160 acres what would you do :)

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Thunder5Ranch, Oct 22, 2017.


  1. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Using my farm as the land as it was when I bought it. There was nothing here except a 120 year old well. It is at the end of a dead end road, 1 mile South of a State Highway on a gravel road. A small town 6 miles to the East has the basics, a hardware store, a concrete plant, a grocery store, and a couple of gas stations. The town to the West is bigger and has a lot of hash shacks, walmart etc and is 22 miles. The next towns of any note are 45, 40, and 60 miles away. A lot of small 50-100 population towns scatted around. The closest neighbor is 1 mile away up by the highway.

    The land is 160 acres of flat to gently rolling with a good mix of timber, cropland and pasture land, there is an abundance of deer, rabbits, quail, wild turkey and tree rats. The well water is very high quality and never goes dry. 62 acres can be in a crop lease that is cash rent for $96 per acre per year or a 2/3 1/3 deal. And there are 3 small ponds.

    After the purchase of the land you have $275,000 left to work with to set up on the land however you want.

    Ignoring my buildings and fencing here is what you have to work with. So what would you do with the land and the $275,000 to set it up.

    whole.
     
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  2. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Log the tree lots to thin out the growth. Smaller diameter wood to be saved for fencing.

    The 'upper-right' 1/4 section looks like it might support a pond. Is there flowing water there - seasonal or otherwise?

    Plant a few more trees to complete the windbreaks on the upper-right section margin (I assume NE) and the line of tress on the border between the two upper 1/4 sections.

    So far, this should all be no-cost, net.

    Is some of the land share-cropped?
     
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  3. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Have a red steel building built and make that a shop and house combo so you can park inside and work inside but still be at the house
     
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  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Get that money rolling in first.
     
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  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Hmmm...6k per year to lose access to over a third of the property...will that even cover taxes? Or would it be better to plant alfalfa and sell it at a profit? Would depend on local demand, growing season (second cutting used to bring top dollar.) Even growing edible crops and selling at (or developing) a farmers' market could be a fiscal boon...again, depending on the demand.
    Plenty of room for small livestock.
     
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  6. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I'm going on the premise that you would have a ton to projects to do and for the time being it might just be better to just get that $ roiling in, instead of worrying about planting, caring for and harvesting a crop of something.
    Then you can watch how the pros do it to get some ideas, just in case you don't happen to be a farmer by trade.

    If that land just sits there it's costing you money and if it goes unused the pasture's grass quality is probably deteriorating into more and more weeds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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  7. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    The forested areas offer cover for the wildlife, so I would leave them pretty much alone with the exception of perhaps enlarging the acreage slightly for a personal garden, deer fenced with a 2 acre pond. The pond should be dug at least 15 feet deep and could be used to irrigate my garden, water livestock and provide some fishing, Lease out the pasture for grazing after the pasture grasses have been harvested and baled. I would build a pole barn for temporary hay storage just to protect the bales from rain. Alfalfa is a good money crop but may require investment in irrigation equipment. If I don't have to irrigate the pasture I should have about $200K left and would use part of that to build a small house/shop/barn (assuming I do the work myself) to live in and store equipment. Perhaps $100K left for a solar project on the roof of the house/shop/barn and add a 20KW propane fueled genset.

    But, I have a guaranteed monthly retirement income so this would be a dream come true... :D
     
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  8. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Catfish and crawfish ponds,
    Charge people by the pound to fish catfish.
    Sell crawfish in the spring time for people to cook and eat.
    You'll probably have to teach them how to cook and clean the crawfish.
    No reason why you can't make a 100K per year just playing around with this!
     
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  9. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    What..wait..you're supposed to clean them???


    J/K...the bathtub has been crawling with them many times!
     
  10. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Problem with cash rent for crop land, at least in southern Minnesota, is that the large farmers usually need to grow corn or soy beans in order to make any money. That in turn requires insecticides, herbicides, fertilizer, large machinery to harvest the crops and plant them and often no till farming. You then will have a desert in that area, bad water, no wild life, no bees, dead soil. etc and after a couple years of that it will take a lot of effort and several years to get back to sustainable agriculture or food farming. Have to be sure that that has not already occurred. Not attacking large scale agriculture, just saying it doesn't co exist well with sustainable personal farming and even worse if you wish to be organic or use non chemical farming. When you drive for 30 miles and see nothing in the fall but corn and soy beans, or in a different climate, only wheat, you are in the animal equivalent of a desert. A pond may look nice, but I know of several beautiful ponds that have nothing alive in them. No frogs, no fish, no water bugs, no algae, no aquatic weeds, nothing. They have a good source of water created when the farmers tiled the fields in order to get rid of the wet spots so they could till all the land and work the land earlier in the spring. Your "pond" is thus fed by the run off chemicals of hundreds of acres of land and you would have a difficult time designing a more efficient system to concentrate the worst effects of modern industrial farming. With the existence of small towns in the area, it would seem that something, climate, reliable water, hills, etc has so far prevented large scale agriculture dominating in the area.
     
  11. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    3 acres is killing me, so if I had your problem with 160 - geeesh - I'd have to have a talk with the local Agriculture rep, and see what they suggested.
     
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  12. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    More interested in what folks would do with 160 acres of diverse raw land than explaining everything I have done with it :) But Taxes are $368 per year projected to rise to $1,500 ish over the next 5 years. The Run off onto this land is all from the rain that falls on this land. Chemical runoff is a non issue as the 62 acres grown under organic standards. We do a 2/3- 1/3 lease and average yield is 140BPA of which I put on average 46.7 BPA in the elevator grain bank (2914 BU total average per year or 163,184 pounds of corn) And withdraw it as I fill hog feeders. On Bean year rotations the row cropper friend does the same 2/3 1/3 deal on 62 of his acres to keep in corn on the off years and takes the whole bean crop. We do occasionally every 5th or 6th year do a Wheat and double crop bean and I fill the barn up with straw bales on those years and still 1/3 of the corn off of one of his fields. The SE 40 is the home area and primary Hog and Poultry pasture, the high tunnel, green houses, barns and 6 acres of vegetable production. The SW 40 is Woodlot and pasture for the hog rotation and where the flock of semi domesticated turkeys live until I cull them every November. I finish on average 220 head of hogs that average $312 per head net profit, 250 Culled Turkeys at $45 profit per bird average, 4,750 broiler chickens at $11 profit per bird, and pull another $25,000-$30,000 in profit from the vegetables. Rarely is there a year that my total income from the farm is under $150,000 so money is not a issue. Considering the average farm size here is 350 acres and the average farm net profit is $31,700 I have nothing to complain about in that realm. (Note It took 30 years to build my customer base up and changing farms 3 times to increase the and base to grow production as the demand grew.) I literally have nothing into the lice stock and poultry other than my time, fence, buildings and some bean meal and nutrient supplement. The average hog has a hanging weight of 225-230 pounds I get $2.55 per pound hanging weight for $573 average gross per hog on the rail. Custom Processing for the customer at the plant I use is .70 cents per pound and the customer puts the pasture pork in their freezer for a total of $3,25 per pound. The $312 net profit is after I pay myself, deduct the cost of wear and tear on equipment and buildings, and the cost of feed and supplement. My retail pork runds $3.00 per pound for sausage up to $5.00 per pound for bacon and the Chickens go for $2.75 per pound. My competitors are trying to hawk their sausage for $7 - $10 per pound and Bacon for $14 - $15 per pound and Custom butcher hogs for $4 to $6 per pound on the hook. And complaining that I play dirty and undercut their prices and that is why they sell very little. Saying this farm brings in $150,000+ per year usually gets a eye roll and a yeah sure it does comment, until I explain how it brings in that amount. But again it takes time to build a loyal repeat customer base and several lean years in getting from there to here.

    I am a total cheap ass, I paid $500 for a 1974 mobile home and drug it in with a tractor and put another $2,000 into it 10 years ago and upgraded to a 16x46 lofted portable building that I turned into my cabin last fall. I bought a sawmill and have built all of my barns and out building except one and only have, screws, nails and tin for the roofs into any of them and the gas and bands for the mill. Thought about doing some custom milling but concluded that there just are only so many hours in a day and only so much Mike to spread around in those hours....... Wife is a investigator for a Government Agency and brings in another $82,000 so even on years like last year when I got sick and the farm ran in the red, it was no big deal.......... other than that almost dying thing LOL. I have cut the gardens back to 1 acre, the high tunnel and a greenhouse. With the health issues after surviving sepsis, I just can't physically keep up with 6 acres anymore, maybe as the organ damage regenerates over time, that will change, but the weeks of running a extreme fever did some brain damage. LOL not I am a slobbering idiot kind of brain damage but it fried my hot and cold receptors so a 70 degree day feels like 120 degrees to me and anything under 50 may as well be -30 to my brain. Doctor says that is a small price to pay given he had me pegged as dead when the fevers were hitting 112 and staying there until I got ice dipped. BTW getting dumped in a tub of ice water, when you are burning up is not a pleasant experience :) Getting dumped in ice water 3-4 times per day even worse! Best advice NEVER get a resistant bacterial infection that goes full septic........... Antibiotics don't work and the odds of living through it are in the 10%-20% range depending on how strong you and your immune system are and which bacteria is killing you. Then when you do manage to survive, you are not looking at months of recovery and getting back up to speed, you are looking at years for organs like the heart and kidneys to regenerate and heal. Not complaining but the lack of compliant has not made the last two years any more pleasant :)
     
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  13. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Well, unless I'm missing something, with your previous accomplishments of being able to be profitable so far. Why change anything ? Sounds like you've been doing just fine. I have heard that commercial catfish ponds pay pretty well come harvest time,seeings how you don't have to worry about chemical runoff. The crawfish could be a good thing as well.
    Sorry to hear of your illness, hopefully you'll be back to normal soon. It sounds as though your health issues may have bit into your ability to continue your profitability and workload of recent years. I'm not the smartest bulb out there , but this may be a consideration, or a total flop of an idea. And this goes back to something my grandfather told me years ago. He worked on a government farm, got paid 10 cent an hour. They loaned him a house, a barn, and a milk cow , and room for him to plant a garden for his food. His working the government farm paid his rent.
    If your needing help to do the chores, keep up the farm, maybe cut out a few acres , put up a shack , and hire a guy to help you work the farm in exchange for the rent, ownership of the few acres, whatever your agreement comes to. If I was younger, I'd jump at the idea. Nowadays, jumping , is a thing of the past. Lol.
    But other than that, it doesn't sound like you really need to change anything as far as the property goes. It's making money , it's paying the taxes , and pretty apt to do so for quite a few years to come. It sounds like you may be asking , maybe because your looking for another project or hobby , I could be wrong here.
     
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  14. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Open a trailer park, fill it with liberals and pray for a tornado.
     
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  15. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Or a massive concentration of lightening strikes. Don't forget the gator filled moat. :ROFLMAO:
     
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  16. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    No no no I am not changing anything I am doing or have done. This is just strictly a *What Would You have Done." What I did has worked out very well for me. But there are many paths that lead to the destination and many more that lead to dead ends or off a cliff. Even the measure if success and the destination is very subjective. I am just curious what path forward others would have taken would be or would have been :)
     
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  17. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Then they would all be wanting into my buried shipping container bunker/storm shelter :(
     
  18. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    That could be another idea. Kind of like Aushwitz. :eek:
     
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  19. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Finding a cure for Liberalism should be one of this Nations Top Priorities :)
     
  20. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Fruit trees and berry bushes would have been planted first year. I would have bought and installed fencing first year also. Depending on how aggressive the critters are in your area, I may have fenced in the garden area. I do not think I would ever buy 160 acres because that would be more then I need. As for renting land out, I would not do it. We all have standards of how we like things and many times people are not as proactive or orderly as one may be. I hear often people say "oh well, it is a rental". It is hard to find people who will treat rentals as if it is their own.
     
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