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  1. #41
    Platinum Member
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    Germanton, NC
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    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    A farm IS a long term project. A stump grinder just seems like it would make it a torturous project.

    They are loud, the work they do is hard on a machine and hard on an operator that has to run one. Grinding the stumps on 100 plus acres will take years and possibly multiple stump grinders. It sounds like a very loonnggg trip to THE Hot Place to me.

    You mentioned that some of the acreage is in pines - approximately 60 acres - what size pines? You could get this acreage into shape quickly by either pushing them out with a dozer OR digging them out with that John Deere backhoe someone suggested. If I had to choose between a stump grinder or a backhoe, backhoe all the way baby!

    If grinding the stumps is part of your dream farm scenario, grind the hardwood stumps (approximately 35 acres) and get rid of the pine stumps the easy way. More land can go into production quicker that way.

  2. #42
    Elite Member
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearpig View Post
    I can easily make the payments on the land and a tractor (at 0%, why pay cash?).
    Because there is usually a substantial "cash discount," on the order of maybe $2000-$2500 for a $20k tractor (just pulled that number out of my butt, but it's ballpark). Alternatively, some vendors will do a "free loader" with a cash purchase. In other words, what they're really doing is building the interest payments that they're not getting into the sale price of the tractor. If you don't have the cash and you need or want the tractor today, the financing will get it done, but don't kid yourself that you're not paying for the privilege of the loan. You absolutely are. As an accountant, you'll no doubt grasp this concept immediately!

  3. #43
    Bronze Member DAD1220's Avatar
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    S AL & NW AR
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    New Holland 1220

    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    Congratulations on the new property!

    No one answer works. From a minimal financial point of view (as I'm a cheap baztad): Buy what you need to build a house and get moved there.

    Buying a tractor or dozer is not a marriage. It's a lot easier to divorce a small old leaky tractor and get a new bigger shinier one later!

    Another thing to think of, cows, pigs and chickens don't mind watching stumps rot. ****, I don't either. But cows hate holes left from badly removed stumps not filled in right! Pigs and chickens love a rotting stump for bugs.

    I would only remove fresh stumps where I had to! House, barn, driveway, water/septic/power trenches,...then next where I wanted garden crops. After a few years some of the stumps will have rotted away or be much easier to burn/destroy/remove. By then you'll know how to go at them.

    I can take a pretty good size two year old pine stump apart with a plow and a Compact Tractor. Did three last weekend in about ten minutes. If the stump rots or burns in place on your land, the nutrients go back to your soil.

    Be ready for what the land will look like if totally clear cut! Try to make a deal to save some trees, around house, hedges, along fence lines and around water (pond/creek) as wind break. I've made deals where I marked trees that were to be left.

    The water flow may change after clear cutting also. And there are ways to manage that. Replant some trees, subsoil plowing, re-contouring, build a pond,...

    Also, someone mentioned looking for state or fed monies/grants...there should be a grant available to replant pine trees if nothing else. I once got 500 trees per acre, for free, if I gave right of first refusal to the state when and if I decided to cut them. I planted them along fence lines leaving room to mow on each side and in between.

    Check with the farmers coop, county and a local university ag dept. These people know what grants are out there.

  4. #44
    Elite Member
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearpig View Post
    Going back to the original topic, I've done a little more reading and it seems to me that a Miller PRO 75T stump grinder is really the kind of machine I need. There don't seem to be too many people online with reviews, but the ones that are around speak very highly of it. I know it's not going to allow me to clear it all in a day or anything, but over the long haul it looks like a machine that should last through the task I have. Anyone have experience with it? The 5075E is about in the middle of the specified HP range so that part should be fine.
    If you are going to buy a tractor new, you will get a much better price on the supplemental hydraulics required to run that grinder if you buy the remotes from the dealer at the time of purchase. Tell the dealer that you intend to run that specific grinder, ask his or her opinion about the HP of the tractor you're buying relative to that implement, and ask him or her to quote you a price on the exact hydraulics that device needs. The video description says, "requires three double-acting spool valves". Rear remotes are going to be a real help in all sorts of usage, so they wouldn't be a bad idea to have either way.

    Regarding your horsepower, if I was going to be doing as much work as you intend to do, I would want to be near the top of the range, not the middle. Let's say that a 90 HP tractor will get the job done 16% faster than a 75 HP tractor (just for argument's sake). That doesn't sound like much if you have one or two stumps to do, but if you intend to clear acres and acres, that extra percent will really add up.

    I gotta ask, though... is it really how you want to spend all your free time the next ten years (or whatever) of your life: standing out in a field next to a roaring tractor grinding stumps? I mean, you sound set on the idea, and I don't want to be a party-pooper. I just wonder if you really understand what you're getting yourself into? Is it going to be as fun haflway through, five years in, as it sounds like it will be today?

  5. #45
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearpig View Post
    This is a great thought. I had never really thought of the possibility of just cutting the stumps down as low as I can and planting grass around them. 20 years is much longer than I'd like to wait, but its useable and I'm only 31. Plenty of time, right?

    I really do think I might try this. Even if I just do it in sections and grind stumps in the areas I'm not using. I've never farmed at all before so there's no way I could start up using all 115+ acres. Plus, it sounds like prices for hiring an excavator to clear stumps might cost me more than the land did.
    The land will be useable for grazing within a couple years, probably some careful hay making in less than 10yrs. You are probably looking at 20+ years before it is tillable though using that method. If you are serious about making some money at farming you should pick up a copy of "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin. You may not agree with everything he has to say, but there is tons of good basic info in that book about all aspects of farming. I've been on the farm all my life and I got a lot out of it.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with just wanting any brand of tractor. I always wanted a B-series kubota since I was little and grew up on Deere field tractors, now I have one of each. With that said, I don't have a particular brand loyalty and really looked around before I bought my 5203.
    Kubota B3200
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    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  6. #46
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
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    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    First of all good song
    Aaron Lewis - "Country Boy" (Official Video) - YouTube

    Second - OP - sounds like your the type that get sets on something and bulldogs it down.

    In your initial posts you didn't mention electricity buildings and such. So you've got a head start.

    I never mentioned Kubotas, I've just got two of them because I ran across some amazing deals.

    Have you ever run a stumpgrinder? You might want to rent one for a day to get the feel of it. They are loud.

    Lady next to me in Virginia had a 30" stump ground down, it took the tree company hours. I'd strongly suggest you look into making bacon, after raising some pigs per a previous posters suggestion.

    Can you get an estimate of the size, density, and type of the trees from your uncle? Grinding down 400 stumps of 20" pine per acre will probably be quicker than 200 stumps of 30" oak.

    Blast from the past -
    Quote Originally Posted by catfishdaddyengineering View Post
    Depending on the size of the stumps and what you are wanting to do with the land, a skid steer mulcher might be a good choice. I just had 10 acres of 3yr cutover cleared. $150/hr and about 1/2 acre per hour with stumps, mostly pine with some hardwood down in the bottom, every few feet. It now looks like somebody spread bags of mulch all over it.
    So that's $300/acre and someone else doing it back in 2009.
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all

  7. #47
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    Default

    I know I was pushing track hoe earlier, and its still the choice for a major dollar done this month scenario, but your plan is doable. I dont think you will be pleased with the grinder, but thats up to you, can you demo a unit or rent just to see if it does what you want.

    People cleared 1000s of acres with old fords/masseys just not over night, and now I see your not trying to either. I think you can slowly pull/push/burn what you need. Go slow, be careful, and good luck.

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