Loading
Should I stop cutting hay?
Food Plots
Messages posted to thread:
Julius Koenig 14-Mar-22
KY EyeBow 14-Mar-22
Pat Lefemine 14-Mar-22
Dale06 14-Mar-22
scentman 14-Mar-22
buckhammer 14-Mar-22
jdee 14-Mar-22
Missouribreaks 14-Mar-22
bonehead 14-Mar-22
NCK 14-Mar-22
APauls 14-Mar-22
Bake 14-Mar-22
[email protected] 15-Mar-22
goyt 15-Mar-22
recurve43 15-Mar-22
Julius Koenig 15-Mar-22
Habitat 15-Mar-22
Julius Koenig 15-Mar-22
blue spot 15-Mar-22
Glunker 15-Mar-22
Stressless 15-Mar-22
blue spot 15-Mar-22
blue spot 15-Mar-22
keepemsharp 15-Mar-22
RD in WI 15-Mar-22
Julius Koenig 16-Mar-22
Habitat 16-Mar-22
blue spot 16-Mar-22
Pop-r 17-Mar-22
One Arrow 18-Mar-22
Habitat 18-Mar-22


Date:14-Mar-22

So I bought a 120 acre piece of ground last year in Maine. We love it. Here it is almost the norm now for a farmer to cut a landowners field for little to no compensation - but the land stays open.

Initially last year I’d risk the farmer that we were not interested in having him cut any more. But he gave a sob story and I felt bad and let him cut 3/4 of what he normally does and he gave me a 200$ farm share to his stand (for 25 acres of hay). He told me that’s all he has had to pay for hay and the ground wasn’t worth more than that (although he acted pretty desperate). He hasn’t put any fertility into the farm in over 10 Years. The ground we left un cut I worked and planted some food. And it was amazing, deer, Turkey, song birds etc.

I’m thinking about either kicking him off this year or greatly reducing what he can cut again. My vision isn’t a hay farm, it’s a small sustainable farm that is also teeming with wildlife. I’m thinking of turning the field into “meadows” with more native plants.

Have any of you guys cut ties? Did you feel guilty for doing so?

Date:14-Mar-22

Is his name on the deed? There is your answer. Sounds like he'd be happy to cut anything you'll allow him to cut. Maybe 1/3rd at the most

Date:14-Mar-22

I cut ties the minute I closed on my Ohio ground. They were paying 4k for 18 acres of tillable there. They had also promised my top field to the Amish so they can plant vegetables. That conversation didn't go well at all. He pulled some crap about me needing to honor their handshake deal or some nonsense like that.

My 130 acres had 30 tillable with 18 in grains and the rest in hay. I turned all 30 into preferred food including beans, corn, brassicas, and all the hay fields into clover. You guys have seen the results. Hay is basically useless. If you bought the property to hunt deer on then plant a preferred crop. It's not hard to turn those into big clover fields, or combination of clover, chicory, or alfalfa.

The first year expenses may be a bit high, you may have to amend the PH and buy some fertilizer. But it will pay dividends for deer attraction and nutrition.

By: Dale06
Date:14-Mar-22

It’s your land, do as you please.

Date:14-Mar-22

Here in NY the farmer fills out an agriculture tax form where the land owner gets a tax break, a local farmer also added 600.00 for 60 tillable acres as he could plant and do as he liked... 10.00 an acre is a bargain any place in the Northeast and your land is fertilized and worked which enriches the soil, which is a good thing. Nothing is free nowadays and you should receive some amount of compensation, be it cash or a side of beef, pork, or hunting rites to his property as equal payment as you see fit. scentman

Date:14-Mar-22

I hate to break the bad news to you but you are getting taken for a ride.

By: jdee
Date:14-Mar-22

Do what you want but in a lot of places 2 string bales of grass hay, horse or cow, is selling for $11.00-$13.00 per bale. With fuel prices the way they are I’m sure hay prices will really be going up this year !

Date:14-Mar-22

I would never allow a farmer to crop my lands without providing a traceable nutrient ( fertilizer) program. The soil nutrients literally walk off the farm in the form of crops, in this case hay. Personally, unless it benefits you in some way, I would not allow the hay to go. You are better off mowing it and letting at least some of the nutrients to go back into the soil, and therefore stay with the farm. That is simply my perspective, not at all telling you what to do. I might add, I farm, and lease to others, thousands of acres for both hay and row crops. Maintaining soil nutrients is ever so important.

Date:14-Mar-22

perhaps you could work to a deal where he cuts some hay in exchange for putting in plots etc and save quite a bit of time and equipment

By: NCK
Date:14-Mar-22

MissouribreaksX2

Basically he is mining your land. As each crop is cut and taken away there goes your nutrient. Over time the soil will be worthless without putting down fertilizer. Going to guess your P & K is very low now. Discontinue this arrangement.

By: APauls
Date:14-Mar-22

Any time someone (person A) walks into an arrangement where person A needs person B… and yet person A only emphasizes what person A needs out of the deal as paramount…red flags

By: Bake
Date:14-Mar-22

Another way to look at it. . . . he presumably had the chance to buy the same farm if it was on the market. If he needed it so bad, he should have ponied up to buy it.

I let a cousin cut about 11-12 acres for free, but he fertilizes, he keeps the thorns down, most of it's too rocky to row crop, and this year he's going to sow some more native grasses in it too, which I like. I'm also gonna have him disk up about 4 acres down low that isn't as rocky, and I'm gonna put in a game bird plot and see if I can't hear and see some quail again.

Date:15-Mar-22

I make a living with high quality horse hay. Out here (Colorado front range) its around $11/bale but Maine is likely closer to $7. Cow quality is usually 50% -60% of that price. Do what you want with your land. Life is short and if letting him hay the property doesn't fit your plan, part ways. Letting the hay fields go untouched wouldn't likely be my choice. Decent cover for small game and turkeys but there are better options for attracting and holding game. If keeping them in grass and maybe for hay in the future is a consideration, they need to be worked every year. Fields that don't get cut deteriorate as other plants take hold and dead grass builds up. Not bad for soil but a pain in the rear when trying to get a decent crop after being unused for a year or two.

Out here, we fertilize every year, usually one application of herbicide, irrigate and get 2-3 cuttings at our altitude. Fertilizer, diesel, twine, parts and labor are all pretty expensive this year.

You might consider keeping them in hay, working out a soil/over seeding plan to get the fields healthy and having him leave a perimeter strip of the field untouched. If you are heavily wooded it can make nice edge areas that get used.

By: goyt
Date:15-Mar-22

All hay is not created equal. I have 31 acres that were in row crops. The farmer did a great job of fertilizing and controlling the pH but he often harvested in late October and would plow to break down the residuals and get a jump next year. This was not great for holding deer during the rut and after. With horse hay and beef hay being popular in this area I had to do a lot of searching but I found a dairy farmer that needed high quality hay. He planted alfalfa, birds foot trefoil and clover in his mix. He fertilizes. The deer love it! It is no different than Pat's clover fields except that I get paid for someone else to plant deer food. He is also making out. Last year in his third cutting he got 84 2,500# bails off 36 acres. I think that this quality of hay goes for around $300/ton so everyone is making out. I also have 14 food plots that I manage. I would talk to your farmer to see he can plant something that you like to have there. As others have state, he is depleting your nutrients. I had soil sample results prior to the farmer working the fields with the understanding that he will maintain that level of soil quality.

You may want to look at your land from a hunting perspective and decide if you want a 25 acre crop field there. Does it create the huntable travel routes with good access and bottlenecks? I find it every hard to hunt a field that large but I love the morning hunts if can access good bottlenecks between the field and bedding areas.

Date:15-Mar-22

Just an FYI, In Iowa the farmer who is renting the land needs to be notified in writing by Oct 1st if he will not be farming the following year. Its a law that would stand any challenge.

Date:15-Mar-22

Thanks for all the feed back guys. I’m going to call the gentleman today and let him know I am no longer wanting him to be apart of our land.

I grew up on a different farm and it was always “you don’t mess with the hay.” I’m changing my paradigm to understand that this is a blank canvas that I can do what I want with. If I didn’t have such extensive plans, I’d probably let him keep cutting.

Date:15-Mar-22

Almost every state is different in requirements to notify farmer that he can't farm it anymore,in Kansas it's by 30 days prior to March 1st.What we do here is the person wanting the hay swaths and bales it and gives the landowner 1/3 of the bales and then usually buys them back at the going rate.You can google this and it will have hay prices for your area. Just google hay prices in Maine.One thing to keep in mind if it's the same as here the county can charge you higher tax rates if recreational instead of ag.I have mine cut for hay every couple years just to keep the 40 I have in grass.You may be able to get into a program for habitat improvement though the state that will also keep your taxes down.You could check with the NRCS in your county and they can answer all these questions.But in the end hay ground makes decent habitat for only a short time of the year

Date:15-Mar-22

Our land has never had any agricultural designation. It’s all residential. I have looked into having it swapped over to ag, but the money I was offered 200$ doesn’t meet the 2000 dollar minimum. Additionally the town being a mostly urban area is very hesitant to let land out of agriculture and back to residential.

I am exploring tree growth, open space, etc to reduce tax burden

Date:15-Mar-22

All of you guys offering advice are spot on with basic soil fertility and economics.

But here in much of Maine and New Hampshire we do not have enough density of agg to keep demand for land in line with supply. There is a reason why we have lost the majority of our commercial agg. Most of the fields with productive soils are too small to crop efficiently. But we do have a long history of farming, a fair number of hobby farms and lots of people who enjoy the views offered by the fields. So with no agg demand to pay for the rent, the land owners are now in the position of paying for the service of getting their fields cut every year. So most people are pretty damn cheap. Hence the tradition of giving away your crop for the maintenance of the field/view. It is the reason why all the fence rows and obstacles are being removed to make bigger fields in the mid west. The level of inefficiency is an expense born by the land owner and drops the value of their resource to nothing. Combine that with just one or a small hand full of hobby farmers that opportunistically do the haying puts the seller in a bad place, especially when they are the only one trying to dig their heels in. So that is why you are mostly stuck giving hay away, economics and a local tradition/custom that has been in place for at least 40 years. So Julious, figure out what you want to do with land and how your going to accomplish it. It is either the cost of your own equipment or bartering land use for some equipment use. I am confident you didn't buy the place to maintain the status que. Erik

Date:15-Mar-22

Reread Habitat's post before you do anything. In WI I believe you have to give nitice by Oct to take a rented field back from a farmer. Your diligence as the new iwner is to find out what type of soil you have and what condition it is in. If you do not cut alfalfa it will morph into a weed field. You need to talk to fsa or state ag agency to see if the have programs, usually before you clise on the property. Deer eat and like alfalfa. You might want to check on how your property will be taxed with your changes. Might be nice to be on good terms with a real farmer if you own farm land. Make friends rather than enemies especually if your neighbor is well established in the community, otherwise you might get hometowned by the assesor. Good luck.

Date:15-Mar-22

In this discussion JK said,

"My vision isn’t a hay farm, it’s a small sustainable farm that is also teeming with wildlife. I’m thinking of turning the field into “meadows” with more native plants. "

Here's some ideas on moving your Ag into something in line with your Vision. Not spot on but there's some nuggets.

Date:15-Mar-22

As to current use in Maine, your open agg fields would be in either open space or agg. To qualify for agg, the land must produce $2,000 of product in 4 out 5 years. Pretty low thresh hold.

when you purchased the property you would know if it was in current use. It is disclosed on the title transfer form. That is the way it works when the land is in Tree Growth, current use for forest.

Based on most of the hay deals, they are informal hay as payment for the service of mowing the field. So you are not kicking someone off a lease. Your canceling a service contract.

Date:15-Mar-22

As to current use in Maine, your open agg fields would be in either open space or agg. To qualify for agg, the land must produce $2,000 of product in 4 out 5 years. Pretty low thresh hold.

when you purchased the property you would know if it was in current use. It is disclosed on the title transfer form. That is the way it works when the land is in Tree Growth, current use for forest.

Based on most of the hay deals, they are informal hay as payment for the service of mowing the field. So you are not kicking someone off a lease. Your canceling a service contract.

Date:15-Mar-22

Amazing how complicated it is back East.

Date:15-Mar-22

We have a small crop field that runs along our driveway. After buying the property, we allowed the farmer to farm it for a few years but informed him that we would withhold permission in the future. It was an amicable exchange and we have since reverted the field to wildlife habitat and a monarch way station. Good luck with your interaction.

Date:16-Mar-22

Thanks again for all the input. I should have mentioned we never had formal arrangements, just that this gentleman had used the land for years… he kind of came with it? We spoke and I told him that we would for now not have utilize our land- if things change in the future we will reach out.

Date:16-Mar-22

Why not work it up and plant in crop or see if you can put in CRP.Maybe not grass but a tree or shrub program.If you want wildflowers check out the Bee and Butterfly fund,They will supply seed to plant 2 acres

Date:16-Mar-22

Julian,

just to be clear, you would have qualified for agg under the previous hay deal. Your land likely produced 500 bales at $4/bale generating the $2,000 thresh hold. Now I understand that is not your goal and I am not trying to talk you in to it. The thing to take into strong consideration before you get in to any current use in at least Maine or New Hampshire. It is like joining the mob. It will cost you dearly to get out! If you are 100% confident you never want to change the use of the land or at bare minimum 20 years, then it is a reasonable option for reducing your real estate taxes. To take land out of current use generates a penalty. it is 30% of the difference in assessed value for the first 20 years of enrolement. From year 21 to 30 the penalty drops 1% per year to just 20% at year 30. It sounds like a reduction in penalty but inflation of land prices over that time in all likely hood keeps the penalty equal or makes it bigger.

There are a whole pile of incentive payments you could sign up for. Delayed mowing on fileds greater than 20 acres for bobolinks, mowing to maintain grassland habitat, plantings/manipulation for pollinators. Invasive shrub and vine control or other plants, precommercial thinning in your forest to maintain good vigor/growth, crop tree release to maintain good growth/vigor of larger trees which would also improve mast crop production, pruning and release of apple trees, etc etc. they also like to spend money on soil and water protection. Do you have any woods roads or access trails with bad water crossings or ruts ? now probably the best thing you can do to promote deer and other wildlife habitat is creating early successional habitat. Basically 5 acre or larger patch clear cuts that are allowed to grow back up in thick young growth. If you are in southern cumberland county or any where in york county there is a snowballs chance in hell there might ne an endangered cottontail rabbit. NRCS will bend over backwards to give you money to make some 5 acre clear cuts. If you have big trees you can accomplish the by selling the wood to a logger and still get the payment from NRCS. On open fields they can give you money directly because farmers are the chosen ones. If you want to work in your forest, you first must get a forest management plan done to their spec(prepared by a forester such as my self). This plan will then identify all your goals and all their money/projects you want to apply for and a time line to do it. Once the plan is done you keep applying for the funds until you get them. It is a competitive application process. Some times you just have to wait out some other "higher conservation need" projects. Those are the kind of things they cant spend money on fast enough.

If you are going to sell wood to improve the growth and vigor of your forest and/or improve the quality of habitat I urge you to hire a forester that will act as your fiduciary agent. They will ensure you get top dollar for the wood you want to cut that will best meet your management needs. They can also set you up with a depletion account/cost of goods sold for your timber. In all likely hood you will get positive cash flow from just decraping your wood lot (the trade name for thinning and improvement cutting) and letting your best trees grow while at the same time generating a paper loss to use against other sources of income. No need to pay more taxes than necessary.

By: Pop-r
Date:17-Mar-22

It almost sounds to me as you have a bad attitude towards the subject from the get go. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to just kindly tell him you didn't want him cutting it anymore instead of "kicking him off." I will say "newcomers" coming into a new area with a bad attitude don't always have things go for them as they planned.

Date:18-Mar-22

At a minimum you should be getting the value of 1/3 of the hay. It all comes down to what you as the landlord wants.

If it were me, I’d take a hard look to see if cutting some of it would benefit hunting access before I kicked him out completely. Leaving tall standing grass would obviously create bedding and if your stand is on the other side of that bedding you’ll regret having it.

Date:18-Mar-22

Problem with hay grass is it usually isn't as thick as switch and doesn't stand up.Look for what you need food or cover and then talk to NRCS and see what they can help with.It must really stink to have all those rules


Bowsite.com DeerBuilder on FacebookYouTube Channel Contact DeerBuilder
Registration
Facebook Page
YouTube Channel
Advertise
Bowsite.com
Copyright © 2012 Bowsite.com. No duplication without prior consent.