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Posted by oregonwoodsmoke 5 OR Sunset 1A (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 29, 10 at 15:08

I ask mostly out of curiosity.

I'm considering an 11 acre property with fruit trees, river frontage, and irrigation rights for 3 acres. There are no buildings, just the trees.

It's in an incredibly gorgeous area (along the John Day River), but a bit far from the farmer's market. Growing season is good, especially for fruit.

It's also a bit too far for me to travel back and forth to take care of it.

What do you guys think are the chances that I could find someone who wanted to sharecrop that land? Rent it from me and pay with a percentage of the crops? They would have to have some sort of income because they would have to rent a house (or else install a well and septic and live in a trailer, or build a small dwelling-- renting would be cheaper).

I'll be doing the farmer's market, so produce could be driven as far as the highway and I'd pick it up, or else both of us work the booth. 2 markets, one for wealthy yuppie types, one for working folks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sharecropping?

First check on the legality of such an arrangement in your state. I wonder why you can afford the place and not want to pay someone to help you.

RE: Sharecropping?

Not that it is any of your business, but it is too far for me to travel back and forth to take care of it. Which, if you check, I already said. You can not have an employee without someone to supervise them. If I have to drive back and forth to supervise them, I might as well do the work myself.

Oh yeah. It's too far for me to drive back and forth to take care of it. That makes it too far to travel back and forth to supervise an orchard worker.

There you go, your curiosity has been satisfied.

RE: Sharecropping?

Dude, don't get bent. Did you check to see if it's legal?

RE: Sharecropping?

I don't know how this would work with the type of set up you're talking about. I would ask around the area to see if such arrangements are out there.

Here in Ohio, farm land is "cash rented" for anywhere $120/acre on up, with the person doing the farming paying for all expenses on seed, machinery, etc. Of course, any arrangement can be made that fits the situation and is agreeable to both.

Look into it locally, or get on the web and see what others do for truck farming operations.

Sounds like a beautiful site.

RE: Sharecropping?

I own about 45 acres that I have sharecropped in Kentucky, I live in Indiana. The operator gets 75% and I 25%. His share might seem high but if he wanted to cheat me I might never know.
I pay the property taxes and he pays everything else: seed, fertilizer, labor, equipment etc.

RE: Sharecropping?

I don't agree that you would necessarily need to supervise an employee, at least not daily. A weekly trip out would be more than sufficient. I've worked jobs with less supervision than that, though technically I was an independent contractor rather than an employee. You would just have to find someone you can trust -- that would also be true of sharecropping -- and some kind of profit share would be a good incentive.

Another option is to lease the land to a more local aspiring farmer. My brother and his wife leased land this summer, to grow vegetables on for the market. It didn't work out for them, but that had more to do with the land and the market than their lease arrangement, which I think both parties were satisfied with.

You also have to decide how much control you want/need over what's grown. The biggest risk, in my book, would be if the person you were leasing to decided to grow an illegal cash crop on the side, which could happen with any type arrangement. Finding the right person to farm the land would be the most important part.

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