From Antivist

In choosing the farm, it is essential that not the total area conveyed by the deed or contract be considered, but the area available profitable use. Any additional land may be a liability instead of an asset, since often the returns do not pay the taxes.

Another factor is ease of cultivation. Steep land is hard to cultivate with machinery, time consuming by hand. The physical condition of the soil should receive first attention. High grade farms can get into poor condition through a few years of mismanagement. To correct such damage usually takes several years.

Shallow soil is a liability. It would be cold and wet in spring, the water table close to the surface. Later it dries out rapidly and bakes hard. It is quickly affected by drought. Test for depth with a soil augur.

Check natural drainage of soils. Do ponds form in areas of the fields during wet weather?

How are the buildings arraned with relationship to the fields?

Is the area large enough to produce a profitable volume of business?

Is the soil suited to the crops to be grown or the animals to be reared and to produce a profit?

Are the natural resources with respect to sales of products favorable to the development of a profitable business?

to be of productive value land, buildings, and equipment must contribute their quotas of income.

Factors that contribute to farm income

  • Profit on the uses of the land.
  • Profit on the working capital.
  • Profit on the personal and hired labor employed.

How to Tell Whether the Land is Good

  • Beech, sugar maple, Hickory, Black Walnut, and White Oak trees of large size indicate rich land.
  • White Pine Scrub Oak, and scrawny trees of most species are typical of poor land.
  • Extra thrifty willows, poplars, and Alder, and Elder Bushes suggest too much water, and probably need of drainage.
  • Healthy green weeds indicate good land
  • Pale, sickly colored, scrawny weeds, are ekeing out a miserable existence.
  • An abundance of sheep sorrel - small plants with spear-head- shaped leaves with a tart taste especially if the plants are puny, the land is not only short of plant food, but is acid, a condition not favorable to most cultivated crops, but easily corrected with lime.
  • Ox-eye daisy, wild carrot, and mullein in abundance and poorly developed, indicate lack of humus as well as fertility and prove that the land has been badly mismanaged, for these plants cannot stand either rich soil or rational tillage.
  • If the farm looks to be mismanaged, but the neighbors land has good crops, there will be the hope that it may be reclaimed and made as good as the best in the vicinity.
  • A slope toward the south is almost always the warmest so is best suited to greenhouses, hotbeds, and coldframes, outdoor early crops and poultry raising.
  • A slope toward the north retards growth, but less likely to be destroyed by frosts when a cold snap follows a warm spell in winter and early spring.
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