Best use for old 5 acre pasture?

wertach zone 7-B SCJanuary 3, 2012

I bought my siblings shares of my Dads house. He used to raise a few cattle. I don't have the time or inclination to raise cows. Plus the fence would have to be redone.

The pasture has a very thick stand of fescue grass, almost weed free. I have asked the local farmers about bailing it on halves and they don't seem to be interested. Claim it is too small for profit.

I hate to just bush hog it several times a year to keep it clean. That's what I have been doing for the last 10 years of Dads life, to make him happy.

I have thought about planting pines, but that is a 15+ year investment. I need something low maintenance because I work 50+ hours a week, plus a 5 or so year profit potential since I will be retiring in 5 years, hopefully. Then I will have time to plow it under and plant a cash crop like corn, soybeans, or something.

Any advise?

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goodhors(z5 MI)

Rent it as pasture, for a cheap price. With quick electric fencing, a person could easily put up THEIR OWN new fence for the use of the fields if the price wasn't too high. Does the land have a well and pump to keep them watered? Maybe a yard light for short days, when they come to check things?

You save having to mow, someone is coming and going to keep an eye on stuff. Charge enough rent to cover use of electric. Sometimes the power company will give a yearly rate, when you use so little power, for fence, pump, one big light.

Craigslist or local Shopper type news for advertising would cover a lot of area, to find renters. I would probably want some money to hold as a deposit, returned when they left things in good shape.

Get a CONTRACT written to cover all angles, pump dies of old age, your problem. Pump killed when it ran constantly because water wasn't turned off, their cost. Rent paid on time, no excuses or charge them extra, PER DAY. You may want to limit how many folks come to the property in the contract. Gates kept locked, etc. Everyone signs, to keep things neat and clearly SPELLED OUT for all.

Money earned won't be much, but might cover the electric, help with taxes, save you mowing more than once a year or so. Hope you can find a nice renter.

Land rental for crops is also a consideration, goes pretty well around here. 5 acres of beans would turn a profit, with no investment for you. Keep the land in good heart for when you do retire.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 2:11PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I don't want to rent, but thanks! I've rented land before, too many headaches not enough money! Lost money the last time I tried it. Plus I'm a kinda private person and don't like people coming on my property anytime they please! I had one person that would come at 12 PM to feed his horses!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 3:45PM
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judy2(z4-5b NS)

If people coming onto the property at all hours bothers you, then you live close to it? You could fence it and put a beef or two on it and offer to pasture beef for someone else and charge a monthly rate. You would make enough to pay for the fencing (eventually) and the property tax, too.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 8:28AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Well, maybe the crop farming could work. Locally the farmers are charging a flat fee per acre for that summer. Renter pays everything else, seed, fertilizer, harvesting and does all the work. Not doing shares as was so common in the past, so the land ower has nothing to lose, has gotten his rental money whenever their CONTRACT specifies payment. You could write it so they paid first, at harvest, or in payments.

Land is getting harder to find for farming here, so prices to rent are rising, makes a nice cash payment to a landowner who would not be doing anything with the property anyway.

But do use a contract, each of you knows what is expected and when payments are due. You have legal recourse if renter messes up or doesn't pay as expected. Days of a "gentlemen's agreement" are long gone, with few gentlemen or ladies that keep their word!

Yeah, us horse owners are a bit crazy. I had to feed at some VERY odd times when I rented a barn, because the hours I worked were insane!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Maybe you just havn't found the right farmer, perhaps one that has his own equipment but not enough pasture. Our hay guy runs cows on his pasture, and bales neighbors all over town for his winter hay, we buy the excess. The fields he cuts are mostly 2 acres and less, he gets probably 2500-3000 bales from it, we buy 1000.

Or if it's fenced, run some young stock on it for the summer & slaughter in the fall.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 7:46PM
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littlebug5(z5 MO)

You are not expecting to plant it yourself, are you? Do you have any idea what farm equipment costs? Or maybe you already have a tractor, tiller, planter, spray coupe, combine, etc.

My son's father in law just bought a new tractor for $250,000 -/+

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 8:55PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Littlebug, Yes, I have a tractor, 50's Allis Chalmer, plows, tiller, other equipment, and a one row planter. Paid $1200 for it 20 years ago. No combine or hay baler.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 11:16AM
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For farming 5 acres you don't need all that fancy, expensive equipment. You might want to look into what tax savings or farm programs might be available for planting it in those pine trees. Be sure to check with your local forestry service too. Check with your local county extension office, they may know someone who would bale it. Check at the local ag sales never know what might pop up!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Hi, I'm new to this site and forum. Like wertach, my wife and I purchased 12 acres with maybe half being pasture. It is not completely fenced, we have no farm equipment, we have no desire for livestock and the accompanying land mines and have paid a neighbor to bush hog several times as the property sat for three years without maintenance. It is a get-away spot for the time being but we have thoughts of living on it at some point and was wondering what to do with the pasture. I realize that whatever we come up with will be expensive to get started but it seems such a waste to have it just sit when it could possibly be bringing in some income. Some suggestions from family and friends: a worm farm, raise goats, rent it out, raise lavender or other flowering plants and to plant some sort of crops. We are in our sixties, know little or nothing about farm life but we have an open mind for suggestions. Thanks for looking, mike837

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:31AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Pecan Trees if grow in your area make good money now takes a while to make income with any trees. The income off acre pecan trees at 27 per acre could be 20 lbs per tree times 27 = 540 lbs time todays prices 2.50 per pound comes to 1,350.00 per acre. But need look around to see if trees grow in your area. You inter crop until trees come into production.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:19PM
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