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Old 05-05-2019, 09:42 PM
 
148 posts, read 78,631 times
Reputation: 215

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Hi! We're looking at a property with about 10 acres and I have a few questions.

*****

There is a bank barn on it (cellar on the backside). The loft has quite a bit of loose hay - a few feet it seems in one large area, less in others. The main floor also has hay laying around. Since I have no idea how old it is (and currently don't have animals), what is the best way to get rid of it and could it be used by any active neighboring farms? (I know it could also be straw but I couldn't tell on my trip through the barn).

*****

One of the cellar bays has a lot of manure. I don't know what kind. It seems to be deep, dark, soft and does not smell. Again, could any of this still be used? I have seen google pix of the property with the most recent owners and it does not appear they owned animals so this could be over 10 years old. The barns do have that nice warm animal smell but the barn cellar does not smell like manure. The property also seems to be free of recent animal evidence.

*****

The property has 2 pastures in the back. The entire property and each pasture are bordered by stone walls. There is a smaller clearing up front by the road, also bordered by stone walls. That is near the barn and had a gate on it at one point. There is a smaller stone-walled area behind the barn as well, but this area seems pretty wet even though maps do not show wetlands to be in this spot. The yard around the house is well maintained. There are no fences, or evidence of any, other than the stone walls and posts where 2 gates had been (one by the road clearing and one to close off the barn/backyard at the driveway)

Ideally I'd like to clear out some of the overgrown areas. I was thinking goats, until I read through the incredibly detailed thread on How Much Work it is to have Livestock. I love animals but would not be thrilled to have escaped goats dancing on the cars! I wonder how fence tape (electric) would work to contain goats, or are sheep a better option, as suggested in the prior thread?

*****

My last question is on an agriculture exemption for taxes. Taxes for this property are currently high. Is this a federal program or does each state, or even town, have its own rules? Years ago I was told that doing something as simple as renting out a portion of your land for grazing could qualify you for that exemption. Most of my daily work is done from home and it's not always 40 hours, so I'm in a unique position where I can be around more than most.

I'd appreciate any comments! I do understand I would not get rich off this, nor even make a lot, but saving on the taxes would certainly be worth it.

Pic is of hay in loft. Any hay doors are one level above this pile. The open window in the background is on the cellar side - so three tall floors down.

Thank you! Owning a property like this is a life-long dream of mine. Even if this one doesn't pan out, I'm at a point in my life where I'm able to seriously look for one, and I figure I should have some of these answers worked out
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Acreage questions: animals, hay, clean up and farm status-hay.jpg  
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,761 posts, read 3,887,085 times
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Mix the old hay and the old poop together for the start of a good compost pile. OUTSIDE and well away from the buildings.

Animal keeping and fencing... look for local farming and homesteading groups on facebook. - you can probably find local people to learn a lot from.

Ag tax status.... look it up on the county assessor's office website... there is probably someone in charge of the program who can talk to you too about requirements.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:24 AM
 
148 posts, read 78,631 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Mix the old hay and the old poop together for the start of a good compost pile. OUTSIDE and well away from the buildings.

Animal keeping and fencing... look for local farming and homesteading groups on facebook. - you can probably find local people to learn a lot from.

Ag tax status.... look it up on the county assessor's office website... there is probably someone in charge of the program who can talk to you too about requirements.

THANK YOU!!!!


Can you define "well away" in feet? The clearing to the stone was is just over 30'. Over the stone wall appears to be another clearing, and I can get to about 90' away from the barn, near a tree line. The map does not show that to be wetlands but it did feel wet behind the barn (we've had a record amount of rain for over a year now - April especially).


It's obvious the town map is a bit older than now compared to the brush we saw vs what looks like fairly clean areas on the map.


I will have to go to town hall about the tax status, there isn't anything on their site. Otherwise there is a farm bureau not farm from me.


Facebook! I didn't think of that as I am not into that much. I'll check it out.


Thanks again
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:28 AM
 
1,174 posts, read 918,176 times
Reputation: 4767
-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by yesitis456 View Post
Hi! We're looking at a property with about 10 acres and I have a few questions.

*****

There is a bank barn on it (cellar on the backside). The loft has quite a bit of loose hay - a few feet it seems in one large area, less in others. The main floor also has hay laying around. Since I have no idea how old it is (and currently don't have animals), what is the best way to get rid of it and could it be used by any active neighboring farms? (I know it could also be straw but I couldn't tell on my trip through the barn).

i recognize those old time ladder steps, lol. I'll bet that barn qualifies to get on the historical list if you took pics to the historical society

The hay on the second floor MIGHT be ok for goats, maybe even cattle -- I wouldn't feed it but there are farm people whose standards are a lot lower than mine, lol

If you aren't into composting, put all the hay in a big pile, well away from buildings, call the fire department, donate some money to them, and let them burn it for the practice
.


*****-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by yesitis456 View Post
Hi! We're looking at a property with about 10 acres and I have a few questions.

*****

There is a bank barn on it (cellar on the backside). The loft has quite a bit of loose hay - a few feet it seems in one large area, less in others. The main floor also has hay laying around. Since I have no idea how old it is (and currently don't have animals), what is the best way to get rid of it and could it be used by any active neighboring farms? (I know it could also be straw but I couldn't tell on my trip through the barn).

i recognize those old time ladder steps, lol. I'll bet that barn qualifies to get on the historical list if you took pics to the historical society

The hay on the second floor MIGHT be ok for goats, maybe even cattle -- I wouldn't feed it but there are farm people whose standards are a lot lower than mine, lol

If you aren't into composting, put all the hay in a big pile,Madelyn away from buildings, call the fire department, donate some money to them, and let them burn it for the practice.


*****

One of the cellar bays has a lot of manure. I don't know what kind. It seems to be deep, dark, soft and does not smell. Again, could any of this still be used? I have seen google pix of the property with the most recent owners and it does not appear they owned animals so this could be over 10 years old. The barns do have that nice warm animal smell but the barn cellar does not smell like manure. The property also seems to be free of recent animal evidence.

probably (hopefully) ancient cow manure. Cow manure can be read on the fields, horse manure cannot. I doubt it's sheep or goats, plus I don't know if their manure can be spread. Good luck getting rid of it u til you find out the species. You can either leave it where it's at or shovel it out and compost it as well

*****

The property has 2 pastures in the back. The entire property and each pasture are bordered by stone walls. There is a smaller clearing up front by the road, also bordered by stone walls. That is near the barn and had a gate on it at one point. There is a smaller stone-walled area behind the barn as well, but this area seems pretty wet even though maps do not show wetlands to be in this spot. The yard around the house is well maintained. There are no fences, or evidence of any, other than the stone walls and posts where 2 gates had been (one by the road clearing and one to close off the barn/backyard at the driveway)

You are looking at the remains of a very old farm, circa 1900's (even older) would be my guess. Is this farm in the southeast U.S.? Stone "walls" we're actually fencing on the old plantations. In Tennessee the remnants are not allowed to be disturbed, except for repair. Sadly developers building developments, could care less and are tearing the stone fences down left and right.

My best guess on the water is there is an underground spring -- very valuable to livestock and humans if the water tests safe


Ideally I'd like to clear out some of the overgrown areas. I was thinking goats, until I read through the incredibly detailed thread on How Much Work it is to have Livestock. I love animals but would not be thrilled to have escaped goats dancing on the cars! I wonder how fence tape (electric) would work to contain goats, or are sheep a better option, as suggested in the prior thread?

I was the first one on that other thread to jump in and say it takes a lot of work to have livestock. It also takes a lot of common sense, thought. A person (or couple) has to be prepared for emergencies with the animals -- that can mean a little deeper pockets or sacrificing extras for yourselves, so you can pay the vet.

Goats likely won't stay in electro braid fence, lollol. They climb trees, my neighbors goats can often be found sitting on their farm tractor, lollol.

Our 4" woven wire livestock fence borders their property. They use it to keep their goats in their one acre. The worst thing I saw happen was one of the younger goats got its horns stuck in the woven wire trying to squeeze it's big self thru the 4" hole, lollol.

You can have chickens (they are GREAT for eating ticks but you need to put them in a fox and coyote safe coop at night. Snakes will also try to get in the coop to eat the eggs if you have laying hens.

FYI, there are "rolling" chicken coops on the market these days. They aren't for large chicken operations but they are slick for a few chickens as you don't have to worry about rounding the chickens up every night for lockdown. They "free range" inside the coop because you can move the coop (which is on wheels) anywhere you want



*****

My last question is on an agriculture exemption for taxes. Taxes for this property are currently high. Is this a federal program or does each state, or even town, have its own rules? Years ago I was told that doing something as simple as renting out a portion of your land for grazing could qualify you for that exemption. Most of my daily work is done from home and it's not always 40 hours, so I'm in a unique position where I can be around more than most.

we are on an Ag-based tax structure. Where I live in Middle Tennessee, my Ag county requires we own 22 acres and sell something off this land. We have 24.75 acres and sell hay.

In our county, that Ag tax reduction must be caught up when the property is sold. For example, if we save $100 annually by having Ag exempt faxes and we sell the property ten years down the road, we then owe the country treasurer $100 X 10 years. I would imagine that Ag tax structure varies so do your due diligence on that. I do doubt however, ten acres would qualify.


I'd appreciate any comments! I do understand I would not get rich off this, nor even make a lot, but saving on the taxes would certainly be worth it.

Pic is of hay in loft. Any hay doors are one level above this pile. The open window in the background is on the cellar side - so three tall floors down.

Thank you! Owning a property like this is a life-long dream of mine. Even if this one doesn't pan out, I'm at a point in my life where I'm able to seriously look for one, and I figure I should have some of these answers worked out
To repeat myself, looking at the barn pic and from what you describe, this sounds to be the remnants of a very old farm or plantation. There's a lot of history there. You may find a lot of your answers by going to the county historical society and local library.

Hopefully your county's Co-Op and Ag person are worth their salt, as they can be very instrumental in point you in the right direction

Also, one of things you do NOT want to is overgraze the property with any type of livestock. Whatever livestock you would decide upon, your county Ag person would be the one to say how ,any pieces of livestock per acre the land could safely support without destroying all the grazing and turning it into a mud pit

I hope you update if you do buy this property, best wishes and good luck


One of the cellar bays has a lot of manure. I don't know what kind. It seems to be deep, dark, soft and does not smell. Again, could any of this still be used? I have seen google pix of the property with the most recent owners and it does not appear they owned animals so this could be over 10 years old. The barns do have that nice warm animal smell but the barn cellar does not smell like manure. The property also seems to be free of recent animal evidence.

[COLOR="navy"]probably (hopefully) ancient cow manure. Cow manure can be read on the fields, horse manure cannot. I doubt it's sheep or goats, plus I don't know if their manure can be spread. Good luck getting rid of it u til you find out the species. You can either leave it where it's at or shovel it out and compost it as well [/color]

*****

The property has 2 pastures in the back. The entire property and each pasture are bordered by stone walls. There is a smaller clearing up front by the road, also bordered by stone walls. That is near the barn and had a gate on it at one point. There is a smaller stone-walled area behind the barn as well, but this area seems pretty wet even though maps do not show wetlands to be in this spot. The yard around the house is well maintained. There are no fences, or evidence of any, other than the stone walls and posts where 2 gates had been (one by the road clearing and one to close off the barn/backyard at the driveway)

You are looking at the remains of a very old farm, circa 1800's (even older) would be my guess. Is this farm in the southeast U.S.? Stone "walls" we're actually fencing on the old plantations. In Tennessee the remnants are not allowed to be disturbed, except for repair. Sadly developers building developments, could care less and are tearing the stone fences down left and right.

My best guess on the water is there is an underground spring -- very valuable to livestock and humans if the water tests safe


Ideally I'd like to clear out some of the overgrown areas. I was thinking goats, until I read through the incredibly detailed thread on How Much Work it is to have Livestock. I love animals but would not be thrilled to have escaped goats dancing on the cars! I wonder how fence tape (electric) would work to contain goats, or are sheep a better option, as suggested in the prior thread?

I was the first one on that other thread to jump in and say it takes a lot of work to have livestock. It also takes a lot of common sense, thought. A person (or couple) has to be prepared for emergencies with the animals -- that can mean a little deeper pockets or sacrificing extras for yourselves, so you can pay the vet.

Goats likely won't stay in electro braid fence, lollol. They climb trees, my neighbors goats can often be found sitting on their farm tractor, lollol.

Our 4" woven wire livestock fence borders their property. They use it to keep their goats in their one acre. The worst thing I saw happen was one of the younger goats got its horns stuck in the woven wire trying to squeeze it's big self thru the 4" hole,
lollol.

You can have chickens (they are GREAT for eating ticks but you need to put them in a fox and coyote safe coop at night. Snakes will also try to get in the coop to eat the eggs if you have laying hens.

FYI, there are "rolling" chicken coops on the market these days. They aren't for large chicken operations but they are slick for a few chickens as you don't have to worry about rounding the chickens up every night for lockdown. They "free range" inside the coop because you can move the coop (which is on wheels) anywhere you want



*****

My last question is on an agriculture exemption for taxes. Taxes for this property are currently high. Is this a federal program or does each state, or even town, have its own rules? Years ago I was told that doing something as simple as renting out a portion of your land for grazing could qualify you for that exemption. Most of my daily work is done from home and it's not always 40 hours, so I'm in a unique position where I can be around more than most.

we are on an Ag-based tax structure. Where I live in Middle Tennessee, my Ag county requires we own 22 acres and sell something off this land. We have 24.75 acres and sell hay.

In our county, that Ag tax reduction must be caught up when the property is sold. For example, if we save $100 annually by having Ag exempt faxes and we sell the property ten years down the road, we then owe the country treasurer $100 X 10 years. I would imagine that Ag tax structure varies so do your due diligence on that. I do doubt however, ten acres would qualify.


I'd appreciate any comments! I do understand I would not get rich off this, nor even make a lot, but saving on the taxes would certainly be worth it.

Pic is of hay in loft. Any hay doors are one level above this pile. The open window in the background is on the cellar side - so three tall floors down.

Thank you! Owning a property like this is a life-long dream of mine. Even if this one doesn't pan out, I'm at a point in my life where I'm able to seriously look for one, and I figure I should have some of these answers worked out
To repeat myself, looking at the barn pic and from what you describe, this sounds to be the remnants of a very old farm or plantation. There's a lot of history there. You may find a lot of your answers by going to the county historical society and local library.

Hopefully your county's Co-Op and Ag person are worth their salt, as they can be very instrumental in pointIng you in the right direction

Also, one of things you do NOT want to is overgraze the property with any type of livestock. Whatever livestock you would decide upon, your county Ag person would be the one to say how many head of livestock per acre the land could safely support without destroying all the grazing and turning it into a mud pit


I hope you update if you do buy this property, best wishes and good luck

Last edited by Normashirley; 05-06-2019 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:54 PM
 
2,694 posts, read 1,429,131 times
Reputation: 11398
I'd use the hay and manure for the garden.


As for the overgrown areas, you will have trouble keeping all 10 acres cleared, but if that's what you really, really want to do, get a scythe. (Otherwise, consider letting birds and animals use the overgrown areas for natural shelter. Nature could always use a hand these days.)
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,761 posts, read 3,887,085 times
Reputation: 18496
Quote:
Originally Posted by yesitis456 View Post
THANK YOU!!!!
Can you define "well away" in feet? The clearing to the stone was is just over 30'. Over the stone wall appears to be another clearing, and I can get to about 90' away from the barn, near a tree line. The map does not show that to be wetlands but it did feel wet behind the barn (we've had a record amount of rain for over a year now - April especially).
30 feet is fine. You don't want it to be a major hike to empty the manure cart when cleaning stalls... but you also don't want the manure pile too near the barn, because it's HOT when it's composting. And can be a fire risk. You want it in a place that's easy to get to with a tractor/front end loader, to move it and spread it with.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:31 AM
 
148 posts, read 78,631 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
I'd use the hay and manure for the garden.


As for the overgrown areas, you will have trouble keeping all 10 acres cleared, but if that's what you really, really want to do, get a scythe. (Otherwise, consider letting birds and animals use the overgrown areas for natural shelter. Nature could always use a hand these days.)

I didn't want to completely clear all 10 acres. There's quite a few wooded areas I have every intention of keeping - especially along the property lines, and keeping some of the brush would be great for the birds etc. I spotted a birdhouse as we crossed the rock wall into the second pasture and thought I should add to it But right now all the stone walls that define the property and pastures are overgrown. There is a path to each pasture in the back - but you can only get down one due to the brush. The pastures themselves aren't too bad.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:57 AM
 
148 posts, read 78,631 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Normashirley View Post
-----



To repeat myself, looking at the barn pic and from what you describe, this sounds to be the remnants of a very old farm or plantation. There's a lot of history there. You may find a lot of your answers by going to the county historical society and local library.

Hopefully your county's Co-Op and Ag person are worth their salt, as they can be very instrumental in pointIng you in the right direction

Also, one of things you do NOT want to is overgraze the property with any type of livestock. Whatever livestock you would decide upon, your county Ag person would be the one to say how many head of livestock per acre the land could safely support without destroying all the grazing and turning it into a mud pit


I hope you update if you do buy this property, best wishes and good luck

*****


i recognize those old time ladder steps, lol. I'll bet that barn qualifies to get on the historical list if you took pics to the historical society

The hay on the second floor MIGHT be ok for goats, maybe even cattle -- I wouldn't feed it but there are farm people whose standards are a lot lower than mine, lol

If you aren't into composting, put all the hay in a big pile,Madelyn away from buildings, call the fire department, donate some money to them, and let them burn it for the practice.


*****

probably (hopefully) ancient cow manure. Cow manure can be read on the fields, horse manure cannot. I doubt it's sheep or goats, plus I don't know if their manure can be spread. Good luck getting rid of it u til you find out the species. You can either leave it where it's at or shovel it out and compost it as well

*****


You are looking at the remains of a very old farm, circa 1900's (even older) would be my guess. Is this farm in the southeast U.S.? Stone "walls" we're actually fencing on the old plantations. In Tennessee the remnants are not allowed to be disturbed, except for repair. Sadly developers building developments, could care less and are tearing the stone fences down left and right.

My best guess on the water is there is an underground spring -- very valuable to livestock and humans if the water tests safe


I was the first one on that other thread to jump in and say it takes a lot of work to have livestock. It also takes a lot of common sense, thought. A person (or couple) has to be prepared for emergencies with the animals -- that can mean a little deeper pockets or sacrificing extras for yourselves, so you can pay the vet.

Goats likely won't stay in electro braid fence, lollol. They climb trees, my neighbors goats can often be found sitting on their farm tractor, lollol.

Our 4" woven wire livestock fence borders their property. They use it to keep their goats in their one acre. The worst thing I saw happen was one of the younger goats got its horns stuck in the woven wire trying to squeeze it's big self thru the 4" hole, lollol.

You can have chickens (they are GREAT for eating ticks but you need to put them in a fox and coyote safe coop at night. Snakes will also try to get in the coop to eat the eggs if you have laying hens.

FYI, there are "rolling" chicken coops on the market these days. They aren't for large chicken operations but they are slick for a few chickens as you don't have to worry about rounding the chickens up every night for lockdown. They "free range" inside the coop because you can move the coop (which is on wheels) anywhere you want


we are on an Ag-based tax structure. Where I live in Middle Tennessee, my Ag county requires we own 22 acres and sell something off this land. We have 24.75 acres and sell hay.

In our county, that Ag tax reduction must be caught up when the property is sold. For example, if we save $100 annually by having Ag exempt faxes and we sell the property ten years down the road, we then owe the country treasurer $100 X 10 years. I would imagine that Ag tax structure varies so do your due diligence on that. I do doubt however, ten acres would qualify.



I cut and pasted your comment because I loved it so much.


Yes, it is a very old farm in New England. I am good at dating houses, not so much barns. There have been a number of repairs made to the barns over the years, and not as much hand hewn stuff as I expected, but we were in there at dusk (note to self, get better flashlight)


Funny thing about our stone walls. I thought they were protected too, but it turns out that only certain towns have protected them. I found this out AFTER I yelled at someone for loading one into the back of his car one day. Oh well, he was on town land so it was still illegal! Either way, I have loved stone walls all my life and would never harm one!


We have a neighbor currently with a rolling chicken coop! We were never 100% of what it was because it's way off the street, thanks for confirming that.


You've also confirmed the tax status can vary depending on town! When I was told about this years ago, it was on a 5 acre parcel. I know the town we are looking at has it but I don't know the details yet. I also know nothing about paying back the exemption so that is very important to look into. It can save thousands per year here and I'd hate to pay it back in a lump sum.


I'd prefer to remove the pile o'poop, simply because I can park farm machinery down there without it. It's slippery!! Don't ask me how I know haha


I would not want to have very many animals, especially not right away. But a few to help chew up that brush would be great. Down the road, maybe more. As much as I've love a horse, I am painfully aware of how expensive they are, so probably not. (sorry, I can't seem to undo this italic section)

Thanks again for your comments
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