I completely forgot to check and repair a water gap along Cotton Road which was in a paddock in which i had a young cow get out last time the mob was in this paddock. She was the only one to get out, thankfully. Anyway, despite having driven the 35 minutes and shifting the cows that morning, i had to go back in the evening to check the gap. Especially since it is adjacent to a cemetery. I thought i’d just run up in my pickup since it’s faster, but she was out and had taken a friend with her! Cotton Road is not passable by pick up, so i had to drive back home and get my Gator and some more tools.
The two escapees had drifted into the cemetery instead of continuing west down Cotton Road which made it MUCH easier and quicker to walk them back into the paddock. Very thankful they were not yet near the tombstones. I’ve had to pay for repairs in the past and i sure didn’t want another round of that!
Made it back up there before dark and drove a steel t-post and dropped this heavy section of an old hay feeder. About a week ago, i had cut down these hedge tree sprouts and they were laying nearby, so i dragged them to lay in there as well just to discourage any lounging. Hedge trees are covered with tiny thorns.
Next day, i needed to check to be certain my repairs had stopped the escapees and thankfully, they had.
As i get older, i’m more aware of how much time and hard work a piece of property can be. Many years ago, my grandpa gave me a 160 acre piece of his land and i now realize that he was about my age now when he gave it. I was much younger and was thrilled, but now i can see that he was probably tired of managing and fixing all its problems. In fact, it is only about the east 80 acres of the farm i now have that incurs 80% of the work i do on the 520 acres i now own/manage. (it is a sad reflection of our time that in north Missouri that is no where near enough property to make a living on). At the same time, it’s the corner of that piece that is the best for working and loading out livestock. (interestingly, my daughter, at about age 11 made the comment, ‘i don’t like this farm, it is too much work!”)
Truth be told, if it was possible for me to control the land to the north of me and to the south, i could all but eliminate the massive erosion and washing problems which cause my little piece to be so much work. But i don’t, so difficult repairs are recurring. Controlling the ‘heads’ of the water by building ponds or dams would practically stop all but the worst rain events which cause such destruction. The biggest help would be to seed down the hills that are being farmed every year. There are no roots to hold any soil in place and increase water infiltration on acres and acres of slope.
So, a point i’m trying to make is – look to your future self when purchasing a property – is this property you are considering fixable? or will it be constant work? We actually looked at a property last year that was adjoining and for sale, but with all it’s deep ditches and no control of the head, it would be more work than what we wanted to take on now at retirement age. It is FAR too much asking price anyway. (It’s still for sale)