How Far Would You Go For Land? - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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How Far Would You Go For Land?

Just like many others we're in an area where land is almost impossible to acquire unless you've got daddy's quota money. Unfortunately for us our immediate area is so choked full of livestock (us included) that any land that does come up get's bid up to insane prices. We currently run about 800ac all within a 4mi radius of the yard with most of it owned or within the family.

That brings me to the question of this thread, how far does it make sense to go for land? Talking to some neighbors who've gone out a bit further there seems to be some potential opportunities for good land about 25-30ish miles away for almost half of what the local going rate is. Those who have gone further out is it worth it? What are some considerations when farming land that far away? What are all the costs of transporting equipment/fuel/seed/chemical/etc back and forth? I'm just starting to gain some ownership of the farm and took on some decent debt with a major barn project so we're definitely not out knocking on doors, but if opportunities are coming up over the next few years we want to have thought things through so we know what we want to do ahead of time.


"Though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine. Though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren. Though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns lie empty. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:21 AM
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If it was me I would be doing some land comparisons and taking a hard look at selling where you are and buying those twenty five miles away. It's not that the distance is prohibitive, but if the area compares at all you could buy say 75% more land and put the improvements you want on it. If you're dead set against relocating, twenty five miles isn't a horrible commute, the downside is you will break or wear out things you never dreamt of and you have to be more organized otherwise you will always feel like you are never where you should be.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:43 AM
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For a few years we were driving 160ish road miles to farm a 1,000 acre block until someone closer offered more money than it was worth to us to farm it but it's all about what you want need and can afford cows will be a bit easier than farm ground but are you willing to spend a hour of your day driving no matter how busy you are to go check cows or crops
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:43 PM
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There are guys from my intermediate area that go to Texas to farm. They aren't the first from the area to try it and it managed to break the others so....

I've got an out laying 160 that's a short 15 miles away. That's far enough, things like to break away from home area, or a freak rain storm comes up. Can't get manure on it so cost of production is higher but it got bought right.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:46 PM
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We used to go 20 miles for a 375ac piece. It was pretty decent as it was right next to town, elevator and fert dealer less than 5 miles away. But it was on the north side and we were on the southwest side. As time went on, they took 80ac here and 100ac there for development, land switched hands, rent got too expensive, but by that time traffic was becoming a pain to move equipment there so we let it go. Also at that time a neighbor was cutting back and we picked up 2 qtrs closer to home. All things aside, if traffic and town wouldnt have grown and developed we probably would still be farming it.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:04 PM
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I tel myself if something comes for sale within 10 miles of main place I would look at it, but even 10 miles would be pushing it for me. 3 miles I would be more comfortable with and take more seriously. Go too far and you start having to look at trucking equipment and all the investment that that requires, or else just extra wear and tear, and it just isn’t worth it. For me.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:47 PM
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Wouldn't go more than 5 miles and wouldn't go over $3500 an acre. Real toppy out there.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:58 PM
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Our farm is spread out about 35 miles from one end to the other. Main yard about in the middle, really no big deal, just have to be organized and have a good service truck.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by New_Farmer View Post
I tel myself if something comes for sale within 10 miles of main place I would look at it, but even 10 miles would be pushing it for me. 3 miles I would be more comfortable with and take more seriously. Go too far and you start having to look at trucking equipment and all the investment that that requires, or else just extra wear and tear, and it just isn’t worth it. For me.
So that kind of brings up a question, how much more is land worth next to home, or within say a 3-4 mile radius of home base as opposed to land that is farther out?

My situation is somewhat unique with manure availability I figure if its within three miles of my barns its easily worth $500/acre more than outlaying farms. That doesn't factor in bins/dryer rt home and other perks of operating close. I've wondered if $500/acre maybe on the low side even.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 03:18 PM
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We have around 350 acres that are 10-15 miles away from our home farm. I figure it's drought insurance. We don't cut the hay there quite as quickly as around home, so it never quite makes highest quality dairy feed. But it feeds dry cows and heifers quite well, or milk cows if things go sideways and everything gets more expensive in dry years. Which has been the last 2.5-3 years running now, so as much as it's a bit of a pain, I'm still glad we have it. I fully admit, it's all rented and pretty cheap. If we had to buy it or pay more for rent, it might be a different scenario.

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