Reforestation/reclaimation of farmland

Newton B. White, Jr. newton at
Mon Jan 2 14:19:48 EST 1995

In article <3dv7i2$sph at> woody at Frodo.MGH.Harvard.EDU writes:
>From: woody at Frodo.MGH.Harvard.EDU
>Subject: Reforestation/reclaimation of farmland
>Date: 29 Dec 1994 20:52:18 GMT

>Dear group-
>        My siblings and I have been given, through a trust, about 300
>acres of Iowa farm land. This land has been in continuous production
>for the past 50 or more years, and since none of us are actually
>farmers, we are not now interested in farming it ourselves.  However,
>and here's the tricky part, we don't actually get control of the land
>until my father's widow passes away, and she comes from a family known
>to live to be 140-150 years old.  My brothers and sisters and I are
>concerned that a continuation of past practices will leave us with an
>inheritance that is worthless, strip-farmed by cash rent farming.
>        An alternative is to rent the land, or a portion of it, ourselves,
>and take it out of production; the question, then, is what to do with the
>idled land.  My first (and favorite) inclination is to put it in trees.
>A 20 year-old stand of walnut, pine, cherry oak, etc would seem likely
>to be not only beautiful to look at, but would have a commercial value
>as well.
>        I would appreciate any information you could point me toward so
>that I can learn more about the mechanics and/or the economics of such
>a scheme.  Please post replies to the newsgroup (which could use some
>traffic) or email me directly:  woody at  I would also be 
>interested in any other suggestions for this land.

>Thanks in advance, Scott Woody
>                        Long Island, NY

Try contacting the following:
Tree Farmer Magazine
American Forest Foundation
Suite 780, 1111 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

There are also local tree farm groups in each state -- you might get info 
about both New York and Iowa chapters.

I have been considering purchasing a tree lot somewhere in the NY/NJ/PA area.

I suspect that the income from non-exploitative food production on Iowa farm 
land would be much greater than the income from tree growth -- I would be 
interested to see what you find out.  You might consider paying the difference 
between "strip" farming and "good" farming and then having the land rented to 
someone who grow food the way that you think is proper.

newton at

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