I have a farm in an area that has some large (mostly sandstone) "stones" (boulders that are 5 to 10 feet in diameter) in an area of the field that I need to turn into a farmable area. These are mostly under the ground and some of them are entirely under the ground and I only found them after starting to dig. This area is within about 1000 feet from a highway so dynamite isn't an option. Are there any creative methods for breaking up and removing boulders?
I take it you want a nice flat field? For machine agriculture?
Many farms that I have seen in the last few years that I started looking seem to actually leave a certain amount of "natural" growth amoung their fields. I'm not sure their rational, but it's common enough that I doubt it's just a wish to be virtuous and organic. Depending on the quantity, maybe these stones could anchor "natural areas" if you decide there's some sense to that.
Have you located all of the stones?
I guess you have priced out a large excavator and dump truck?
posted 3 months ago
Yes, I would like to be able to till the ground and even mow without hitting rocks.
They are sporadic and there are too many to locate them with certainty.
I'm hoping that I can somehow manually "destroy" the stones, perhaps by some tricky mechanical method or perhaps a chemical method (other than super powerful explosives).
Glacial erratics are really common here, the largest one the family has moved took 2 200hp tractors and a buldozer to move it's around 3m long by 2m tall and a meter thick so it weighs a fair amount. it took out the plough when it was found :( The way they are moved here is with a tractor with forks up to around a ton in weight and from there it's chains and digging to pull them out. no one destroys them in situ.
If you have heavy frost you may be able to split some over winter to make them smaller and easier to move, but that's really going to depend on the rock, it's bedding and any faults already present.