Great oppertunity

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sion01

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Great oppertunity
« on: June 12, 2011, 12:48 »
I've been offered the lease of 35 acers for 10 years.
It really excites me but also really scares me.It's not really good land but reckon I could keep 15 cows and about 40 sheep (shed for winter houseing included) with space left over for potatoes and all my household veg needs.
I could maybe just about afford the lease and buying the stock but then I would need a tractor or I could hire a contractor to do the ploughing :unsure:

I would need to do quite a lot of internal fencing as well that would come to another 1500 or so.I've got experiance of working on farms so the husbandry side wouldn't be an issue but with kids and a mortgate its all about the financial side .
It's also worrying me that I could make a success of it and having to walk away in 10 years time when the lease might not be resumed which would break my heart.

I've got until October to make a decision.It might be the oppertunity to do something that I miss and would really enjoy doing but it could also break me but if I don't go for it I'll always be thinking what if :wacko:

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arugula

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 13:23 »
That's a great chance sion! At least you have a good length of time to weigh up all the options and I'm sure people on here will come up with plenty pros and cons for you to consider.

:)
"They say a snow year's a good year" -- Rutherford.

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tosca100

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 13:42 »
A lot of work though, if you are already working full time and the land needs preparation before you can grow anything or raise any animals.
 :ohmy:
Don't mind me....I'm only jealous! :lol:

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sion01

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 14:40 »
It would be a lot work with working full time too and all my holidays would probably go towards the small holding too but then nothing comes easily.

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mobilekat

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 18:22 »
I would go for it, but start off with less stock and let the numbers build up.
Then you are not spending so much to start with and can build up as you know you have the time to look after them.

My aunt has 12 acres, which she keeps 15-20 sheep on, using the lambs to replace numbers as needed and the rest go into the freezer.
She tends to have a couple of South Devon bullocks, but she has not replaced the last couple as once they had gone to the freezer she decided they didn't actually give as much return as the sheep did, and caused much more damage to the land.

Is it worth trying to negotiate a longer lease, or even put in a first refusal clause so if the land comes up for sale you have first refusal?

Good luck!

Very often quite lost- would be more lost if I could work out where I was!- But always find my way home.....

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sion01

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 20:55 »
Thank you.It's a dilemma wheather to stock as much as I could in the beginning and so make as much money to pay for the venture which also has the added cost of buying more stock.
I could also start with say half the needed stock and build up the numbers which would be cheaper but would also mean it would take longer to pay for itself.It might come down to what stock is available when I'll be looking for them.

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sunshineband

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 21:02 »
That is a wonderful opportunity and one I wish we had had some years ago.

Far too good to pass up  :D

You might be abl to borrow a tractor from time to time from a neighbour maybe  :unsure:

I wish you every success, Sion.

Lucky lucky you  8)


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Debz

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 09:40 »
If you are planning on selling some of the animals when they are ready for slaughter could you not set up a pay as you grow scheme with some of your customers to be.  That way they pay a bit as the animal is growing and will maybe be able to have a whole lamb for their freezer at the end and you dont have as much initial outlay.  It's a great opportunity (and a lot of work) and if only you lived closer I would be willing to offer to be your partner on the venture.  Best of luck with your decision.

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Gandan57

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 13:03 »
Good luck to you, but it`s a lot to take on. Are you prepared for all the red tape? You ought to seek plenty of advice beforehand.
I`m left handed, what`s your excuse?

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sion01

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 18:08 »
I'm prepared for the red tape in a way as I helped the lady who owns the land when her husband past away 8 years ago and helped out while he was ill.
As he had lost most of his sight due to his illness the cattle tags were mostly on the wrong cattle as the poor old man didn't want to admit to being so ill and as he was the one that handled all the paperwork too she didn't have a clue when he passed away so I had to deal with the red tape which understandably had taken a back seat for quite a while.

I did all the work ,manual and administrative for two years until she sold all the stock on all the 233 acers so I know in a way that 35 would be quite managable.The red tape has increased since then and some things have changed but I found that if you admitted complete ignorance the ministry of agricultue or whatever there called these days where quite helpful.

There is also the option of not claiming any grant so you could do what you wanted and when you wanted.

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sunshineband

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2011, 18:53 »
Debz idea was a bit of a blast from the past for me. Years ago (more than I care to remember  :ohmy: ) we used to buy lambs for rearing on my friend's smallholding.

We got them back jointed and frozen   :lol:

We paid the cost of the lamb (10 -- now that shows you it was a while back) and the local slaughterhouse fees, plus the cost of blast freezing, with a cost per pound of slaughtered weight which went back to my friend. Can't remember how much that was but it seemed cheap enough.

Everyone was happy  :D :D

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sion01

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 23:42 »
That idea is certainly something to think about

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Redgoat

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 21:18 »
Go for it but if the land needs some work I would probably suggest starting off with just sheep or maybe a couple of pigs to begin with.

There are grants available for fences provided you can plant a hedgerow inbetween. I worked it out and the grant pretty much covers most of the cost.

If you have dry stone walls perhaps there may be a local agricultural college who would be happy to rebuild (parts of) it in order to teach the students.


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fiano60

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 22:02 »
Hi It sounds great, hard work and you have looked into it alot but my question is
   Have you the backing of your family? it would certainly help if there were a few
   more hands to help out during the wind,rain and snow.Wishing you good luck
what ever you decide, Fiona ;)

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sion01

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Re: Great oppertunity
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 14:33 »
Yes my wife would be willing to help and the kids.I've also found out this morning that a bit that was fenced off with no access at the moment is also part of the land.That part is two acers with a pond of about three quarters of an acer with birches, alders,pines and willows planted around it.It's just a matter of putting a gate in and 6 weaners would be happy there all summer as the trees are large enough they wouldn't damage them.

I've also been checking out the river that forms part of the boundary on one side of the property and its teaming with trout.It's about a quarter of a mile of river in all.It just gets better and better


 

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