Monday, July 19, 2010

Shell Shocked

My dad informed me this weekend he was 90% certain he wanted to sell all the cows (mine included) and rent all the cropland to the neighbor. I get that he has already spent over half his life farming and just wants to come home and mow the lawn.

This doesn't sit well with me. Even if I just have the pasture for my sheep, I would need approximately 2,000 small square bales to feed them through the winter. I can get that on two hay fields, but if they are rented out, I dont' have the money to buy that hay.

Moving to a mostly commercial flock of Mules bred to a Texel would in the end pay just for the hay and mineral and such. Is it even worth it?

I'm not sure what to think at this point. My dad has threatened that before, but never really thought about it. This time he seemed very certain and had spent a large part of his past few months thinking on it.

I can respect that decision, but I cannot live with it. Especially if I want to continue with my sheep and cattle. I'm not in a position to purchase a smaller farm either.

Prayers and thoughts are accepted :)

8 comments:

Somerhill said...

Would your father consider renting a part of the hayfields on shares?
I never do understand how family farms work this out. Seems like often, things just kinda float along until something like this blows up in everyone's face.
Can you afford to rent the land you need? Looks like you're gonna have to do some pencilling out.

Cynthia said...

I'm so sorry that this family farm issue is raising its head again. I would not have guessed that your family would give up the farming entirely. Many hugs kiddo.

Michelle said...

Oh Garrett, I don't envy the position you are in. Yes, I will pray....

Becky Utecht said...

Hi Garrett, maybe he's hinting that you should pay to rent the cropland if he gets rid of his cows and the crops all go to feed your animals.
I don't understand how he could sell your cattle though. Aren't they yours?

Potosi Sheep Farm said...

Our farm is rented to a dairy farmer since we stopped making our own hay 5 years ago. Paying for hay just takes any profit I might make and the hay is never as good as what we used to bale. Our farmer is suppose to give us so many bales each year but things never seem to work out to where we get what we need. Quality is also inferior. Hope you Dad takes more time to think things over.

Jerry said...

I buy all my feed. The best I can hope to do is break even. My small flock is truly a hobby not a money maker. I keep sheep for the exercise, enjoyment and to keep me active with a project--and I like sheep, so I keep them.
I would suggest that you sit down with your dad--maybe hard to do I know- but talk it out. Maybe he has thought about your flock and has some options for you. Better to confront the dilemma, than to wonder what's next.
I started out renting my parent's dairy barn and had a mobile home in the yard. My wife and I milked our cows there for 3 years, then were told my dad wanted the barn back to farrow hogs. We bought a 8 acre farmstead and milked cows for another 7 years...that's old history. So I have been there. Best to speak up and know what's going to happen for you and your flock.

stephen rouse said...

My mother (who farmed for many years) has always said I should rent the pastures out and buy my hay with the money made from renting....ask your dad if he would consider letting you take enough of the income to buy hay from the rented pastures. Going rate for leasing crop land in my area is about $80 per acre...>I think that is probably a lot lower than your family could get!

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Garrett - why not offer to rent the land from your Dad in trade? If he wants to sell his cattle he could and pocket the money, you could cut back on yours and use that money to 'rent' the land, and then you'd have the hayfields you need. Just a thought - and get a 10 year contract!

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