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reddog

farming (kind of)question

15 posts in this topic

I have a cabin on 7 1/2 acres, of which half of it is seeded down to alfalfa. Im not a farmer, but I have told adjoining landowner there to treat it as if it were his. I want it mowed, baled and removed. He can have it, and yes, he is doing me a service. ( he also farms the adjoining 60 acres around my property for alfalfa, so its not like he has to bring the equipment just for me.

This is the 3rd year of him taking the hay off of it.

He also runs a small construction company in the time when he is not farming.

I wanted some work done on the driveway, and asked him to do it. I live 3 hours away. . I told him what I wanted and he did it. It took two semi loads of gravel, which if I'm not mistaken, are about 18 yds, or 20 tons. (can someone verify) He told me he worked one afternoon, spreading, leveling and wheelpacking it in...(skidloader),

Needless to say, I got a bill, which I knew was a possiblility, and I paid it, but #1, it seemed high, and #2, I would have thought that the hay he was being given from my property, at no cost to him, shouldve entered into the equation somewhere.

If I'm whining, tell me so. wink

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I don't think you're whining, but there's one thing to be sure of, you can't assume anything. If you thought that the hay should be partial payment, then that should have been discussed, IMO. he's doing you a favor by cutting your hay and you in turn don't have to worry about it. maybe ask a couple other neighbors if they'd be interested in it for a few bucks. 3-4 acres isn't worth much, depending on the quality of the hay. it's only worth something to the right person. I have about 8-10 acres of alfalfa at my place. I rent it out. I used to get paid by the bail ($10 for each round bale). I now get a per acre per year check, which is around $500. I'm not looking to get rich, but at the price of hay lately, it's worth something. I'd say you should definetly get a little in your pocket. otherwise, let it grow and turn it into a food plot.

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No, I don't think your whinning.

#1, you should have gotten a written estimate so there wouldn't be any surprises.

#2 If you were expecting the alfalfa hes been taking off your land to be figured in you should have brought it up.

I have a question about the alfalfa though. Did he prep the ground and seed it? If he did then your getting a fair deal with him haying and keeping the brush off.

If you prepared the soil and seeded then hes coming out ahead.

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I guess in a situation like that, consideration for the amount of hay taken off the property should have been figured in as a gesture of good will since you gave him the hay. But, also, if you figure in the cost of fuel, time, and materials used on your project, he may have done that even though it is not apparent looking at your bill. Just to give you an idea, the company I am currently working with charges $170 and hour just for trucking. That does not include the equipment, or the material. Gravel can run from $6.50 a ton and up on the consumer end depending on whether it has been screened, crushed, or just dug out of the pit. Its a tough call. At say $4.00 a bale how many bales would have 3 to 4 acres yeilded over three years? But then again, he is cutting and baling the hay with his own fuel and equipment so $4 would be a high figure also. Just my thoughts.

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On decent land you should be able to get about 8 tons of hay per acre in a year. $125 per ton is a fair price if it is good quality.

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Fishwater is right on with prices, actually right now hay is around $ 140/ton

I had dirt hauled this year for $ 80/load (trucking cost only, free dirt) with a 4 truckload minimum.

I would say I'd call it even, but it all depends on the other guy. Next year sell your him your hay.

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That is baled hay for 140 per ton? What is hay stumpage going for? It is worth something but $140 at 8 tons per acre as above is over $1000/acre. Can't get that for corn, 150 bushel at $5 is only 750. Something doesn't add up here. I'm not a farmer so there must be something I am not getting.

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IMG_5466.JPG

The acreage has 1/2 acres of buffalo grass around the cabin, 4 acres of western wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, sideoats, forbs, some switch, and some big blue, and the balance in alfalfa, which is +- 3 acres. At the time I put the alfalfa in, it was for the deer to come up out of the revine beyond and forage in the wintertime. I did not know at the time, that the rest of the ground would be put into alfalfa also, or I wouldnt have done it, based on the maintainance of the crop. But, i'm not gonna change it now.

In the picture, they are mowing the wheatgrass, with the alfalfa to the left.

I put in all of the plantings, and mowed it all for 2 years to get the stand established.

When I gave him the alfalfa ground, he offered to pay me for the alfalfa taken, and I told him no, we needed and wanted it done, that he could have it.

Had it been me on the billing end, (and kind of what I expected), I wouldve filled out the bill, for X amount of dollars, so the customer would've known the value of the work performed, and then, put a "No Charge" at the end.

The intent of this post, was to try to get some idea of the value of 3 acres of alfalfa.

I'm not mad, it just rubs me the wrong way a little.

The bill is paid, and he done a good job, (which I also expected)

Life goes on.

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We have 8 acres up at the lake, approx 1/2 is open with hay.

When we bought the place it was freshly cut and looked good. The next year I talked to the farmer behind us, that has approx. 60 acres, if he could cut our lot when he cuts his. He said that he couldn't find anyone that would cut it or wanted it. He now has someone cut his and is glad to get rid of it at no charge. I have since talked to the famer that does cut it and hopefully he will cut ours. We just like the look of short grass verse a tall mess.

As far as getting work done for free it should have been discussed prior to the work being done. The farmer incurred cost to do the work and should be commesated for it. Like you mentioned he is doing you a favor by cutting it.

On a side note, we have a GC that most of us cabin owners have do out heavy work. He gave us an estimate to put in a gravel 800' driveway but when he started the work it did not work out as planned, it was a lot less work and he adjusted his bill accordingly. Needless to say he gets ALL of our work.

Good Luck,

Mike

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I think you have been more than generous and your neighbor is taking advantage of a situation. You could advertise the land available to rent. I don't know where you are at or what land rent is worth but being that it is a standing crop and your neighbor didn't seed it, he has nothing into it.

Note, if you decide to advertise it for rent, I would certainly let your neighbor know so he has opportunity to make an offer.

Bob

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I agree with BobT. It seems your neighbor does the cutting and baling and hauls it away. That pretty much the easiest part and he's making a profit if he's selling it.

I do agree that you should have discussed your arrangement if you wanted "credit" for your hay, but I would think that he should have considered it too.

Let him know you'd like to rent it out from now on and that he has the first right to bid or match. It may not be a lot of money but it could be enough to cover taxes?

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As sad as it is, many people only worry about the "take" and not the "give" these days. Like has been mentioned, explore the renting idea if you can find a suitable renter. The "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" adage is going by the wayside it seems these days.

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Fortunately, I can vouch for my neighbors. We don't have to keep score. Everyone's pretty good about sharing fairly. Equipment is there for the taking for anyone that needs an extra. There have been times when I've come home from work and noticed some vehicle tracks coming from my equipment storage area only to find out later that a neighbor borrowed a hayrack or gravity box. Of course, with me it was most likely that they borrowed it a couple days before and I just didn't notice. But that's the way it works around here. We all scratch each other's backs pretty good.

Incidentally, we still get together occasionally just for coffee. Something else that doesn't seem to be common place like it once was.

Bob

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Thanks guys, Ive been gone for a few days hunting South Dakota deer again.

Its water over the bridge, now, but I may discuss the future with him. Yes, It probably would pay the taxes each year.

Again, thans

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