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  1. #1
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    Default Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    This is my first post, but I want to say thanks for the knowledge you guys have shared and I've been able to glean from so many other posts to get me this far.

    God recently blessed me with just over 115 acres of mostly wooded land (5% clear, 60% pine & 35% hardwood) for an unbelievable price for the area (<$1500/acre net). I'm fairly young and I look at this as the place I'd like to call home and be my farm/never-ending project for the rest of my life. It actually used to be a farm, but has been untouched for almost 40 years now. I'm looking to have some garden, but mostly just pasture with cows, chickens, maybe some pigs. I've already sold the timber rights and it should be all clear cut within a year or so.

    I need get rid of all of the stumps though and plan long term at the same time and that's what I need yall's help with. I've never actually even owned my own lawn mower before so this whole thing is completely new to me. I have no doubts about whether or not I can do it, but I want to make sure I'm setting myself up right with ideal equipment.

    From what I've read, the Woods SG100 is a good choice for stump grinding in my situation. I plan on getting a John deere 5075E to put it on and I was going to get the 535 FEL and an MX10 bush hog.

    So here are my questions:

    1. Is the SG100 a good choice for what I want to do? Do I need to get further down than the SG100 will go so that there are no sink holes in the future?

    2. Is the 5075E too much, not enough, or just right for now and my future plans?

    3. I assume my attachments are reasonable choices, but maybe I'm missing something? Is the MX10 a good choice for my purposes?

    4. Any other general advice you think I need in order to accomplish my goal of making this land all a big pasture?


    In case it helps, the land is rolling and has a sizeable internal stream on it that sort of splits the whole property in half and a very large creek runs along one border for about 400 yards. The soil seems fairly soft throughout, but I haven't had it long enough to know if it's just the season and recent rain that makes it appear that way.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    What you need are a bulldozer and a grapple.
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest



    Grapple yea I agree. Dozer would be fun but I don't know. Clear cut depends what you call clear cut, if you mean they take the large parts of the trees and leave the rest for you to clean up yep your right!
    Montana R4944
    Ford Jubliee, Ford 841, Ford 621 industrial with FEL & BH

  4. #4
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    How many acres are you planning on clearing? If you have a lot of trees to move of any size a dozer would be a better investment than any tractor. If you don't have any dozer experience you will be dollars ahead to hire it done. .02

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    I'm going to have it all cleared. I actually sold the rights to a logger who also happens to be my uncle. He's going to clean it up for me except for the stumps. There should be no trees left standing except for a few really young tulip poplars. Also, no logging scraps to get rid of.

    From what I've read dozers wouldn't be great for just pure stump removal. Some stumps are smaller, but there are some massive ones too. I got $100k for the timber so there are quite a few trees across the 110 or so acres that are wooded.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    You mean you got less than 1k a acre?
    Murph ------------

  7. #7
    Veteran Member GManBart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    What are you planning for the land that gets cleared? If you're going to plant it, the stump grinder may not go deep enough, and you'll need to dig each one out.

  8. #8
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    Welcome!

    Yes, you need to zero in on land use. For pigs, if you want to go whole hog (couldn't resist) some grain crops will be good. Wheat, corn, oats. You might sharecrop 20-40 acres to get what you need and not spend a fortune on equipment.

    The land sounds real new to you, after it is logged and cleared, you may be able to identify parts that are good for tilled crops by soil and drainage, parts that will make good pasture, location of buildings, any wet areas, and all the gritty details. Draw on local knowledge, ask a local farmer/extension agent to walk it with you and tell you what they think. Do some soil testing from different areas.

    If it was farmed up to 40 years ago before it was let go, you may be able to find evidence of former field areas--if it wasn't all field. The areas with the healthiest trees are likely to be the best growing areas for anything. Certain tree species like certain kinds of soil, that might tell you something if the trees are growing in stands of primarily one-three species here, and something different over there.

    Good luck and enjoy it.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

  9. #9
    Platinum Member KYDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    I am currently attempting to remove some large stumps that are in an old fencerow that I have removed the wire and set posts. (This old fencerow was set sometime in the 1950's and they used cut cedar posts and trees as the line posts.) The stumps are mostly eastern cedars although some are various hardwoods as well as elm. Some of these stumps are 24" or larger. I have drilled large holes 1 1/4" in diameter about 6" in depth and angled holes intersecting with the ones that I drilled vertically on the outer edge of the stumps. I then filled the holes with potassium nitrate and I am waiting for 2 months and then I plan to fill them with a diesel fuel mixed with some waste oil. Then I will ignite them. I am also laying some kindling made of cedar and hardwood scraps around the outer edges of the stumps. There are approximately 40 of these stumps. I don't know if this will prove effective or not as I have never tried this with stumps this large before. I am not worried about getting all of the roots out, just enough to insure the tree won't sprout from the roots and get the stump below ground level so I can stretch the fence and mow under it. I won't know the results before the first of March. I used 40lbs. of potassium nitrate granules accomplishing this part of the task.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Newbie trying build a farm from a forest

    The main plan is beef cattle and chickens. I'm sure I'll have some hay fields and I have contemplated pigs, but the pigs would be well into the future after I learned how to operate easily with cows and chickens.

    If I had craps it would be limited to a very small area. Less than 2 acres for sure. I could clear that kind of area in a more rigorous way like burning. But I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of the thousand or so other stumps around.

    I read on here that one guy said he used his Woods stump grinder to get down to 8" below the surface because he tilled down 7". If that's actually possible and won't later cause sink holes then it seems like a reasonable method to me.

    I don't have any experience with a bulldozer or excavator so that's why I've mostly ruled them out. Hiring someone would seem to cost me more than the land did based on what I read at arboristsite.com. I'm not rich or anything so I'm trying to spend wisely. It would seem like I need a tractor anyway, so buying an attachment and grinding stumps myself seems best as along as its possible on that scale.

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