Buying Farm Land

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In some ways it is a better time to be a farmer than ever in the United States, in some ways it is the worst. The price of corn is up thanks to its heavy use in the bio fuel industry, and people who farm staple goods receive a salary subsidy by the government. Small farmers can make a profit by exploiting niche markets such as organic vegetables, geese, and perennial fruit.

The Value of Land

Stacked against the farmer is the rising price of good farm land. Places that receive plenty of rainfall and where the soil is rich on its own are continuously being chewed up to make farmland and then exhausted of its fertility by agribusiness. That land is then often converted to other forms of development.

Land that needs little development or which could be highly productive with only some development is premium and sells for an expensive price. The first secret of buying land is to understand that what is desirable and sought-after is necessarily going to be expensive. Land that is good but less premium is typically far from town and in places not easily accessed by road. It might be situated between hills or itself hilly and therefore not easily plowed.

Making the Most Out of Land

The best land will eventually be gobbled up by agribusiness and then only sold when it is exhausted of reasonable productivity. A better choice is to take second best in places with high rainfall. Somewhat hilly land can still be highly productive if properly terraced. Sophisticated water catchments can actually reduce the need for irrigation. If there is sufficient rain and decent soil, then learning the finesse needed to work hills can be highly productive.

The same is true for reclaimed land. It is rendered undesirable by heavy farming, then understand that nature can heal itself. Many crop have deep taproots and effectively bring nutrients up from the subsoil. Sorghum and amaranth are both great first crops because of their deep roots. They also grow in marginal soil. An organic farm can cut and mulch the stalks while the plants themselves will suppress competition from weeds.

It Can Be Worth the Money

Land out West is cheaper but dryer. The soil tends to be rich in nutrients but requires irrigation to be rendered effective. Natural rainfall is typically cheaper than irrigation. This is especially true for the West because its well water is close to being depleted. Since rainfall is scarce, water from a pipe might be much more expensive than in more desirable country.

To grow in dry areas means choosing dry hardy crop or perennial plants. It might also mean trickle irrigation, but this can be expensive to install. Buying cheaper land sometimes is not worth it because it greatly restricts the number of viable crop species. If a farmer wants to grow corn or other water-guzzling plants, then they need to sink their funds into the wetter land back east.

But Do Not Ignore the West

If a person wishes to grow hardy perennials, then the Midwest can actually be a decent investment, especially if it is not too far from a market city. Grapes are well known as being hardy in dry areas, and might only need watering every few weeks. Most other temperate perennials can be supported with mulch and drip irrigation, and most have deeper roots.

A surprising variety of annuals will grow in dry areas. Sorghum and amaranth are the previously mentioned grain crop that do well in arid areas. Others include watermelon and pumpkin, both of which can be grown in large mounds and have deep roots once established. While these vine plants do drink quite a bit of water, mounds are more efficient at retaining it and the plants need distance to sprawl. Beans are not the most profitable but are often drought-hardy.

Your Final Decision

Land comes in different price ranges according to population density and the total utility of the land itself. Drier places are cheaper but grow a more restricted regimen of plants. The farmer must decide on what they want and their price range. Much undesirable land can be made desirable but it takes work to reclaim. A farmer must invest either time or money to make land reach its peak.

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