Seeking Pasture Clean-up Guidelines

maiaaFebruary 13, 2010

Last weekend a drunk driver ran into my pasture (destroyed two of my fences and a utility pole, and damaged three trees in the process) and landed upside down about 10 feet into my pasture. At some point during the accident my pasture was sprayed with tiny bits of glass. The rescue personnel and the helicopter that landed in my pasture pressed many of these bits of glass into the ground. The removal of the car only worsened the situation.

So, I am faced with the insurance follow-up to this accident and I am in need of some official publication that spells out proper pasture clean-up procedure. Any ideas? I have found several that address pasture management, but nothing that is the "official" correct way to clean glass out of a pasture.

So far, everyone I have contacted has recommended scraping the pasture area that is the debris field down 4 inches, disposing of that soil, bringing in and grading new soil and then replanting. This seems like the only option but is quite expensive. I'm pretty certain the insurance company is going to want some documentation that this is what needs to be done, as this not something that appears in their database.

If you have any leads on finding such a publication, I would greatly appreciate it.

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To be brutaly honest, other than scraping and removing the best way to clean that area is to hand pick all the larger pieces. Then drag in a bunch of brush and firewood and burn the area thoughrly. This will incinerate all the plastic and melt the left over glass and incinerate the smallest pieces. Afterwards disc the area, level it out, reseed, and then roll it. In 6 months you wont even know it has happened.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 1:48PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

I doubt you'll find a publication on that sort of thing. Your situation sounds like a one-of-a-kind.

That said, contact your county's Oregon State University Extension Service office to ask where you can locate helpful information.

To do that, click on your county on this USDA map

Here is a link that might be useful: clickable map to locate your university extension offfice

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 2:01PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

You may not want this guy or gal around but I think the drunk should come over and do the repair work. Rake and pick and smooth. Ball and chain in stripes.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 2:40PM
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What is grazing the pasture? Cattle can pass off safety glass like nothing hapened. Horses are a bit more of a problem.
If it's cattle I wouldn't worry about it but for anything else I would guess I'd disk the area up, run a culi-pack over it to press the safetyglass down into the soil and re-seed.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 6:55PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

I don't have a clue how to manage this, the information you've gotten all sounds about the same. If your extension agent writes it up, maybe that would satisfy your insurance?

What a big fat drag to have to deal with!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 2:31PM
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This isn't an unusual situation along country roads. I feel sorry for the guy up the road who has put some major money into his pasture fencing and I know they have dragged air born vehicles out of it several times a year. He raises cattle. Ditto the little horse farm across from them. They sit on a curve and nobody believes the speed limit. I just loose mailboxes and telephone poles, and an occasional small tree but most of my property with road-frontage sits on a high embankment.

I doubt you'd get glass melting if you burnt off the area. I've been cleaning glass out of a vegetable plot for twenty five years a previous tenant had dumped his trash on and burnt. It gets a disc'd or tilled annually and even if it is ploughed up manages to work its way to the surface, as does all material in cultivated plots.

You also have things like fuel leakage, and other industrial fluids to deal with. I'd call your extension for help. That's what they are there for and if they can't answer then they'll find someone who can.

It's getting a cost estimate for insurance what is going to be your hardest part, I suspect. We used to do that sort of stuff at the landscape firm for whom I once worked. But this is an whole other ballgame.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 2:59PM
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If the area is such that you can backhoe-dig a deep hole and scrape the glassed area into it and bury it, at least you can have your pasture back. I know that sounds like "out of sight, out of mind" but it might be cheaper/quicker than anything else.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 5:21PM
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Thanks all for the advice. We lease the pasture for horses, so we do need to be sure it is clean.

Eric, I'm afraid the driver is in no condition to be doing work of any kind . . . much less down on his hands and knees picking glass out of the soil. I'll leave him to his long road of recovery and hope the insurance company makes it right.

Rockguy, I might just do that . . .dig a nice big hole, fill it with the contaminated dirt and use what I dig out to refill the area . . . it certainly will be cheaper than having an excavation company do it.

The extension office gave me a verbal rundown on what needed to be done (scraping the pasture down 4" and replacing the soil and then re-seeding) so I am proceeding with getting estimates for that. It seems that no written guidelines exist, but I will let the insurance company worry about that if they give me any further hassle.

Anyway, thanks for the input . . .now if the adjustor can just get this all settled up quickly.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:52PM
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