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sheep fencing recommendations

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Another one to bookmark, Maxi! Thanks!!! (Though "Eblex" sure sounds like something you'd encounter in Dr. Who or Star Trek).

 

i really like the Eblex stuff (Eblex is the English beef and lamb levy board whose role is to improve the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector). IMO their 'better returns programme' http://www.eblex.org.uk/returns/. pamphlets and bulletins make it easy to find current best practice recommendations.

Good luck with getting your questions answered (are you sure he/she isn't a politician?) and hope the negotiations go smoothly.

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Hah, Maxi, I hadn't paid enough attention to that! I'm certainly planning on selling lambs for meat (though I think I should keep sheep for a year before venturing into lambing). Maybe that's my "out" if the sheep police come after me!

 

Yes.. I never doubted Lynn, but it does show that Baltimore legislators have little idea about agriculture and the relative grazing requirements of cows and sheep

As the restriction doesn't seem to apply to 'commercial' enterprises,, if you sell some lambs for meat, does that make you exempt?

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Ah, Maxi, we're definitely planning on taking advantage of any tax writeoffs we can! My understanding (and I'm the least financially savvy person in the world: it's my equivalent of kryptonite, turns my brain to mush) is that if we operate this as a commercial farm (meaning, we have some source of income derived from it, such as selling of lambs), then I can deduct for costs of things such as fencing against all of our sources of income (we're both planning on keeping those day jobs!!!) for X years, as long as I show some sort of profit during the Xth year. ("Profit" depends, of course, on how much I claim in expenses). I can also deduct the cost of vet bills, training clinics, etc. as a business expense. We are NOT buying a farm as a tax writeoff (we don't pay THAT much in taxes from our current income!!!), but it's one reason why my fiscally responsible DH doesn't completely faint when I fill him in on the cost of fencing. He has had me put together a business plan. It's convinced me that (with property this size) there's no way on earth I'll ever "make money" at this - once you start to keep ewe lambs over the winter so that you can use them to train your dogs while your ewes are heavily pregnant, your feed bills mount faster than the ewe lambs gain weight. Best I can hope to do is break even. It's the change in lifestyle we're after.

If feasible then becoming a commercial enterprise may be financially sensible/tax efficient, cos it may allow for expenses (such as fencing etc to get back to the OP as well as all sheep husbandry costs etc) to become tax deductible which they probably wouldn't be for a hobby venture.

Obviously, as a non - US citizen, this is just speculation on my part.

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This. Exactly this. This is what I'm seeking.

 

Though we're not as brave as Donald and Anne - we're keeping the day jobs. (Not sure we're as young and healthy, either - idealistic, yes).

 

155 tomato plants! WOW! I used to limit myself to half a dozen when I had enough sun to grow tomatoes.

Dear Doggers,

 

When we moved to the farm 45 years ago, we were stone ignorant about farming, rural living, sheep. dogs, how to stay warm, how to feed ourselves (we planted 155 tomato plants in our first garden). We'd seen Easy Rider and despite Wendell Berry's counsel, we fretted about farmers with American flags in their windshield and rifles in their gun racks. We reduced our income by 90% in one year and if it hadn't been for Euell Gibbons wild foraging books we would have gone hungry.

 

But - and this is the difference between what we did and real poverty - we chose it and if our new life had flopped we could have found our way back into the old one.

 

I couldn't make such a complete life change now but we were young, idealistic, healthy and stubborn.

 

This morning the sun underlit the sky red over the mountains and Jake (he'll be three in January) took a redirect in the hill field, a half mile away.

 

Anne and I got lucky; God was good to us.

 

Our new life didn't turn out anything like what we thought it would but coming to the farm made Anne and I who we'll be until the end of our days.

 

Donald McCaig

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Another one to bookmark, Maxi! Thanks!!! (Though "Eblex" sure sounds like something you'd encounter in Dr. Who or Star Trek).

well.. you know Govt departments and their acronyms. but I wouldn't be surprised if the UK dept involved with ag also has Treckies in it.. (they almost certainly have a few "whovians").

 

My understanding .... is that if we operate this as a commercial farm (meaning, we have some source of income derived from it, such as selling of lambs)....

.. but if you can do this... then surely you ARE (will be) running it as a commercial enterprise.. and then you would be exempt from the 2 sheep/acre clause.

ETA no doubt there would be additional forms to fill in

 

good luck with it all...hope it pans out for you

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Another one to bookmark, Maxi! Thanks!!! (Though "Eblex" sure sounds like something you'd encounter in Dr. Who or Star Trek).

HaHaHa!!! I thought Dr. Seuss. Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

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Well, a realtor who had looked at our place this week just came in with some numbers. If he's right, we won't net as much as I'd hoped, making this farm more of a stretch for us financially than I'd hoped.

 

Still - who needs furniture? And save the movers for the big things (piano, wardrobes, sofa)!

 

Of course the fiscally responsible member of my household may disagree :)

 

Here's a link someone shared with me this morning on tax issues related to small farms. Lots of great advice definitely worth heeding!

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...turning dreams into reality can be a really tough...especially if you have someone sensible looking carefully at the finances.!!! :) (But I guess without that, it could easily turn into a nightmare ;) )




.

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Figured I owed those of you who have persisted so long an update...

 

Realtor FINALLY answered some of our questions yesterday. Some answers were great: well is from 2005, steel casing, 250 feet deep, tested at 13 GPM. Furnaces (there are two: one from the older part of the house, one from the newer) are from 2005-2012. Appliances are from 1990-2011, with the stove being the oldest, which is fine with me because I HATE cooking on electric stoves and want an excuse to replace it. Septic system pumped out and inspected 2013. Concerns about potential water problems (soils maps indicated the possibility of a shallow water table near the house) were valid - the older part of the house's basement (it has two) did have some water problems, but they were rectified in 2010, with a guarantee for the lifetime of the structure (transferable). Most important - the largest (~ 6.5 acre) pasture, the one I intend to use as a "training field", has been planted in grasses and is currently farmed for hay. Yay! I won't need to establish pasture in this field. But (in conversations with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) folk (part of the US Department of Agriculture), if I want them to cost-share on fencing for this field, I'll need to wait a year (prove I'm trying to run this farm as a business). For sure fencing is $$$$ enough that I'll try to do this - will try to make an appt with them to view the property and start to put together a conservation plan as soon as (if!) we establish a closing date.

 

The down side was that the realtor we've been working with estimated that we could sell our current house for only 64% of what the sellers were asking. Yikes!!! If that's true, we sure can't afford this place!!! So I had two other realtors come in, and I spent yesterday afternoon glued to the internet and a spreadsheet. (Never turn an engineer loose on spreadsheets) Now, I know that some realtors mistrust Zillow, but it sure seems to have been successful in predicting selling prices of homes in my neighborhood. They either sell for close to 100% of Zillow estimates, or 92%; the difference seems to be whether these homes (~ 50 years old) have original kitchens, or not. (Ours has an updated kitchen, roof, furnace, bathrooms, yada yada). So yesterday morning (after viewing the 64% number) I was in the troughs of despair, but now (after two different realtors saying that we could sell this place for close to the Zillow number for our place, which is within shouting distance of what Zillow claims this farm is worth - forget what the sellers are asking!), we feel better.

 

Better enough that we're putting in an offer for a number that's 98% of Zillow's valuation. (And a fair amount less than the seller's asking price). I'm sure they'll reject it, because it's not close to their asking price. But I hope they'll come back with a counteroffer. It's been on (and off) the market for 15 months now, with a couple of reductions in price.

 

So keep your fingers crossed for us... hoping to have good news to report by Xmas time!

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Fingers and paws crossed here for you. I've been reading the thread with envy, since it's not looking like I'll ever be able to get back to my dreams of a small farm and livestock again.

 

Hoping it all works out for you. (Can I come build a tiny cabin on a small corner and help with the sheep?)

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We did explain to the boys today that we were spending their inheritance to move out into the boonies to an area where they should NOT expect online gaming or streaming music or nonstop YouTube. They asked whether there was ANY way to get more data, and I shared the Verizon pricing plans (goes up from OK to astronomical as you move from 6 to 15 GB/month). Oh. I also told them satellite was likely in the future for streaming movies but not for internet. The younger one (just home yesterday from his first semester of college) asked why we couldn't add satellite internet to the package. The older one explained about "latency". Younger one's response? "In other words - we should not plan on spending much time at the new place". Bingo.

 

I assured them that frequent visits were welcome - come have a good meal, come do your laundry - but there will be limitations associated with staying with us for extended periods :)

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Good luck with your ventures - Both the primary (farm purchase) and secondary consequence (active de-nesting)

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Lynn, good luck and I hoping your buying adventure is not a tortuous as ours was (we purchased during the real estate down turn).

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Thanks, all! We got a mortgage pre-approval letter yesterday, but (sigh) our realtor says that online (Quicken) pre-approval letters are viewed with skepticism. Working on a pre-approval letter today from a conventional mortgage broker.(Talked to someone who works with farms, but their rates are likely to be higher than single-family residential rates). In the meanwhile, our realtor is preparing the offer... Now to hope that the bottom doesn't fall out of the real estate market between now and the spring (which is when we'll try to sell the current house).

 

Mark, what a nightmare THAT must have been!!! My parents were lucky - they sold their house in August of 2008 (for more than their asking price). My younger brother (saint that he is) had worked hard with them all that summer forcing the Grand Declutter. If they'd waited even one more month, they probably wouldn't have been able to sell for years.

 

It's going to be hard to focus on grading finals and term papers this week...

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It's going to be hard to focus on grading finals and term papers this week...

The bain of academia...not that I'm advocating drinking, but I seem to remember that the thought of a (several) large glass(es) of wiine at the end of the day helped

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When we purchased our place lenders were not making many loans; we ended up with owner financing for a year. After a year we refinanced with a "country home loan" (residence with enough property such that the house was <50% of the total property value) from Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit. These are not the typical residental loans with the lowest rates.

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We also used Farm Credit for our farm mortgage. Very easy to work with here in SW Virginia. In our experience, the minute a conventional mortgage company learned we had more than 10 acres, they were unable to finance since we didn't fit into their 'conventional' house package.

 

Jovi

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Dear Lynn,

Farm Credit rates are competitive and its a coop (you get a check from them every year), they didn't climb on the subprime bandwagon and our loan officer has pretty nice Border Collies. Also, if something goes wrong, you know who has your mortgage.

 

Donald

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