J Anders wrote:I wish people weren't so secretive about their income but they'll gladly hang their expenses out to dry. It just makes it hard for younger people to understand what's possible out there.
There is some truth to this for sure, but equally I wish people would understand that having large acreage does not automatically equate to large amounts of income. It take money to convert crops to cash. Just because someone might have 400 acres of hay, and hay is worth $40 a bale, UNTIL that hay ground is mown, teddied, raked and baled with fuel, time and equipment, that conversion from grass to valued product does not happen. And getting that grass to be of such quality that it has value at $40 a bale takes expense too. Buying manure or even moving my own sheep manure costs money, not to mention adding lime to get the PH right. A few acres? That is not so bad...now scale it up to a few hundred acres and its almost impossible to stay on top of.
For me, 3/4 of my land base is tied up in forestry, but yet that forest land only nets me $70 per acre per year sustainably. (Growth of 1 cord, per acre, per year). Property taxes chew into that profit per acre per year pretty deeply! That is just its value, actually harvesting the wood costs money that eats into the profit even more. Sure I can log off 70 acres and cash my check for $150,000, but a person must realize it took 35 years for those trees to grow. 35 years of taxes. 35 years of careful forest management. And it costs money to buy farm in the first place.
I can get more than $250 an acre of course raising sheep on the farmland, but to convert forest into farmland is a very laborious and costly endeavor. It can be done, and I do my share of it, but it is not easy to do. Equally, raising sheep takes work every day, barns, and end investment in livestock. Trees just grow, but the pay per acre is so much less. That is the trade off.
Why do farmers talk a lot about expenses? Because production costs, property taxes, paying the farm mortgage, and raising a family exceeds what the farm makes for income. That is why on average, new farms last three years.
Thank you..... good to see perspective from the other side of the equation. It's a real pain in the posterior to be a farmer certainly. I lost a chance at inheriting 80 acres of rich Iowa farm dirt awhile back. Farmer stole it from under me writing a contract with my grandma for 1k an acre. Told me she never wanted me to become a farmer. At the time it was worth 2k-3k an acre, recently it has been as high as 12k an acre... now falling to the 5k-7k range generally some places still sky high. Would have been nice to have had the chance to start on it but can't cry over spilt milk... 50k is what I get later this year and I'll have to invest it wisely. Probably in tools for a metal working shop and start building hard to find stuff.
Love these discussions with people chiming in with their different viewpoints; its the best of diversity.
Were I'm at in the great white north (+90F summer/-30F winter) I'm thinking of a retreatable design. A core that will be kept at room temperature and a west end large breezeway/entrance room that will kept above freezing that will contain things like laundry, storage, utilities. A deck/patio wrapping around the east end so I can seek out/hide from the sun as appropriate.
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