Reforestation/reclaim

STEVE SCHAPER STEVE.SCHAPER at cheswicks.toadnet.org
Mon Jan 2 23:29:00 EST 1995


In a message dated 12-29-94  woody wrote to  All:
 w> Dear group- 	My siblings and I have been given, through a trust, about
 w> 300 acres of Iowa farm land. This land has been in continuous
 w> production for the past 50 or more years, and since none of us are
 w> actually farmers, we are not now interested in farming it ourselves. 

Give it to me!!!! <G> Seriously, let me know if it happens to be in Hancock
County. 

 w> However, and here's the tricky part, we don't actually get control of
 w> the land until my father's widow passes away, and she comes from a
 w> family known to live to be 140-150 years old.  My brothers and sisters

eh? That's way past known records!

 w> and I are concerned that a continuation of past practices will leave
 w> us with an inheritance that is worthless, strip-farmed by cash rent
 w> farming. 	An alternative is to rent the land, or a portion of it,

Unless it is on a hill-side, Iowa land is in pretty good shape. However, I am
personally concerned about the soil biota status. Unfarmed sod has a different
texture from the stuff that has been in crops for the last 120 years. And with
the ARP and CRP programs under attack, things don't look good. 

Remember that whether or not you make money, you still have to pay tribute
(property taxes).  Otherwise the government will seize it.

 w> ourselves, and take it out of production; the question, then, is what
 w> to do with the idled land.  My first (and favorite) inclination is to
 w> put it in trees. A 20 year-old stand of walnut, pine, cherry oak, etc
 w> would seem likely to be not only beautiful to look at, but would have
 w> a commercial value as well. 	I would appreciate any information you

It would be beautiful, but you are going to be taxed at a rate that will
require efficient, and 'lucky' cash crop farming to pay. I'd like to do that
too. Farming is in my blood, but the cheap food policy of the fed gets in the
way of that.  Myself, I would like to plant all the fencerows with such trees,
as well as berries to provide a windbreak and edge environment for wildlife.
The problems are neighbors aren't always keen on that, and neither is the
County, when plowing through the snow drifts thusly generated. But when you
look at the English hedgerow biome, you just want to do it, know what I mean?

 w> could point me toward so that I can learn more about the mechanics
 w> and/or the economics of such a scheme.  Please post replies to the
 w> newsgroup (which could use some traffic) or email me directly: 
 w> woody at cshl.org.  I would also be interested in any other suggestions
 w> for this land.

Since none of your family want to farm it, you have three choices: 1) if  you
are wealthy enough to pay the taxes without making any money, do indeed go
ahead with the nature preserve plan!!! Since few can do that, 2) Cash rent the
fields, but visit and turn to wilderness the farmstead(s) and fencerows, as we
have done. 3). Sell it.


 w> Thanks in advance, Scott Woody 			Long Island, NY
 
 
Any time.
 

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