cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Different kind of farm business???

Throwing this one out for some feedback. I own two small farms, in the aggregate 120-ish acres, about twelve miles from both Interstate 85 and 95, in south central Va.

The majority of this land is post - mined and very poorly reclaimed, so not really feasible for crops anymore. The 25 acre parcel that I refused to allow mining on is going on its sixth year since cropping. It has been in a mixture of hay and CP-33. It was prime farmland for that area. For reasons associated with the huge mining operation there, it was left fallow and then I parked it in that program.

The guy who has been tending the conservation land for me and doing the custom work for the mining company on the research farm and I had a good talk last night. I called him, to see what his honest assessment of the situation of both places. He offered to rent the conservation land, but I think that has five more years to run its contract... Need to call NRCS up there tomortow and see. He said he would be glad to continue the mowing for the quail, if keep giving him the hay.

Meanwhile, I had been approached while out walking on Mike's place, by the guy who rents our grazing there. His SIL lives next door to my farms, and desperately needs land for tobacco. Evidently, between the pressure of mining consuming available farmland, and several young guys wanting to get bigger ( or at least no smaller), there is a dogfight going on down there. .

I am sort of torn between two lovers here. My real eventual dream plan for this land was to get birds and deer a toehold on the smaller place, and bring the rest on as wildlife food plots. There are five or six water impoundments/ponds. The land will not support timber anymore. I am partway to a hunter's paradise, and stuck in limbo as to which way to go.

Land rents there run from $40-120 per acre, with the water and desperate tobacco boys, 20 of my 25 acres should fall near the top end of that. The larger parcel could be easily fenced, and is all on various grasses from the research phase now. Someone with better land elsewhere could potentially justify renting pasture, but not one inch of fence is in place.

There are hunting lodges on big plantations all over our part of NC, but not much in the way of lodges up in that area of Va. I have a cousin who does guided bird hunts, and he has said a cabin in the right spot can do very well. He just doesn't have the money to invest in building one. i do.

I am thinking I should call him, get a vision of the plantings the bigger place would need, and what sort of accommodations would make a useful and profitable hunting camp. Nothing fancy, but either a steady lease for the right rich guy with a bird dog, or hunting/nature photography tourists. Worst case, it could become our fifth rental house. Our son is a capable builder, and would be happy for that work so close to his home.

My heart is in the wildlife plan. I have to make this choice with my head, though. I just thought some of you could give me a bit of hunting camp input, business plan notions, and I could plug those into my figuring.

Mike has been hassling me to keep the places from costing us money, and they are still producing income from the various lease agreements now, but are shifting off them soon. I have told him to back off and give me time to research, and not in a stressful way. He finally got the message yesterday...I cannot be pressured now the way I could be ten or twenty years ago...nor are we in that much need of doing things " right now." I would rather just do them right.

Money in the bank is earning diddly squat right now, so I am thinking a recreational investment with rental as a backup plan might be a reasonable way to go.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.



0 Kudos
6 Replies
Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: Different kind of farm business???

KAy said : I have told him to back off and give me time to research, and not in a stressful way. He finally got the message     I'm sorry here , but I'm rolling on the floor lmao Kay - He finally got the message ?? lol  Poor Mike - Kay just how did you send that message - By chance air mail ?    You 2 love birds must be newlyweds is all i can say - After 35 years with my first wife - All she has to do is  look at me - and I can read the message with her not saying anything , lol  BTW I got one of them messages this moring - lol

 

anyway But to the question - Kay you need to talk to David Steffen - he post's on Agweb , he and his brother has a lodge near Pierre South Dakota ,  I have talked to David several time on the phone - He is booked for Birds and then in the spring - it's fishing time ! AND he's booked - Thats my goal , to go out there on a fishing trip . 

 

I don't know where you live in VA , But would think that there is ALOT of money out there that would make this work .

 

If you want Dav's number just let me know and I will PM it to ya , Dav will not lead you down a bad road , You can google up Steffen Bros. Pierre SD and it should pop up .

 

Good luck ! Sounds like a cool idea !

 

Ken

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Different kind of farm business???

Honestly, it took way too much more than a look this time, which is why I was so peeved. I have made a boatload of cash on that place in the last 20-25 years, so this is not really an emergency situation...which is why I said " Back off a minute, willya?"

I had literally been stopped on the walk in from the mailboxes, by the grazing tenant on Mike's place, where we go to get away from all this crap. That guy's SIL is so desperate, he had rented a farn out from under a very good friend not but a short while ago...a fact I didn't learn until I called the custom operator for my research farm and the quail place last night.

From him, I learned the real condition the bigger place is coming back in, and its realistic potential. Grazing if I add fences, would be "devastated in a dry year". He also says the overall area, especially my wildlife plot, has become a haven...big trophy buck whitetail deer, birds out the wazoo, including the majestic wild turkey.

It just seems a shame to turn that under for a few acres of tobacco, with its heavy pesticide loads and erosive tillage requirements. We have long accepted that not every piece of land has to earn a great deal of money to be worth holding onto, but we cannot rightly support but so much that doesn't at least carry its own weight on the ad valorem tax bill.

If I had to plop down say $60,000 for a cabin and its necessary well/ septic/electrical service, and could get back anything past $300 per year, that beats bank interest on that cash today. Throw in the extra tax bill for those improvements, and the annual income would need to be $1000. Our usual farmowners' policy that covers Mike's farm carries that one for no more expense, because it is still in the same county.

May need to run this past the CPA, too. I know a lot of tax treatments are in flux, or are not what I have relied upon knowing for a while.

I just got off the phone with the mining company's counsel, saying weather may impact our planned meeting this week. I asked him to get the lead university researcher to give me a call. I am hoping we can take what he knows about the place, have him hook me up with some wildlife specialists at the school, and get a feel for what might possibly work there.

We just finished spending enough money to have done this up in style, fixing up rental houses in the past two years. They are generating about $3000 a month, which is passive income, thus taxed less aggressively. I like that kind of income stream...handed over to a manager, they take a percentage, and we aren't hassled. I could easily justify the expense, if I can get thr place under the right management.

Thanks for the offer of info. I am going to pick my cousin's brain...his hunting land is close enough to this place to make it a cooperative venture, and he would be my choice of manager for this one. Throwing in what the university has to say, I may have a reasonable way to carry this spot forward. If I get in a pinch for expertise, I will pm you for the contact info. Thanks!
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: Different kind of farm business???

Fence it, lease it to graze cattle-not horses or sheep- by the head day.  If its dry they will have to move the livestock out.  If it is lightly grazed it won't hurt the birds or deer and you would retain agriculture property tax status; at least in most states.  Check with the Farm Service Agency to see if they have any progeams or technical advice to assist you.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Different kind of farm business???

I am not too worried about property tax status...it will still get a break in that county as open soace, or I can beat the value down to less than the deferred use ag rate...it is just plain " ruint". We can combine it with Mike's land for income purposes and qualify it under ag land status.

Fencing is not my favorite option, unless I could get the lessee to input labor, me the materials, since it is really not close enough to here for us to work on it. What is fair, in a situation like that?

I really think hunting would pay way more, too. Grazing lease on top land with fencing and watering stations there is only $25 per acre. This isn't top grassland. Wothout raising a finger, I can ask almost as much for a hunt club lease, as poor pasture with a lot of improvements will bring.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: Different kind of farm business???

Ranching

Dry and Irrigated Farming

Mixed Farming

Single Crop and Multi-crop Farming

Diversified Farming

Specialised Farming

 

Organic Mustard Yellow

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: Different kind of farm business???

Specialised Farming

Diversified Farming

Single Crop and Multi-crop Farming

Mixed Farming

Dry and Irrigated Farming

Ranching

 

 

Organic Mustard Yellow

0 Kudos