You can get by with as little as a four-wheeler and a few small implements, or you can step up to a 140 hp tractor, a 20-foot disk, six-row planter, 15-foot no-till drill, 15-foot bat-wing mower and 60-foot sprayer. You can spend as much as want.
Going small: If all you will be planting are a few small plots there is no sense in buying farm equipment. You can probably hire your neighbor to do most of the real work for you at little cost. Or you can try to get by with next to nothing.
Going bigger: I go to auctions every spring looking for a few odd and ends. Here’s a realistic equipment list and what you can expect to pay at auctions:
Small tractor (60 to 80 hp): $4,000 and up
12-foot light-duty disk: $400 – $750
Four-row no-till corn/bean/sorghum planter: $1,000 to $2,500
6 to 8-foot bush hog mower: $1,000
12-foot drill: $500 – $1,000 (no-till drills cost much more)
PTO driven 45’, 250 gallon sprayer: $400
For about $10,000 you can be a deer farmer. If your neighbors are also managing their farms for wildlife you can trade equipment back and forth and get by cheaper. You can also eliminate some of the more costly equipment by hiring neighbors to do certain jobs for you. But be forewarned: they won’t get to your stuff until after their’s is all completed. At times this will leave you in a pinch.