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what do I do with 100 acres of pasture?

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by Senile_Texas_Aggie, Jun 16, 2018.

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  1. Jun 16, 2018
    Senile_Texas_Aggie

    Senile_Texas_Aggie Loving the herd life

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    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. :)
     
  2. Jun 16, 2018
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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  3. Jun 16, 2018
    Donna R. Raybon

    Donna R. Raybon Loving the herd life

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    Find someone willing to hay it for free? As mentioned, planting trees would be good.

    Ah, you have discovered the awful consequences of farming'l of high equipment costs and low returns.
     
  4. Jun 16, 2018
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    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.
     
  5. Jun 16, 2018
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    Quick question for you: What was your dream when you bought this place?
     
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  6. Jun 16, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    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'.
     
  7. Jun 16, 2018
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Start fencing it; and talk to your extension agent about growing pasture.
     
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  8. Jun 16, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    If you put a @ in front of a person's name, the forum will send them an alert. @Senile_Texas_Aggie
     
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  9. Jun 16, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    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.
     
  10. Jun 18, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    I agree with her.
     
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