By Heather Hetterick, Ohio Ag Net
Summer is always a time of projects and clean up around the farm. Clearing out a fence posts, tearing down a building or just picking up around the farm can provide opportunities to cash in while cleaning up. Or you may be cleaning up after the recent storms.
During the summer, Troy Green, co-owner of B&G Recycle, in Cridersville typically sees farmers bring in parts off farm equipment, fence wire and posts, sheet metal and old machinery.
An old piece of farm equipment can bring around $140 to $150 a ton. It can pay though, to do a little preparation to ensure getting top dollar. There are different prices for prepared and unprepared metal. For prepared scrap, the material must be cut to certain specifications. Number one scrap is required to be cut to three foot or smaller sections, and be at least a quarter-inch thick.
A prepared piece of farm equipment then can bring around $220 a ton. More money can also be garnered with a little sorting.
“If you sort the heavy steel from the light steel it can be purchased in two different grades,” said Scott Fisher, COO of Simm’s Brothers located in Marion.
Also separating out non-ferrous metals makes the scrap yards job easier and therefore they will pay you more. In addition, cleaner items bring more than dirty items.
“The more you do, the more you make,” Green said.
It can pay to watch the metal market while your watching the grain market. It’s a common misconception that it’s better to sell in the summer, because prices are higher. Fisher said that’s no longer the case. The metal market is now a volatile global market that is greatly affected by other countries.
“It’s not necessarily supply and demand like it used to be,” Fisher said.
Thieves certainly know the value of metal. There were reports earlier this year of parts stolen right off a planter in the field overnight during planting season. Both Green and Fisher have measures in place to reduce theft and catch any thieves trying to sell stolen items for cash.
“We get emails from the authorities and they keep us aware of what’s missing when it’s reported,” Green said. “We keep an eye out for it and take a proactive approach.”
Simm’s Brothers has security cameras throughout their facility and will not purchase anything without photo identification that is recorded on their weight slip.
If there isn’t enough scrap to make a full load, consider donating it to a non-profit. Several organizations now hold scrap metal drives to raise money. Organizations like the Big Walnut FFA Alumni hold an annual drive to raise money for the chapter and scholarships. They collect items such as appliances, cooper, beverage cans, scrap aluminum, scrap steel, and sheet metal. Big Walnut FFA Alumni President Brenda Piper said they have been holding the drive for the past three years and have raised over $1,000 each year.