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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so here's the situation.

I have approximately 100 acres of land that's part of a family farm I've inherited. About half of that is open pasture.

I have no interest in selling, but also have no interest in actively farming it - I've got a full time job that pays better, is steadier and is in general enough to keep me busy.

At the same time, I hate to see land going unused and things deteriorating. This was the family farm for a few generations - but hasn't actively been farmed in a solid decade. Fences are now in need of replacement - barn is still solid though - and the remaining half the land is woods with plenty to offer for firewood and fence post to someone able to work it.

My plan is working with the right person to clean up some things, working the woods in exchange for part of the post and then hiring out someone to install fence with goal of renting out pasture next spring.

My question is, what's going rate on pasture ground these days. I understand it varies regionally - but with beef being the primary livestock locally - I'm expecting that's where the most interest would lie. Might do some smaller sections around barn in woven wire for horses - then larger lots on barbed wire for cattle spring through fall.

Not looking to "profit" from this venture, and really not expecting to. Property tax/insurance are the same if I grow anything or let it sit untouched. The only cost I'd have is the fence and is I can source post cheap enough - could save some $$ there. At the same time - if I lay out cash for labor/materials - I reasonably need to see a return of my investment within 5-8 years I think to make it worthwhile.

Assuming 20k to fence it all, that's 3-5k a year. And I'm worried 20k may be low. 50 acres for 5k sound reasonable? Figured fence is good for 10 years minimum - and if lessor allows me to put a couple of head in myself for personal beef and maintain fence, it's a win-win. Again - horse owners would probably pay more...but cost of fencing is going to be higher.
 

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The Purdue university extension has all the info you need. I would look it up for ya but i don't know what state you're in.

I'd say the fencing estimate is pretty close depending on what the fence looks like as far as what wire you use, how many strands, post type, etc.
 

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Going rate

The going rate will vary tremendously by location even within the same state so I would go to your nearest Cooperative Extension office and see if they have a rental rate survey in your state. If they do, it may even be on line.

As posted above, water is critical. I think it was three years ago we spend close to $20,000 for water well, freeze proof waterer, pump etc. and was putting the well right next to a power pole with a transformer already on it.

You might check with your local Soil and Water Conservation District. Virginia has some cost share programs to get livestock out of streams and that includes fencing. (It also mandates and ungrazed buffer next to the stream so that's another maintenance issue.)

In any case, between Extension and Soil and Water District you should be able to get data applicable to your area. I could give you some rental rates for some parts of Virginia but they probably wouldn't apply in another state.

My recommendation is to not start with the dollars but start by finding the right partner because your renter will be a partner starting from an unfenced farm with some remedial work needed. Find someone you can work with, you can trust with your land and who shares your vision for what it should be. Then figure out the cost share/return. Get the right partner and it will fall in place. Get the wrong one and you will swear that the devil made you rent the land out. Either way, also get a good clear contract that both of you can agree on up front. There are some good sample rental contracts available from various state Extension sites, look at more than one because they vary quite a bit.

Good for you wanting to put the land back in production. I hope you find the right partner.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are at least 4 active springs feeding tanks for stock on the property. Probably 2-3 more that could be developed.

Will check with extension office on going rate. Of course showing what the county says to expect and getting it from some of these long timers are different things.

Funny...everyone complains about the cost of getting started, price of land, no money in beef...give them a decent setup though turnkey - and they want to give next to nothing. Like I said, taxes/insurance are non factors to me. I lose that regardless.. land has long since paid for itself. Just would like to see some of the small operators get a level playing field cost wise with the bigger operators.

Of course I understand some guys see a helping hand as a handout. There's a difference to me. I'm not looking to profit at someone else's expense - but I'm not looking for someone to grossly profit off my generosity either.

Needs to be some options out there for young kids getting in the game. Even if they are doing it part time - everyone wants to own...but buying a few hundred acres and making that payment monthly is a big risk. Alot of people just don't get that.
 

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Farm Transition program

There are at least 4 active springs feeding tanks for stock on the property. Probably 2-3 more that could be developed.

Will check with extension office on going rate. Of course showing what the county says to expect and getting it from some of these long timers are different things.

Funny...everyone complains about the cost of getting started, price of land, no money in beef...give them a decent setup though turnkey - and they want to give next to nothing. Like I said, taxes/insurance are non factors to me. I lose that regardless.. land has long since paid for itself. Just would like to see some of the small operators get a level playing field cost wise with the bigger operators.

Of course I understand some guys see a helping hand as a handout. There's a difference to me. I'm not looking to profit at someone else's expense - but I'm not looking for someone to grossly profit off my generosity either.

Needs to be some options out there for young kids getting in the game. Even if they are doing it part time - everyone wants to own...but buying a few hundred acres and making that payment monthly is a big risk. Alot of people just don't get that.
You are a good person to be thinking of helping a younger person . Virginia and some other states have a farm transition program that's two parts. One is a registry of farmers who are looking to make a transition out of production or conversely young farmers who are looking for land or who are willing to be managers.

The interesting thing is young farmers can go through a program which gives them some basic management skills and some certification they have at least some skills necessary to make a go of it. Virginia Farm Link Program | Farmland Information Center

Our program is run by the Virginia Department of Agriculture but in ohter states it's run by Extension or even private organizations.

Treefarmer
 

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I have no idea how long "cut from the woods" posts would last, but I would hate to have to replace all or most in few years, but I heard Locus will last a long time.

The neighboring farm of 125 acres, sold twice since I owned mine. It had, I am guessing, 50+ year old fences that were in bad shape. The land is now leased for cattle and they kept getting out. Finally the cattle guys demanded new fence or they were no renewing the lease.

I have no idea what the fence cost or what they pay to lease. One of the brothers leasing the land came to see me about the new fence. He told me he agreed to remove the old fence and clear the brush for the new fence. He wanted to know if I had any problems with him doing that, since I might lose some brush. He also wanted to take any dead trees or branches that would innerfere with the fence. I told him I would love a trail on my side along the fence, so he cleared about 15' on my side, mainly brush and saplings. He piled and burned on his side. I now have a lane along the fence :good2:

The fence contractor asked if I had a problem with him straddling the line to install the fence. He said much easier for him to drive down the fence line to pound the posts in. He said some owners make him back up to the line for each post. I told him, it was OK as long as he did not leave any trash on my property.
 

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I have no idea how long "cut from the woods" posts would last, but I would hate to have to replace all or most in few years, but I heard Locus will last a long time.

The neighboring farm of 125 acres, sold twice since I owned mine. It had, I am guessing, 50+ year old fences that were in bad shape. The land is now leased for cattle and they kept getting out. Finally the cattle guys demanded new fence or they were no renewing the lease.

I have no idea what the fence cost or what they pay to lease. One of the brothers leasing the land came to see me about the new fence. He told me he agreed to remove the old fence and clear the brush for the new fence. He wanted to know if I had any problems with him doing that, since I might lose some brush. He also wanted to take any dead trees or branches that would innerfere with the fence. I told him I would love a trail on my side along the fence, so he cleared about 15' on my side, mainly brush and saplings. He piled and burned on his side. I now have a lane along the fence :good2:

The fence contractor asked if I had a problem with him straddling the line to install the fence. He said much easier for him to drive down the fence line to pound the posts in. He said some owners make him back up to the line for each post. I told him, it was OK as long as he did not leave any trash on my property.
You didn’t have to spring for 1/2 the fence? In Minnesota both property owners are responsible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good point on the above post.

TYPICALLY - a border fence is "joint responsibility" and ownership. Since both parties benefit from it, both potentially owe equally cost of building and maintenance.

Big exception is when one party can PROVE no benefit. Then they don't owe...but unless your property has no foreseeable use as pasture, that's hard to prove - even if you don't presently use it for pasture.

Locust split post can last ALONG time.. I have no doubt most of what is out there now date to 50/60s. The wire has long since rusted away...but some post remain standing. It's time to just rebuild it all and start fresh though.

Like I've said, I'm no better or worse a person for not wanting land to go to waste. It's simply doing for someone what someone did years ago for my father and grandfather...and theirs before them. Somewhere along the line someone helped them get started. When the time came, they turned things over to the next generation.

Sometimes things change. My father didn't farm full time - but he still enjoyed it. I like to think I could, but I'm realistic enough to know the best play is ensure independence financially for my family - then take on "passion projects".

Till then, doesn't hurt to help someone else out.
 

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Good point on the above post.

TYPICALLY - a border fence is "joint responsibility" and ownership. Since both parties benefit from it, both potentially owe equally cost of building and maintenance.

Big exception is when one party can PROVE no benefit. Then they don't owe...but unless your property has no foreseeable use as pasture, that's hard to prove - even if you don't presently use it for pasture.
I’m not sure what state you’re in, but i’ve Seen many people coming to the town board to try and get out of their share of a line fence. Normally it is someone with a small acreage that borders a farmer, and they don’t want to pay.
The township board has the authority to asses your property tax for the cost of the fence. People say that they will go to court, and the town board says “you will lose”.
Honestly though most of the time the farmer doesn’t worry about 500 feet of fence that borders borders a non farmer .
 

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Virginia fence law

You didn’t have to spring for 1/2 the fence? In Minnesota both property owners are responsible.
Good point on the above post.

TYPICALLY - a border fence is "joint responsibility" and ownership. Since both parties benefit from it, both potentially owe equally cost of building and maintenance.

Big exception is when one party can PROVE no benefit. Then they don't owe...but unless your property has no foreseeable use as pasture, that's hard to prove - even if you don't presently use it for pasture.

Locust split post can last ALONG time.. I have no doubt most of what is out there now date to 50/60s. The wire has long since rusted away...but some post remain standing. It's time to just rebuild it all and start fresh though.

Like I've said, I'm no better or worse a person for not wanting land to go to waste. It's simply doing for someone what someone did years ago for my father and grandfather...and theirs before them. Somewhere along the line someone helped them get started. When the time came, they turned things over to the next generation.

Sometimes things change. My father didn't farm full time - but he still enjoyed it. I like to think I could, but I'm realistic enough to know the best play is ensure independence financially for my family - then take on "passion projects".

Till then, doesn't hurt to help someone else out.
If you want your head to hurt, try looking at Virginia fence laws. We have "fence in" and "fence out" counties and responsibility varies depending on which county you are in. However, if both parties share a line fence, cost is shared but there are limitations on that. One revision in the law was the result of a case 3 counties over where a man was actually killed because of a fence dispute.

As a kid, all our posts were either farm cut cedar or locust, hand split or used intact. Some of those are still in use 50-60 years later but trust me, you don't want to drive a staple in the locust posts now. Unfortunately, the locust we have growing now seems to grow a little quicker and doesn't last as well. The last few fences we've put in used pressure treated posts. Lots easier to drive staples and quicker to get a bundle of posts than cut down the appropriate number of trees. Actually most of our fences are now tending toward a combination of wood and metal T posts with wood on the corners and braces and every third line post with T posts in between. That's fine with barbed or electric fence. If we have an all smooth high tensile fence, the cows will gradually push the T' posts over and make them lean just by rubbing on them.

I'm a few years ahead of you on the farming curve. My father and grandfather were full time farmers. I left the farm for a full time job but have kept my hand in on a limited basis but since I'm now looking at retirement, I'd like to up my time and effort on the farm. One big job that needs doing is rebuilding quite a bit of fence and while I'm still physically able to do most things, I can't work like I did 30 years ago so things I would have done then by hand will require equipment now. A good fence contractor can put up a fence quicker and better than I can. It will just cost a lot more. A sorry fence contractor can put up a fence quicker but it won't be a good fence and it will still cost more.

If you find the right young person to work with, I feel comfortable saying the money will work out.

Treefarmer
 

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You didn’t have to spring for 1/2 the fence? In Minnesota both property owners are responsible.
I was never asked or demanded to cost share.
The previous owner told me it used to be cost share if both owners had livestock
 

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If you want your head to hurt, try looking at Virginia fence laws. We have "fence in" and "fence out" counties and responsibility varies depending on which county you are in. However, if both parties share a line fence, cost is shared but there are limitations on that. One revision in the law was the result of a case 3 counties over where a man was actually killed because of a fence dispute.

As a kid, all our posts were either farm cut cedar or locust, hand split or used intact. Some of those are still in use 50-60 years later but trust me, you don't want to drive a staple in the locust posts now. Unfortunately, the locust we have growing now seems to grow a little quicker and doesn't last as well. The last few fences we've put in used pressure treated posts. Lots easier to drive staples and quicker to get a bundle of posts than cut down the appropriate number of trees. Actually most of our fences are now tending toward a combination of wood and metal T posts with wood on the corners and braces and every third line post with T posts in between. That's fine with barbed or electric fence. If we have an all smooth high tensile fence, the cows will gradually push the T' posts over and make them lean just by rubbing on them.

I'm a few years ahead of you on the farming curve. My father and grandfather were full time farmers. I left the farm for a full time job but have kept my hand in on a limited basis but since I'm now looking at retirement, I'd like to up my time and effort on the farm. One big job that needs doing is rebuilding quite a bit of fence and while I'm still physically able to do most things, I can't work like I did 30 years ago so things I would have done then by hand will require equipment now. A good fence contractor can put up a fence quicker and better than I can. It will just cost a lot more. A sorry fence contractor can put up a fence quicker but it won't be a good fence and it will still cost more.

If you find the right young person to work with, I feel comfortable saying the money will work out.

Treefarmer
The fence was contractor installed. Treated posts, tractor 3PT mounted post pounder. Corners got bigger posts and a galvanized pipe top brace with diagonal high tensile wire twisted to hold it together. Five stands of high tensile wire all "hot". Ratchet tighteners. Insulating plastic tubes on every wire at every post.
 

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Sounds like a good fence

The fence was contractor installed. Treated posts, tractor 3PT mounted post pounder. Corners got bigger posts and a galvanized pipe top brace with diagonal high tensile wire twisted to hold it together. Five stands of high tensile wire all "hot". Ratchet tighteners. Insulating plastic tubes on every wire at every post.
LOL, send that contractor my way. I probably can't afford them but it sounds like a good fence. I do have a quirk of liking to leave the bottom wire not hot and grounded so cows can graze right under the fence but as soon as they try to push through they get a really good jolt. That's just a personal preference, not many others do that.

I don't mind running high tensile smooth wire in the open but it's a pain around most of where we have fences because of trees. One branch coming down can short it out and then our cows figure out that they can just step over the low spot. As nasty as it is to work with, I'm actually replacing some smooth wire with barbed. Sometimes it's a combo with 2-3 strands of smooth hot high tensile and 2-3 strands of grounded barbed wire. That's ok on cows, not acceptable at all with horses.

Treefarmer
 

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LOL, send that contractor my way. I probably can't afford them but it sounds like a good fence. I do have a quirk of liking to leave the bottom wire not hot and grounded so cows can graze right under the fence but as soon as they try to push through they get a really good jolt. That's just a personal preference, not many others do that.

I don't mind running high tensile smooth wire in the open but it's a pain around most of where we have fences because of trees. One branch coming down can short it out and then our cows figure out that they can just step over the low spot. As nasty as it is to work with, I'm actually replacing some smooth wire with barbed. Sometimes it's a combo with 2-3 strands of smooth hot high tensile and 2-3 strands of grounded barbed wire. That's ok on cows, not acceptable at all with horses.

Treefarmer
I had a fence installed 3 or 4 years ago just like the one Zebra described...it was $2.60 per foot:gizmo:
 

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I was letting my neighbor's sheep graze for free on our land because we could claim an ag exemption for all but one acre (where the house was.) Then we started with a blackbuck antelope herd. Most fencing around here is net fencing for sheep and goats, I think my neighbor and I paid about $3.50 or $4 a foot for a five foot tall net fence - 2" pipe every xx feet and T posts. Some use cedar posts but cedar will burn in a wildfire or a prescribed burn that's out of control.

Best of luck for your operation and make good use of your county extension (or ag) agent, you are paying for them through taxes wether you use them or not :cheers:.
 

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Ok, so here's the situation.

I have approximately 100 acres of land that's part of a family farm I've inherited. About half of that is open pasture.

I have no interest in selling, but also have no interest in actively farming it - I've got a full time job that pays better, is steadier and is in general enough to keep me busy.

At the same time, I hate to see land going unused and things deteriorating. This was the family farm for a few generations - but hasn't actively been farmed in a solid decade. Fences are now in need of replacement - barn is still solid though - and the remaining half the land is woods with plenty to offer for firewood and fence post to someone able to work it.

My plan is working with the right person to clean up some things, working the woods in exchange for part of the post and then hiring out someone to install fence with goal of renting out pasture next spring.

My question is, what's going rate on pasture ground these days. I understand it varies regionally - but with beef being the primary livestock locally - I'm expecting that's where the most interest would lie. Might do some smaller sections around barn in woven wire for horses - then larger lots on barbed wire for cattle spring through fall.

Not looking to "profit" from this venture, and really not expecting to. Property tax/insurance are the same if I grow anything or let it sit untouched. The only cost I'd have is the fence and is I can source post cheap enough - could save some $$ there. At the same time - if I lay out cash for labor/materials - I reasonably need to see a return of my investment within 5-8 years I think to make it worthwhile.

Assuming 20k to fence it all, that's 3-5k a year. And I'm worried 20k may be low. 50 acres for 5k sound reasonable? Figured fence is good for 10 years minimum - and if lessor allows me to put a couple of head in myself for personal beef and maintain fence, it's a win-win. Again - horse owners would probably pay more...but cost of fencing is going to be higher.
Not sure where this land is, but if your not interested in ranching, plant pine trees and harvest them in 15 years. Most guys i've seen lease for free in return they keep up fence and keep up the land.
 

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Around here you can rent out tillable land for $100sh per acre. You can get more or less , it kinda depends on how good the ground is. I have a couple of huge dairy farms near me. They tend to get into bidding wars for land to rent. I don’t understand why they don’t just buy the land. But they rent more than the actually own.

For the most part the farmers around here don’t pasture cattle. The farm nearest me supposedly milks over 3,000 cows. But I seldom see any the cows. They are inside barns 24/7.
 

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Around here you can rent out tillable land for $100sh per acre. You can get more or less , it kinda depends on how good the ground is. I have a couple of huge dairy farms near me. They tend to get into bidding wars for land to rent. I don’t understand why they don’t just buy the land. But they rent more than the actually own.

For the most part the farmers around here don’t pasture cattle. The farm nearest me supposedly milks over 3,000 cows. But I seldom see any the cows. They are inside barns 24/7.
Because they have to be milked twice a day...

The ones you'll see in pastures are beef cattle.
 

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Because they have to be milked twice a day...

The ones you'll see in pastures are beef cattle.
Not in this area. The cows have an internal timer and line up at the barn door at milking time. They also only have tens or hundreds, not thousands.
 
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