Immediately after passing the towns tollbooth, signs advertising gold dealers and mining equipmentin both English and Chinesecrowd the streets, vastly outnumbering the fading billboards for cocoa fertilizer.

Dunkwa sits on the Offin River, a tributary of the Pra River, which is one of the largest river systems in Ghana. In the last few years, these water bodies have turned an alarming yellow color, due to chemical wastewater from illegal gold mining, unrecognizable from their former resilient blue.

The area covered by the Pra River Basinincluding parts of Ghanas Central, Western, and Ashanti regionsis the countrys cocoa heartland. It also holds the highest concentration of gold deposits. Ghana is the worlds second largest cocoa exporter, contributing 20 percent of the worlds supply. More than 70 percent of cocoa beans come from West Africa.

Its unlikely that Kwaku Asares cocoa farm was spoiled due to the gold underneath its soil, as the miners claimed. Its much more likely that his cocoa crops were negatively affected by the increase of galamsey activities in the area, which can poison waterways with heavy metals and chemicals like lead, mercury, and cyanide, as well as unpredictable rainy and dry seasons attributed to climate change.

Over 5,000 people work at the Adumanu galamsey site, most of them without legal permits, according to Joseph Owusu Sekyere, who owns several pits. Just a few miles outside of Obuasi, the yellow holes filled with brackish water are ubiquitous.

In 2014, Ghana was one of 18 countries to sign the Minamata Convention on Mercury at the UN General Assembly, with the intention of minimizing mercury exposure to the population. However, mercury use in galamsey mining continues. The Minerals Commission of Ghana focuses on maintaining the environmental standards of larger companies, while small-scale operations often fall through the cracks. Last year, the government declared a war on galamseyarresting a few miners and making showy displays of destroying some equipmentbut many operations continue.

Mercury exposure is especially harmful to children and teenagers, who often work at galamsey sites and handle the liquid metal with their bare hands. Mercury poisoning also affects people who live near galamsey sites through drinking water and fish consumption. Neurological disorders are associated with mercury poisoning, and it is particularly harmful to pregnant women. Additionally, it can wipe out entire plant populations and stunt crop growth, including cocoa.

Years ago, urban residents traveled to the villages surrounding Obuasi and Dunkwa for fresh fish and bountiful produce. Nowadays, people in Obuasi say many villagers are forced to come to town to buy food because they cant sustain their farms.

Further into the galamsey site at Adumanu, past a makeshift market and through a forest, the landscape is pockmarked with holes. They are less than three feet wide but stretch up to 2,000 feet into the belly of the Earth. The dangers of mercury poisoning are often not the most immediate concerns here.

The first day I went underground I thought that I wouldnt come out again. I cried the whole time, said Boakye Andrews, a galamsey miner. Look at it this way: 10 or 15 MTN poles [cellphone towers] stuck on top of each other. Thats how deep we go.

Five hundred or more workers descend into the Adumanu pits daily. They chisel stones and bring up heavy sacks through an assembly line. Some workers stay underground for a few days, others for over a month, bringing along water, rice, and cooking oil. Frequently, galamsey workers die underground due to flooding or unsafe use of dynamite.

Anytime somebody dies [underground], the person will blast into pieces, Andrews said. If you are about 20 and five die on the spot, you still keep on working because the gold has to come up to the surface. So you ignore the accident and keep working. Hes dead. You cant do anything about it.

Although news reports of galamsey accidents, often with fatalities in the teens, were frequent throughout last year, the true death toll remains unknown. In 2010, one mining accident near Dunkwa killed an estimated 150 miners. Most deaths are not officially recorded because family members are ashamed or worried about prosecution.

Andrews started working in galamsey when he was 19, almost a decade ago, but was raised with mining long before that. His father worked at the big Obuasi mine, then called AngloGold Ashanti, in its heyday. He passed away when Andrews was eight years old.

I grew up in Obuasi, he said. When I was young, every time I saw them doing this galamsey work I said ah...whats wrong with them? When it came to my turn, I realized that it wasnt their fault, because they were not getting help from anywhere.

The Obuasi mine, which has changed ownership several times since its founding in 1897, has always been the lifeblood of the city. Until the late 2000s, Obuasi was one of the most affluent towns in Ghana, boasting a sports club with swimming pool, tennis courts, and cricket pitch, as well as a first-class hospital and schoolall funded privately by the mine. The town was cosmopolitan and diverse. The children of European mine workers attended the same schools as Ghanaians.

Young people like Andrews had always assumed they would work for the company in some capacity, just as their parents did. However, in 2014, AngloGold Ashanti suspended gold production in Obuasi due to financial constraints, laying off more than 90 percent of its workforce and spending $210 million on severance packages. The entire economy of the city fell into decline. Signaling a possible upturn, this winter, AngloGold Ashanti announced that they would resume gold production at the Obuasi mine in 2019. But there is a steep climb to rebuild Obuasi's former economic glory.

In the time since the mine's decline, some former miners turned their skills to galamsey work, even if they couldnt secure legal permits. One example is Owusu Sekyere, the pit owner at Adumanu, who had worked for AngloGold for over 20 years.

In January 2016, illegal miners stormed the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi mine, capturing control of the intricate tunnel network that snakes under the city, a mile below the surface. On the second day of the incursion, an AngloGold senior manager was killed. The Army was eventually called in, which clashed with the miners for weeks. By the end of the occupation, at least 175 galamsey miners had died.

Our impact on the environment is not something we should be putting in the same box or bracket as the illegal miners, Asubonteng said. He added that even water discharged from the underground mine has to get treated. But we dont have any way or any approach to regulate the illegal miners. Then all our efforts come to nil.

In the course of their occupation, illegal miners damaged water treatment and electrical infrastructure in AngloGolds Obuasi mine, setting them back at least a year in feasibility studies and much further in terms of investor confidence, according to Asubonteng. This was critical at a time when the mine was looking for new investors to resume full operationswhich could help revive the economy in Obuasi.

A month after the invasion, AngloGold Ashanti surrendered 60 percent of its land concession to the government of Ghana. Some of that land, already identified to be rich in gold, was officially leased to galamsey miners in an effort to regulate their operations. It remains unclear how environmental regulations are being followed on these newly legal sites, although anecdotal evidence suggests bribes may be favored over inspections.

Meanwhile, members of COCOBOD, Ghanas government-owned singular cocoa exporter, and cocoa farmer unions have publicly criticized galamsey as the single biggest threat to cocoa farming in the country. They point out that cocoa exports have long been closely tied to the countrys economic status, so much so that cocoa beans are emblazoned on its currency.

Whats happening in terms of illegal mining in Ghanalets think beyond Obuasiis something that if we are not careful will get to a point that we will lose it totally, Asubonteng said. The damage caused by illegal miners in terms of environment, in terms of child labor, in terms of the impact on health of communities, the impact of law and order is significant.

Ghanas galamsey crisis has yet to affect global chocolate prices in a noticeable way, but the future implications may be seen in the current reality of Kwaku Asares cocoa farm. His 14 acres of once-vibrant cocoa trees, and that of at least 30 farmers in his village and exponentially more farmers in the region, have been replaced with scars on the Earth.

international small farm & hay equipment | small farm innovations

international small farm & hay equipment | small farm innovations

Welcome to Small Farm Innovations, one of the countrys largest providers of compact hay equipment! Family owned and operated since 2006, we are dedicated to providing you with unmatchable support in sales and service. In 2006, Small Farm Innovations opened its front door importing compact hay equipment from IHI, Japan, selling it all over the country, as well as, exporting to multiple countries including Australia, Panama, and Iraq. In 2009, we introduced Atespar drum mowers and hay rakes to better our customers hay baling experience. Moving forward into 2010, we introduced Korean built, TYM tractors with the main focus being on the lower horsepower tractors, to best suit our compact hay equipment.

Later in 2010, we joined Zetor tractors, which are manufactured in the Czech Republic, for those customers with large scale farms and ranches where more horsepower is required. In 2011, we decided to join Mascar and import the Corsa 420 44 baler to better suit those with larger scaled farms and ranches as well. Fast-forward a few years to 2016, we added one of the most popular rotary cutters, Bush Hog, to the lineup of the equipment we have to offer. Jaylor Mixers were also introduced in the last couple of years to help broaden the range of customers we can serve. Now, moving onto the most current and exciting addition, as of January 1, 2019, Small Farm Innovations has become the TYM Tractor Distribution Center for the Central United States. Our main goal is to provide our customers with the most exceptional service that there is to offer. We work diligently to support our customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Many of our customers have never baled hay or operated other farm equipment before.

That being said, we do our best to be a source of information for all tasks performed in forage production and management. We prefer all of our customers to call us for support when they receive their new equipment if our staff does not personally deliver it. We are willing to and prefer to, stay on the phone with our customers the first time they operate their equipment until they are 110% comfortable and fully understand the process. We try to personally deliver all package deals and usually spend a small part of the day with our customers training them on how to operate and maintain their investment with ease. Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to best serving you!

challenges faced by small scale miners in zimbabwe zim business ideas and network (zbin)

challenges faced by small scale miners in zimbabwe zim business ideas and network (zbin)

We help entrepreneurs with a lot of resources and one of our major focus has been opportunities. What opportunities exist in Zimbabwe which can be tapped into? This website has a lot of them to inspire you. Our Facebook platform has covered thousands of opportunities since formation in 2015. Our various Whatsapp groups also add to our database of opportunities. On a yearly basis we publish books with a compilation of articles to inspire our members.

ZBIN Member 1:Hi in mining the deeper you go the more expenses you incur. So you need things like big pumps, generators, compressors and also need to mill on site. Capital is a major hindrance in mining projects.

ZBIN Member 4 :The management method is a big issue because for one to inject capital on your project, you need to produce convincing production records or some kind of exploration work showing the potential of your mine and expected returns.

They are many miners who with proper guidance/ consultation/can be very successful. I think it is good for miners mining the same mineral to gang up and market their produce minerals like chrome, manganese and tantalite for export.

Buyers out there normally ask for reasonably big quantities which an ordinary miner find difficult to stack your small funds on huge quantities of product which you dont have the capacity to produce as per international buyers minimum requirement.

I rarely contribute but I can tell you Im learning a lot on the group about mining, business and economics. I look forward to the weekend when great minds here would be discussing and explaining economics. Ndapota musandigumurawomugroup.

ZBIN Member 6 :Apa Im 100% with you. The change in policy overnight has got a lot of investors sitting on the sidelines or investing elsewhere. Pa policy pakaita clear a lot of things will happen here.

ZBIN Member 7 : For now I would say the current monetary policy/position has presented one of the biggest challenges for miners, and the economy at large. As an investment destination, Zimbabwe is categorised in the high risk zone. As such a lot of potentially huge projects are untapped.

ZBIN Member 9 : Mashurugwi they come and take staff rangu raive rine 80 grams.They are terrible, pa Saimona vakatema tema vanhu vaiva mugomba nemabhemba vakatora motoro ose kwatinogaisira ndokuno fumurwa our results then they will come plus vanodyawo ne police so eish ma1.

These are just a few of the many responses covered by our mining groups with over 500 miners. The situation could be better if responsible authorities such as RBZ invest more funds in provision of support to miners such as literacy training, management courses, disaster preparedness, marketing, access to funds and machinery, security, company registrations, environment awareness and mining operations.

Simply buying minerals such as gold from miners is not enough, our miners are calling out for smart partnerships with relevant authorities so that they can professionally run their mining operations and help to create employment and improve the economic growth of the country.

Simply mentioning that we have disbursed $120m to small scale miners is not enough, we need to find out what more support miners have received and an improvement in their business operations so that issues such as the Kadoma Mine Disaster to not recur.

When authorities publish gold output figures, no one is asking them about the cost to the environment and the sustainability of mining operations and therefore questions should start to be asked on whether Fidelity is simply buying minerals without investing a penny on environmental issues. We need a restructure at Fidelity and other mining bodies and authorities.

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