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Discussion Starter #1
The time has come to abandon our homestead farm yard as it has become far too small for our current and future needs. We are interviewing an engineering firm next week to help with topo survey, grading, and planning. We will start moving dirt this summer and plan to build the first structures in 2021, sooner if possible. We planted the shelterbelt five years ago in a box formation and its coming along nicely with drip irrigation. Dimensions inside the shelterbelt box are 785' x 1000' with two approaches off the main road on the long side. There will be no dwellings at the site. We don't have livestock, however, we are in commercial hay production and we market large square bales. The first three structures will be hay sheds 62'x100' and they will be built late this year or early next year depending on how the site preparation goes. The entire site is on an east sloping sidehill.

Future Buildings:
1. Three 62'x100' hay sheds
2. One 80'x150' heated shop with attached 30'x40' office/lounge/kitchenette
3. One 80'X150' cold storage building
4. Five 42' diameter flat bins
5. Eight 20' diameter hopper bins
6. Three 16' diameter 400barrel fuel tanks with pumping station
7. One 40'x40' barn/stable (the wife keeps threating me with buying horses)

Everything on this list is planned for construction in the next decade. Does anyone on the forum have suggestions as to what else we should plan for? I've spent some time searching for farm layouts on the web, but the searches haven't helped much. I'd like to see some layouts that other operators have used and what they would change if they could do it again. Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was going to put down weed barrier where we store equipment outside. Then surface it with 6" of scoria. Not feasible for the whole yard, but it sure will be nice not to have to mow around the equipment.
 

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talk to your electric CO-OP. In my experience they don't easily understand "future" plans or don't ask the right questions and as a result it is your fault 8 years later that you didn't tell them. Get a big enough service.

Don't know what kind of grains you grow, but if a dryer is on the long term wish list that would effect how you layout your bins.

I go back and forth on having the fuel tanks in plain site or hidden from the road. It sounds as if you won't be living there so I would plan accordingly with some sort of security. Cameras, locks, hidden disconnects? always some idiot methheads around

I like working in front of the shop rather than in it during the summer, so my wishlist would have a big concrete or asphalt pad in front of the main shop door.

It sounds as if you already have dirtwork and drainage under control. The location of the septic drainfield might be a big factor in where your shop is located relative to everything else. nothing is funnier than when people build a house out in the country and have the drainfield setup so you have to get it blown on you 3/4 of the year.
 

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It is going to be a big yard. Think about walking distance between the shop - fuel tanks - cold storage shed - often used bins etc. It is a nice idea to use a ATV or golf cart but didn't you leave it down at the far grain bin last night when you needed a jug of gas for the auger and then brought the loaded truck up to the shop for overnight!!! It is great to have space for big trucks and equipment but it makes for a lot of walking over the years.
 

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What water source will you be using? Dogout, well, pipeline? Position your horses in a spot where run off from their waste will not contaminate your water source. Protect your water, for the horses, your shop, spraying needs and maybe someday there will be a house in the yard.
I've seen a horse or two turn into 15-20 , with a couple of donkeys, a few goats, a couple of pigs and a cow. All of a sudden you have a lot of **** to deal with, in more ways than one.
 

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Weedkiller you're not getting much for layouts, you could kill time floating around on Google Earth to scope out other yards.

It is a big yard. Ours is that big, and it's too spread out. A factor of incremental expansions (edit) over more than a century with cattle in the picture. Without cattle now, the yard is too big. We're a smaller farm though.

One thing I'd suggest is to keep underground lines together and put some thought into where to put them so they don't interfere with potential future expansions. Nice to keep them together and off to the side rather than taking the shortest path.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Those are all good ideas. Buried lines are a pain for expansion later on. I’ll group them together with easy to identify markers and straight headings. Maybe a large conduit of underground schedule 40 mapped out for future buildings.

I’ll start checking out Google Earth. Maybe northern Montana and north central South Dakota for large acre farms? Whereabouts in Canada for the larger farm yards?
 
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