Project updates

Farmland rents and sales figures

posted Jul 30, 2011, 9:23 AM by Joseph Gartner

Just posted the 2011 update on cash rents and farmland prices.  Looks like i need to increase my cash rental price by 50% or more for next year.  In addition, taxes went up hugely.

Spring work 2

posted Apr 21, 2011, 5:09 AM by JOSEPH GARTNER

Last month, pre-emergent was put down and looks like it is starting to show results as tree-lines look cleaner than last year.  This week i'm back at it and have walked all the drip lines and fixed some leaks.  Got initial order of trees in and will put in 75 today and another 150 in next 4 days.  Hopefully the weather will hold as it has been raining past few days.

Spring 1

posted Apr 9, 2011, 2:29 PM by JOSEPH GARTNER   [ updated Apr 21, 2011, 5:12 AM ]

Dear Diary,
When i came in March, everything actually looked pretty good.  Had to do a little work setting seedling trees upright, and laid down a wide swath of pre-emergent on both sides of 10 tree lines.  Will be back next week to put in 300+ trees and assess effects of last months work.  Also hope to fix all drip lines, and spray post emergent as needed.  So far, so good- 700 nut trees alive and well.

Energy Locks

posted Feb 14, 2011, 4:10 AM by JOSEPH GARTNER

Meter reading the same yesterday. Planning for upcoming trip.
0- 0- 0- 0 / 11-20-29

TTD for March

posted Feb 9, 2011, 3:26 AM by JOSEPH GARTNER   [ updated Feb 9, 2011, 3:32 AM ]

Short list for March visit:
1.  Get Carry-all for tractor and mount sprayer
2. Spray pre/post emergent herbicide
3. Repair all trees/shelters
4. Repair and stake down all drip irrigation lines

Time to diversify?

posted Jan 17, 2011, 1:50 PM by JOSEPH GARTNER

Since thinking of going to a low-tech/low-cost model (i.e. plant trees with temporary stakes (no tree-tubes), spray the weeds, mow the weeds, water when we mow).

 I began thinking about planting failed trees with new varieties so as to provide a mixed stand of trees vs pure walnuts.  This idea changes the (future) aesthetics (e.g. the look of a pure stand of walnut trees vs. a mixed tree appearancel) and might change the potential value of the tree stand.  Anyway, I'm debating adding black cherry for missing walnut trees and a fence row of hazelnuts.

Big overlook

posted Jan 14, 2011, 4:05 AM by JOSEPH GARTNER

Got huge electric bill for year that dwarfed last years and on investigation, turns out a well motor was running continuously for god knows how long.  Anyway, it's turned off now and meter read is 14394 indicating will have some extra to pay also on next years bill.  Will have to whittle back plans for this year to compensate for last years unexpected costs.  Thinking of just:

Replanted a few lost trees
Spraying twice (March/July)
Mowing each two weeks

Doing just these would save a lot of money but could be a jungle out there if we got a lot of rain like last year.

Farm rents and cost of adding grasses

posted Nov 17, 2010, 3:45 PM by JOSEPH GARTNER   [ updated Nov 27, 2010, 3:10 PM ]

Today received second seasonal payment from farmer (LM) for cash rents.  LM added money to check (which he wasn't obliged to do) to increase cash payment from 70 dollars per acre to 85 dollars per acre noting that this was a very good year for crops and that cash rents had increased.  I was quite happy and impressed by this and added to my respect (and thanks) for this.  

Also talked to my friend and farmer (JG) who I asked to advise me on grasses.  He reported that warm season grasses seem better but will look into a mixture with forbs, warm/cool grasses and advise on planting costs and also look into local folks who might want to plant the 4 acres.  Said warm grasses only needed mowing for weeds and competitors the first year or two.  Also said warm season grasses would be harder to establish initially than warm/cool mixtures but mixtures would make establishing warm grasses harder since they outgrow and overwhelm warm grasses in the first year or two and delay warm grass establishment (makes sense to me).  He pointed out -after a question of mine regarding returns of hay compared to regular (e.g. corn) crops- that  hay would be less financially successful and that with current cash rents at 100 dollars per acre (i'm getting 85) i'd take a bit of loss.

Will be interested to hear back from JG on his advice and estimates regarding establishing grasses.

In terms of JG's comments regarding current cash rents and my relatively low rental price, i rationalized that asking for 100/acre cash rent next year is not needed since LM already increased the price to 85  (thanks LM!) retroactively for this year.  I'll go a year more at 85/acre and then reevaluate i think.

hobby farmer

Miller Seed Company

posted Nov 17, 2010, 6:19 AM by JOSEPH GARTNER

Talked to a fellow there and discussed trying to establish a warm/cold season grass stand.  He suggested i look at:

Millers Native Mix #1 PLUS               $150.00 / 1 Acre               $75.00 / 1/2 Acre

 2.0 PLS lbs - Big Bluestem

 1.5 PLS lbs - Indiangrass

 1.5 PLS lbs - Little Bluestem

 1.5 PLS lbs - Sideoats Grama

 1.0 PLS lbs Western Wheatgrass

 0.5 PLS lbs Switchgrass



Food Plan Mix               $133.75 / 1 Acre

 3.0 PLS lbs - Western Wheatgras

 2.5 PLS lbs - Virginia Wildrye

 2.0 PLS lbs - Big Bluestem

 2.0 PLS lbs - Canada Wildrye

 1.5 PLS lbs - Switchgrass

 1.5 PLS lbs - Tall Fescue

 1.0 PLS lbs - Reed Canarygrass

 0.5 PLS lbs - Red Top

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