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Thread: Compost Heat-Update (not good)

  1. #1

    Compost Heat-Update (not good)

    Well the boys were chopping my corn fields today so I stopped in and rode in their new corn chopper for awhile. What a rig that is, but first things first.

    I had a few things to ask these guys about. The first was my planted hackmatack. I have 12 acres that have been growing since 1994. It has this Bark Beetle that is slowly killing off the trees. The trees have also started to slow down in growth, so it leaves me with this question. Do I cut 12 acres of these trees down, recoup what I can and turn my land into crop ground like it used to be? Or do I replant the land into some other type of wood like Spruce, Pine or Fir? Well before I can figure that out, I need to find out if these guys are willing to farm an additional 12 acres. It seems they are very interested as they will be looking at milking several hundred more head in the next year or so. They need feed!

    Unfortunately, they need feed. I asked about getting several tons of corn silage to start my shop heat composting idea, but they were not willing to part with any. I asked several different times and in several different ways, but right now they need every ton they can get. I have some other means to get silage, but not this year unfortunately. So it looks like my experimental shop heat might have to wait. I got a few other options, but for right now their need for cow feed outweighs my crazy idea of trying an experimental heat source. I am bummed, but can wait.

    The last thing I talked about was getting pay for renting my crop ground. If you remember from a few weeks ago I talked about how they have not paid for a few years now despite my taxes going up by over a grand this year. It gets complex because without them farming my land, well I lose my farming status and would have to pay more taxes. It really is a catch 22. Anyway they were adamant that they did not want to lose use of my farm just because it has a lot of value to them. So that was good news.

    Overall things are just normal here in good old Thorndike Maine. Still wished I could get some silage off them in the tonnage I need, but that's okay. It can wait. As I said, a working dairy farm is far more important than some experimental shop heat idea.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Now about the Combine I drove today...

    Holy smokes, their New Holland Combine that is made to process corn and hay silage. Now I know the guys out west have the really big combines and put us to shame, but this is cow country and we only grow corn for cow feed. For us this is a big machine.

    I grew up with three row tractor driven corn choppers that maxed out at 120 horsepower and this one puts all that to shame. It cuts 6 rows, has rotary cutting heads so you don't have to worry about following the rows, and has an additional head that crushes and pulverizes the corn cobs so the cows eat all of the corn, stalk, leaves and ear. Man what a difference. They'll give a lot better milk to boot with this combine processed corn.

    We were in ideal corn too today. This year they put 9 grand worth of Urea Fertilizer on my fields and it made this corn pick up and take off...this feed corn was 14 feet high. The combine was using all 400 hp and even lugging down it was consuming so much corn, so fast. But man what a stream going into the processor and the stream coming off the blower and into the trucks was even more impressive. Chopped very fine so the cows will eat all of it and not hurt their stomachs like most corn silage does.

    We were filling trucks (20 ton loads) in 6 minutes at 5 mph in chopping mode which is a fast walking speed. Fast for chopping. We were using 3 trucks and they could not keep up. With yields of 15 tons an acre, were were also knocking down some acreage. About an acre every 5 minutes!! They do a lot of custom chopping now for other farmers and thus the acreage is a big thing. 100 acres a day for this machine which is darn good where we live (small, short fields).

    I guess after running this machine, they are looking at upping their chopper next year. The market is good now (milk is at 24 bucks a hundred weight, which means 1.92 for the farmer, twice what it was last year at this time.) and the custom chopping business is also picking up since other farmers just don't have the help to cut their crops now. Next year they might pick up a 600 hp John Deere even though that is a 300,000 dollar combine. After running this one for 40 minutes, I can't wait to try that bad boy.

    What a blast though. I was impressed with this machine, and that is coming from a guy that drove 6000 horsepower locomotives for 10 years. Feeling that 400 hp engine lug down and watching 6 rows of corn being fed into the processor at 5 mph was truly amazing. Man was it ever different from the way we did it in the "old days".
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    Posts
    3,134
    So do you have any horse stables around that you could get what they remove from the stables.

    When I was a kid we got several big trailer loads of partially decomposed road apples & chips & hay from a big stable & it was very hot all the way through the winter the steam would just fly if you broke open the pile you were surrounded with fog. You can also get some liquid starter or use a commercial fertilizer to jump start it if I remember right.

    The Stables we got ours from advertised a $1 a load. When we got there he said there is a catch to this & Dad looked at me with the look ok here it comes. Then the man said the first load is a $1 then after that you can have all you want free. They had 4 piles 25'-30' wide & about 200' long & 10' tall.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Liberty, IN
    Posts
    25
    I just want to be sure that I understand this. The farmer that is farming your ground is not paying you any rent?
    How much ground are they farming? I have 9 acres of tillable ground & I get $100 per acre rent. The going rental rate for ground in this area is $150 to $225 per acre. They should be paying you for the use of your ground.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Rosenberger View Post
    I just want to be sure that I understand this. The farmer that is farming your ground is not paying you any rent?
    How much ground are they farming? I have 9 acres of tillable ground & I get $100 per acre rent. The going rental rate for ground in this area is $150 to $225 per acre. They should be paying you for the use of your ground.
    I was thinking exactly the same, especially if their business is such that they are considering the purchase of a $300,000 combine! Do they have pictures of you in a compromising position Travis

  6. #6
    Yeah they have not paid me for the past three years. That was why it was good to talk to them yesterday. I think we got that situation all straightened out. If they do, what they owe me should pay for all my property taxes this year. (3400 dollars). Its downright crazy, last year they were only 2400 bucks.

    In any case, I don't charge them per acre, instead they pay a flat fee and get the whole farm for 800 bucks a year, or about 80 dollars an acre for the crop ground they use. I have about 100 acres of tillable ground, and just over 300 acres of woodlot.

    Since finding out though that they like the farm ground here, and want to keep it, I might jump the price up to stay on rate with the taxes. Now don't get me wrong, we don't make a lot on the farming end of things of this property, but it does keep my farm status up which helps in other areas like taxes, hunting rights and homesteading exemptions.

    Here is a thread a did a week or so ago that explains the whole complicated situation a lot better. It gets goofy.. Then the second link shows a hike I did with my daughter on Saturday. It shows some of the fields and woodlot. Not all of it of course, but some.

    Old Farming Thread
    Woodlot/ Field Hike
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Liberty, IN
    Posts
    25
    You need to get them to sign a contract. Also there is a dead line date sometime in November. I believe that if you do not have a contract signed for the following year or notify them that they will not be farming the ground following year then the terms from the current year automaticly renew.

  8. #8
    We don't really do things like that around here.

    In reality, I had no right to really put this on a public forum. I was a bit upset about not getting paid for 3 years and having my taxes jump a grand, but I should have talked to them first. After talking to them, well its a pretty simple deal. I talked to them, they have more cows to feed, they don't want to lose the farm, they'll pay me soon. Its really that simple.

    I don't think we have had any agreement on paper. I know in this day and age that sounds crazy, especially considering how much their crops are worth, and what open land is worth for a landowner. Still, ten years ago when the last farmer who rented my fields retired, the conversation went like this.

    "Hey Travis, I heard Hustus is not farming your place this year. I was wondering if we could get it. We drive right by..."

    "Yeah I figured you would want it?"

    "How much you want for it?"

    "I don't know, whatever going rate is.."


    We are pretty laid back here. You would think with situations like this we would have a lot of legal issues. Its actually the opposite.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,098
    I like to think of myself as kind of laid back but anyone using 100 of my acres for three years and not paying for it would raise the ire of my dead grandfather! Get something on paper! What happens if their hired hand gets hurt or killed on your property? With nothing in writing, you are responsible and at the very least may lose the farm.

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