what do I do with 100 acres of pasture?

Senile_Texas_Aggie

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
4,916
Points
313
Location
western Arkansas
My wife and I recently bought a farm in western Arkansas w/ 162 acres, ~100 in pasture. We currently do not have any farm equipment other than a used John Deere Gator. The previous owner grew hay on about 90 acres of the pasture, but for our first cutting this late spring we got less than 1 bale an acre. (It's been hot and dry this spring and we did not fertilize.) The guy who cut the hay for me said it wasn't worth the cost in fuel to cut and bale it. (Round 4x5 bales are going for about $25/bale.) Yet I priced a decent tractor (40+ hp), a mower, a rake and a bale and it was well over $100K. (Ouch!) Our property does not have a decent fence, so I can't have cows, goats, or sheep to keep the grass grazed down. I am 65 and retired, and while not hurting for money, I am not swimming in cash, either. Also, my wife and I don't know the least bit about farming/ranching. We are like Oliver and Lisa Douglas of Green Acres TV show.

What advice can you fine folks give us?

Senile Texas Aggie

P.S.: A special shout-out to Baymule, whose article titled "I hate green briers!" was so funny I decided to join this web site. :)
 

Mike CHS

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
9,061
Reaction score
30,193
Points
753
Location
Southern Middle TN
If the hay is that bad at our place I couldn't find anyone to cut it for free or otherwise. The tree suggestion isn't that far fetched but when we started our place the 'pasture' was full of small saplings and it had only been idle for 3 years.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
22,453
Reaction score
57,005
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
Put up a good fence and get some livestock. Or lease it out for livestock, get a GOOD contract that specifies that the person leasing the land has to put up a fence and keep it in good repair. There are several blocks of land near our place that are leased. The fences are just so-so and calves could walk through in several places. The fence was mended with a cow panel-not exactly my idea of proper fence fixin'.
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,765
Points
553
Location
East Texas
1. What kind of grass was on it that only yielded one 4x5 bale/acre?
2. Pictures would help.
3. Check with NRCS to see if you qualify for any grant $$$.
https://nifa.usda.gov/program/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/ama/

Options:
1. Lease about 1/2 to 2/3 of it to someone that wants pasture..he fences it in leiu of paying you. (you will undoubtedly have to pay for at least part of the material cost). Make sure you have everything you want out of the deal in writing including the term (length of time he has it leased)
2. If it has wildlife on it, you might look into lease it seasonally for hunting. Hunting leases can pay better than cattle anyway.
 
Top