Surveys

When you see a specific acreage on a “for sale” sign, an on-line listing, a real estate flyer, or a printed ad, do you ever wonder where the exact acreage comes from? How do they know exactly how many acres they are selling? And, how do you know (for sure) how many acres you are buying? It might not surprise you if I told you that both sellers and seller’s agents often use the tax records, recorded deeds, wills, family records, drawings, court documents, historical documents, and many other sources to determine acreage. What may surprise you … [Read more...]

Improvements

In general, the word “improvement” means something that enhances value or utility. In real estate, an improvement is defined as a specific and permanent change to a property that enhances that property’s value, utility, or desirability. In real estate lingo, that usually means a building like a home, office building, shop, or garage. However, when we talk about land, improvements can take many forms which, more often than not, don’t involve buildings. If you are looking to “improve” your property, here are a few ideas that will not only … [Read more...]

Groundwater

Groundwater is a vital resource to each of us – individuals, communities and our businesses. It’s the water we drink, it grows our food and recharges rivers and lakes. It’s so very important to do your part at your home with your private well and help keep it clean! As you may know, groundwater is water found underground in cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock. These underground stores of water are called aquifers. Groundwater is critically important to daily living. Of all the Earth’s water that is readily available for use by humans, … [Read more...]

Storm Relief 2011

Tornado 2011 If you are sitting in your home surrounded by four standing walls and you don't have water seeping in from one of the dozen rivers overflowing their banks, I hope you will count your blessings and continue reading.  Between the tornadoes that ravaged the Southeast nearly four weeks ago, those that devastated the Midwest over the weekend, and the flooding along the Mississippi River, there are thousands of people in this country who need our help.  While monetary donations and essentials such as water are welcomed and … [Read more...]

Agritourism

I can't tell you how many times I have been walking on my property and thought, "I wish everyone could experience this."  Sometimes I even feel guilty about the outdoor experiences I have had knowing others haven't been as fortunate. I realize that not everyone shares in my love of the outdoors, and there are many who would rather be doing a hundred other things than being in the "middle of no where" as it is so often described.  Some would be bored, others would be scared.  Still, I know there are a lot of folks, both young and old, who wish … [Read more...]

Bats

We have been having bat "problems" around our home the last few weeks and in searching for a solution, I came across this article written by Lee Stribling, retired professor of Zoology at Auburn University.  It helped me understand more about bats, what to do (and not to do), and thought it was worth passing on to others. Bats are among the most misunderstood animals.  Because they are secretive and active only at night, bats are often feared and needlessly killed.  Contrary to common myths, bats are neither blind nor dirty. They do not get … [Read more...]

Zebra Mussels

Sometimes, due to a lack of natural controls such as disease or competitors, a non-native species can easily become established in a new area. Once established, it can out compete and displace the native species, disrupting and degrading the environment. That’s an invasive species. And the zebra mussel is definitely invasive. The zebra mussel is native to the Black, Caspian, and Azov Seas in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It was probably brought to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of a cargo ship. When the ballast was emptied, the … [Read more...]

Biosecurity

Biosecurity, simply put, is protecting the health of humans and animals from disease.  Taking precautions and setting up some preventative measures is the best way to reduce the risk of disease and transmission, particularly with regard to livestock.   Disease can move from farm to farm or animal to animal in a number of ways.  They can be transmitted by rodents, pets, equipment, humans or the air. Below are a few simple ways to practice biosecurity that can make your farm a healthy place for your animals. Provide plenty of feed, water … [Read more...]

Brush Control Options in Fence Lines

If you have fencing on your property, you will need to keep branches, trees and weeds from growing up on fence lines. Why worry about cleaning out brush and weeds from fence lines? Along an electric fence, weeds and brush can short out the fence and allow the livestock to walk through. Removing brush and weeds also helps prolong the life of the fencing and reduces breakage. As trees grow through the fence, the wire can be stretched or may break when limbs fall. In addition to gaps in the fence that allow livestock to roam, loose wire can pose a … [Read more...]

Dang ‘Dillos!

We receive numerous calls every year from homeowners and other turf managers regarding armadillo damage to their landscape. Before discussing damage management methods, I want to discuss some basic biology of this curious animal. Although generally considered a recent invader, armadillos were found as far north as Rogers County, Oklahoma, in the 1930s. They reach a mature weight of 8 to 17 pounds. Tracks indicate four toes on each front foot and five on the hind feet. Females produce a litter, most commonly four, of monosex siblings in March … [Read more...]