When you’re preparing your land for homesteading or for use as a small farm, you’re very likely to need to clear some land. This involves removing unwanted vegetation, underbrush and “trash trees” (fast growing trees that aren’t valuable or useful) as well as removing rocks and other obstructions from the soil. The more cleared land you have, the more crops you can grow and the more livestock you can keep. In this article, we provide sound advice on how to clear land for farming. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
Always Start With A Solid Plan
Don’t just set out mowing weeds, chopping through underbrush and knocking down trees willy-nilly!
You need to look over your property, inventory, identify and evaluate what you have and decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
In order to do this, you’ll need to have a firm idea of your intentions. Do you want to clear the land for livestock grazing, crops or building barns and other outbuildings? All of these require different sorts of preparation.
For example, you might like to have a nice little grove of trash trees in the middle of your pasture, but you don’t want them in the middle of your cornfield!
On the other hand, if you have a nice big old mature tree, you may wish to make your plans around that tree rather than removing it. A good, big shade tree is an excellent thing to have next your barn, workshop or house.
Make Sure Your Plan Is Doable
Before you move ahead with your plan, be sure that it’s a practical one. Check with other farmers in the area and with your county agriculture extension to be sure that the crops and livestock you plan on keeping will do well in your area.
If you plan on growing crops or a specific type of pasture, test the soil to find out if it will support your plan. Determine what you’ll need to do to amend the soil as necessary to make it more suitable for farming.
Evaluate The Worth Of Your Trees
If you have a lot of trees on your property, identify them and determine what they might be used for. This is another area where your county agent may be helpful, or there may be professionals in the timber industry who can give you good advice.
In some cases, you can sell your felled trees for a price that will really help with the expense of removing them. Sometimes, you may even end up with a profit.
Equip Yourself Properly
If you hire a professional service to do your land clearing, they will naturally have all of the equipment they need. If you’re going to do it yourself, you may find yourself in need of:
- A Track Harvester: This machine makes it possible to pick up trees and store them.
- A Stump Grinder: Gets rid of stumps completely once the tree has been chopped down.
- A Good Brush Mower: This is useful for mowing tough underbrush
- One or More String Trimmers: Your standard weed eater.
Clearing land is hard work, and it’s darn near impossible if you don’t have the right equipment.
Do The Job In One Go If Possible
Preparing to clear farmland, planning, gathering equipment and doing the actual work is a major undertaking.
For this reason, it’s best if you can determine your overarching plan right from the start and clear the land you need all at once. This will save you money, time and effort.
Once your land is cleared, you can move forward unhampered to carry out your plans. You’ll find it’s much easier to get things done when you have unsightly underbrush, trash trees, rocks and other obstacles out of the way.
Additionally, having your land nicely cleared can increase your property value.