Common Problems with Burns

Planning and preparation for prescribed burns should start several months or even a year prior to a burn. The following issues represent the most common problems we encounter regarding well-intended, but poorly prepared or executed burns: Little training and experience Inadequate fine fuel Absence of a well-prepared burn plan Poorly prepared fireguards Coarse or volatile fuels too close to fireguards Impatience (related to poor decisions) Lack of training can be overcome by attending prescribed burning workshops and courses … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 16: Ask a Landowner

I dreamed for 20 years of owning a little place in the country, but my dreams always seemed a long way away. I was like a kid on the high dive with my toes over the end of the board desperately wanting to jump, but afraid I was going to do something wrong and wind up doing a belly flop instead of a dive. I knew I could do it. I had seen other people do it, but I just couldn’t overcome the uncertainty that came with having never done it before. I was afraid I was going to make a mistake. The problem is that most people will never make … [Read more...]

Foreign Landowners

Did you know that foreign persons holding an interest in U.S. farm lands are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture?  According to Nevada Farm Service Agency Executive Director, Clint Koble, "Any foreign person who acquires, transfers, or holds an interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report transactions no later than 90 days after the date of transaction."  For AFIDA (Agricultural Foreign Disclosure Act) purposes, … [Read more...]

Controlling Aquatic Vegetation with Grass Carp

Controlling aquatic vegetation with grass carp is one of the options available to pond owners with aquatic plant problems. In many situations, the use of grass carp is an economical, long lasting, and effective option. However, grass carp are not appropriate for every pond with abundant aquatic plants. Whether grass carp should be stocked in a pond or not, depends on the goals for the pond, the plant species causing problems, and the probability of grass carp escaping the pond. Grass carp should not be stocked in a pond where attracting … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 15: Land Characteristics

You would never buy something unless you understood what it was would you? You’d want to know what a tool or device was useful for, before you put it in your buggy at the home improvement store…..right? Well, before you spend a penny on land, you need to make sure you know what it IS, what it can be used for, and what its potential is. To do that, you need to understand the characteristics or the physical properties of land. I’m amazed at how many people will go and look at land, having no idea what they are looking at, and buy it, having … [Read more...]

Beware of Hazardous Materials in Barns and Shops

Growing up, I remember going to my great-uncle's farm and looking through his barn/shop. Behind the old wooden doors, jugs of herbicides and insecticides, barrels of oil and grease, tools, his welder and whatever implements or tractor he had taken apart covered the dirt floor. When the floor got in bad shape, he would occasionally throw a shovel or two of soil over the top to "clean it up." Over the many years he used that old barn, there was no telling what had dripped, leaked or been knocked over and spilled. Honestly, did any of you … [Read more...]

Different Types of Gardens

Gardens are always a nice topic to discuss but it seems to be even more pleasant to talk about these days when so many of us have been inundated with snow, ice, and frigid temperatures for the past few months.  Hoping the Groundhog was correct yesterday, we can all envision and dream of the garden warmer temperatures will bring.  But what type of garden will you plant?  Tired of the doing the same thing every year?  We have some ideas. John Fech, from the UNL Extension Service, says, "generally, a garden is a plot of ground on your acreage … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 14: Natural Resources

In my part of the country (the southeast) timber is a big part of any land buying decision. In fact timber value is often the largest single value component of the landownership process. It is also one of the most misunderstood. To maximize value of land, you must maximize the value of the natural resources of the land. To do that, you need a carefully thought out plan and some guidelines to minimize mistakes and maximize returns. For those of you in other parts of the country, timber may not be the prevalent natural resource. You may have … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 13: Buyers Agent

For most folks the land buying experience is probably a once in a lifetime event. The combination of “never done it before” and “a lot of money on the line” is scary. And, here’s the rub; how do you know how to do something that you’ve never done before, and likely will never do again? How can you possibly know all you need to know, when you aren’t sure what you really need to know? Wouldn’t it be great if you could “borrow” the knowledge and experience of someone who buys and sells land everyday? Well you can! All you have to do is to … [Read more...]

A Place of Your Own Part 12: Safety

You know sometimes it seems like we’re such a safety conscious society that we take all the fun out of everything, but when it comes to looking at land, the reality is that there are potentially dangerous (or at least uncomfortable) situations that can occur. The good news is that a few simple steps can make for a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience. Here are a few safety issues to keep in mind when heading to the woods to look at land. Make sure that somebody knows where you are going and who you are going with. Give them a map with … [Read more...]