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Old 03-15-2017, 03:44 PM
 
62 posts, read 53,290 times
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We are looking for a house in rural Virginia and found one that is on a small farm (4.5 acres). They have a few cows and maybe some goats, no crops that I could see. The problem is that neither me nor my wife knows the first thing about farming and at least I have little interest in learning. Yet we love the property and are trying to figure out what we could do with the land otherwise. A lot of it is now grass, so without something to graze we would have an awful lot of mowing to do. Any ideas? Is it possible (practical) to have people "board" their livestock on your land? My best idea so far is to build a baseball stadium and see if they come :-)
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Virginia
4,509 posts, read 2,334,841 times
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Are you going to be renting or buying this farmette? If the latter, you be better off doing an agricultural outlease on a good portion of the property so that someone else farms that acreage. If you don't need a huge amount of money for the outlease (and you won't get it anyway for such a small piece of property), perhaps you could do it in exchange for a percentage of crops, if they're doing truck gardening or something similar. Of course, if they're going to grow soybeans then you'll strictly want a little cash. Personally I would avoid having people board animals on your property as there are expectations as to what YOU will provide for the boarding (feed, turnout, stabling, etc.) as well as insurance considerations. If someone else's animal gets sick, injured, or dies on your property, you could be in for a world of financial hurt.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:30 PM
 
62 posts, read 53,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Are you going to be renting or buying this farmette? If the latter, you be better off doing an agricultural outlease on a good portion of the property so that someone else farms that acreage. If you don't need a huge amount of money for the outlease (and you won't get it anyway for such a small piece of property), perhaps you could do it in exchange for a percentage of crops, if they're doing truck gardening or something similar. Of course, if they're going to grow soybeans then you'll strictly want a little cash. Personally I would avoid having people board animals on your property as there are expectations as to what YOU will provide for the boarding (feed, turnout, stabling, etc.) as well as insurance considerations. If someone else's animal gets sick, injured, or dies on your property, you could be in for a world of financial hurt.
Thank you. I wouldn't turn down the money, but it is at best a minor consideration. I would be buying so will consider what you suggested.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:11 PM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,704,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Are you going to be renting or buying this farmette? If the latter, you be better off doing an agricultural outlease on a good portion of the property so that someone else farms that acreage. If you don't need a huge amount of money for the outlease (and you won't get it anyway for such a small piece of property), perhaps you could do it in exchange for a percentage of crops, if they're doing truck gardening or something similar. Of course, if they're going to grow soybeans then you'll strictly want a little cash. Personally I would avoid having people board animals on your property as there are expectations as to what YOU will provide for the boarding (feed, turnout, stabling, etc.) as well as insurance considerations. If someone else's animal gets sick, injured, or dies on your property, you could be in for a world of financial hurt.


... if they're going to grow soybeans then you'll strictly want a little cash "..

The entire parcel is only 4.5 acres !


Then subtract the house, other buildings and lawn............what is left ?


This retired farmer knows you don't drag machinery down the road to 2-3 acre field to til and plant and bring a combine down to harvest a garden sized field plus pay for that much inconvenience.


I sold 5 acre of my pasture to a guy to build a house and he mows the entire balance as lawn.
It looks beautiful !
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:17 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,797 posts, read 41,447,473 times
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You can make a lot of dough if you have space / fences / terrain suitable for horses.
No more than one on 5 acres, They are rough on pastures.
FIL rented 14 acres to a high school girl's 4H horse project. Worked well for 10 yrs. had a 'hold harmless' clause as well as required liability insurance paid by owner.

We use 'seasonal' livestock during growing season (buy yearling cattle) or adolescent goats / sheep. Not trivial, and can be easier to mow! But they really help on steep acreage.

A farmer is not gonna be able to turn his machinery around on 5 acres.

Truck farming / orchard / berries work well engaging local immigrants looking for a fresh start ( while learning language.). They usually round up plenty of help! And keep the place quite nice and productive.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
2,612 posts, read 3,312,869 times
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"They have a few cows and maybe some goats"....so it can be assumed that it is fenced and it will hold livestock in as well as out. If it were me in your shoes, I would see if a neighbor would like to use the pasture for his critters...in return, you get your grass eaten, instead of mowed by you. As time goes by, and as you learn about critters, you could get your own, nothing beats your own grass fed beef in the freezer.

I would stick with cattle. Goats climb on anything in sight, including fences. Sheep are dumb as rocks, and as the old saying attests; the sole purpose of sheep is to find a creative way to die and they need shearing annually, which takes equipment and is very hard on your back. Lambing season means cold winter nights spent in the barn, trying to keep the lambs alive. It may not look possible, but one can fit their entire arm up to the armpit in the birth canal of a ewe, while trying fo fish for the front legs of a lamb being delivered breech. Trust me, you don't want sheep. Cows may not be much smarter, but they are hardier, and can usually give birth unattended....unless breech....then you are in up to your waist!
Oh, one more thing, perhaps you've heard the saying that a boat is just a hole in the lake you pour money into....well just change a few words to describe the economics of small farming.

Been in your shoes before, good luck, enjoy the experience.
Gemstone1
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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4.5 acres isn't that much to keep up with if you have a good riding mower, no livestock necessary. I grew up on three, and one of that was dedicated to garden/orchard space.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:59 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,139 posts, read 22,728,341 times
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Fruit trees, berry bushes. A vegetable garden for yourself or a bit larger perhaps. Forget livestock other than maybe bees, rabbits, or chickens. Buying feed gets expensive, and there's no money at a small scale in cheap commodities like soybeans.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:27 PM
 
4,105 posts, read 2,421,404 times
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I'm going to be the dissenter here. If you don't know or have interest in farming, why not look for another parcel and save this one for someone who is actually looking for a small farm?

I know you said rural, but in my area not all areas are or can be zoned for animals. So those who are looking for this type of thing are more limited than those who are just looking for a little bit of space between neighbors.

I am also guessing that there are outbuildings that go along with this. Outbuildings are highly sought after by those looking to get into farming. It would be a shame if you acquired outbuildings with the parcel and tore them down or allowed them to go to waste. Please, if there is a current farmhouse, don't tear that down to build new either.

My .02! Not trying to upset anyone These are my personal feelings because I am looking for acreage myself, with outbuildings and an old house and I can't tell you how many farms I find up here that are bought quietly off market - cheap!!! - then everything is destroyed for a couple of McMansions by people who only stick around 5-10 years (not saying you are doing that but I see it time and time again here)
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:36 PM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,704,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
I'm going to be the dissenter here. If you don't know or have interest in farming, why not look for another parcel and save this one for someone who is actually looking for a small farm?

I know you said rural, but in my area not all areas are or can be zoned for animals. So those who are looking for this type of thing are more limited than those who are just looking for a little bit of space between neighbors.

I am also guessing that there are outbuildings that go along with this. Outbuildings are highly sought after by those looking to get into farming. It would be a shame if you acquired outbuildings with the parcel and tore them down or allowed them to go to waste. Please, if there is a current farmhouse, don't tear that down to build new either.

My .02! Not trying to upset anyone These are my personal feelings because I am looking for acreage myself, with outbuildings and an old house and I can't tell you how many farms I find up here that are bought quietly off market - cheap!!! - then everything is destroyed for a couple of McMansions by people who only stick around 5-10 years (not saying you are doing that but I see it time and time again here)


( first paragraph)..........hard to call 4.5 acres a "small farm "

When people keep selling land off for big bucks $$$$$$$$$$$and only keep 4.5 acres to be sold with the building site, there is a very good chance all buildings that can't be utilized for something other than farming, will deteriorate and be torn down.


At some point, when the acreage gets too small, farm buildings can't be utilized for farming.


4.5 acres has passed that point a few acre sales ago.
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