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View Full Version : Best Solution for Mowing 20 Acres?



turbotrip
05-26-2013, 08:41 PM
I need your help figuring out the best solution for mowing 20 acres of land in Bearspaw in the NW. Its just wild vegetation until the land will be developed in 3-4 years, but the weeds get pretty wild. It costs around $3k to cut it every time right now and I'm looking for the cheapest/best solution.

Solution A: Buy a new tractor and pay some kid $15/hr to ride it around

Solution B: Buy a used tractor and pay some kid $15/hr to ride it around

Solution C: Find a cheaper person/company than the current one to mow it

Since I have no experience with this kind of stuff (tractors/acreages) I was hoping for some advice.

For new tractors here is what someone recommended:
1: Zero turn, commercial, 72"cut, price $ 16,255
2: Tractor with tow behind 72"cut lawn mower ( tractor can be used separately with loader (price not included) for snow removal $ 21,700
3: Commercial Lawn Mower Tractor (Home depot or Canadian tire lawn mower style), 60"cut, (tractor can be used separately with loader (price not included) for snow removal $14,214.

Where would I look to find a used version of something similar to these? Or is it a better idea to just buy one of these new (maintenance)? Or any recommendations for someone who will cut it for cheaper?


thanks

FraserB
05-26-2013, 09:08 PM
If the land is going to be developed, can it be assumed that it will be striped down to bare earth when the time comes?

If so, have you looked at the cost of the clearing of 3-4 years of growth at the time of development vs. constantly mowing it?

As for used tractors/mowers, Heavy Equipment Trader might be a place to start.

sxtasy
05-26-2013, 09:13 PM
http://endtimeinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Monsanto-Roundup.jpg
Monsanto style

heavyfuel
05-26-2013, 09:23 PM
http://i478.photobucket.com/albums/rr150/2500calgary/goateatingstuff_zps8ea05edf.jpg (http://s478.photobucket.com/user/2500calgary/media/goateatingstuff_zps8ea05edf.jpg.html)

spikerS
05-26-2013, 09:26 PM
FIRE!

Kidding, honestly your best option is going to be getting a small tractor with 3 decks. Your everyday ride on from Home Depot just isn't going to cut it, pun sort of intended.

If that is not an option, then some sort of landscaping may work out. Alternatively, for a property that size, maybe a couple of sheep or goats are great at keeping grass down.

AE92_TreunoSC
05-26-2013, 09:33 PM
Goats are the best answer to any question.

codetrap
05-26-2013, 09:58 PM
Have you thought about leasing it to a sheep farmer?

89s1
05-26-2013, 09:59 PM
Seriously, you gotta do the goats.

There is no other way.

Maybelater
05-26-2013, 10:17 PM
http://tennisnerd.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/b1goat001.jpg

Tomaz
05-26-2013, 10:53 PM
I have a John Deere 445 with a 54" deck. Takes me about 3-4 days and a couple cases of beer to mow the full 20 acres. I wish I had a PTO tractor. :-(

Either way, if you get a tractor, I'd happily do your mowing. :D

I do suggest sheep. They will keep things pretty controlled.

BlackRadon
05-26-2013, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by FraserB
If the land is going to be developed, can it be assumed that it will be striped down to bare earth when the time comes?

If so, have you looked at the cost of the clearing of 3-4 years of growth at the time of development vs. constantly mowing it?

As for used tractors/mowers, Heavy Equipment Trader might be a place to start.

Seems like a good option! Goats is great to. Haha

CanmoreOrLess
05-27-2013, 12:26 AM
Are you required by local laws to keep the property mowed? If so, there has to be a guy down the road who would not mind making a few bucks once a month and already has a tractor, etc.

SKR
05-27-2013, 05:43 AM
Do the math on a mower to see if it's even a viable option. 20 acres is 871,200 square feet. A 72" mower going 5mph will take 5.5 hours (72" is 6 feet, 5 miles is 26,400 feet. 871,200/(6*26400) = 5.5). Maybe you can go faster than 5mph, I don't know. A 60" mower will take another hour or more.

You say that it's all weeds, but what is it actually? Maybe it can be sold as standing hay if the land is flat enough and then it's someone else's problem. Goats will need water and a fence.

GTS4tw
05-27-2013, 06:07 AM
Originally posted by Tomaz


I do suggest sheep. They will keep things pretty controlled.

Not a good idea, goats would be much better. The problem with goats is they will eat the fence posts, fence, any buildings, hoses, feeders, water troughs...etc. They are hard to keep contained. They really will decimate the weeds though.

turbotrip
05-27-2013, 08:07 AM
lol im not buying no goddam goats/sheep/other animals.
and yea if you dont keep it maintained I believe they will have someone do it for you and send you the inflated bill just like in Calgary, so not doing it for 3-4 years is not an option.
What is the Heavy Equipment Trader? isnt there a store that sells used farm equipment like a used car dealer?

EDIT: and if any of you guys want to graze your sheep/goats on the land for free come on by!

roopi
05-27-2013, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by turbotrip

What is the Heavy Equipment Trader? isnt there a store that sells used farm equipment like a used car dealer?

www.autotrader.ca in the top menu select farm equipment.

barmanjay
05-27-2013, 08:23 AM
Find some cattle ranches and offer some free grazing land for a while

sputnik
05-27-2013, 08:31 AM
Bearspaw makes you mow undeveloped land?

speedog
05-27-2013, 08:50 AM
Have any of the people who've posted in this thread considered the costs of keeping animals or even subletting the land to a rancher?

Livestock just can't be freely turned out to pasture unless they're cattle on a large ranch which isn't the case here. Sheep and goats - higher maintenance livestock. Water will have to be provided and fencing/cross-fencing will be an issue/cost that will have to be endured/maintained - sheep, certainly an attractant for the wolves/cougars that live on Calgary's western fringes.

Cattle, OP may not be allowed to run them if this property is in fact abutting Calgary - suspect adjacent land owners (acreages) and rules would have a say here.

Simplest solution is to keep the property trimmed using mechanical means - if it's usable hay, then possibly a farmer might be interested but any great amount of weeds will negate that possibility.

turbotrip
05-27-2013, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by sputnik
Bearspaw makes you mow undeveloped land?
thats what I was told, however I strongly doubt it. but anyways we still need to keep it trimmed whether or not its required by the bylaws

D. Dub
05-27-2013, 10:01 AM
Why?

e31
05-27-2013, 10:03 AM
If you are not mowing a lawn, don't buy a lawn mower. For tall vegetation you should be looking at a flail mower unit and a used tractor with a PTO. You could chop down a bamboo forest with one of those.

Unless you want your 20 acres to look like a golf course, then buy an appropriate unit.

Tik-Tok
05-27-2013, 10:19 AM
Throw a massive party, tell your friends to throw their beer cans/bottles into the field, put 10 weed wackers on your driveway, pud an ad on kijiji in mandarin for free recyclables.

revelations
05-27-2013, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Tik-Tok
put an ad on kijiji in mandarin for free recyclables.

best
kijiji
idea
ever

FraserB
05-27-2013, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Tik-Tok
Throw a massive party, tell your friends to throw their beer cans/bottles into the field, put 10 weed wackers on your driveway, pud an ad on kijiji in mandarin for free recyclables.

Don't even need to put the cans out there. Take a weed whacker and keep anything you find.

spikerS
05-27-2013, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Tik-Tok
Throw a massive party, tell your friends to throw their beer cans/bottles into the field, put 10 weed wackers on your driveway, pud an ad on kijiji in mandarin for free recyclables.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

sxtasy
05-27-2013, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by D. Dub
Why? I would assume for surveying, and perhaps marketing purposes? Op is this land very close to Watermark?

FixedGear
05-27-2013, 04:32 PM
if you can afford it, tractor with a brush hog would be your best option IMO. you could get a big riding mower if the ground is flat enough, although the ride wouldn't be very comfortable, you might get stuck, and you may not be able to lift up your mowing deck to get over/around bumps and rocks.

turbotrip
05-27-2013, 04:56 PM
found a guy on kijiji that says he'll do it for $500-600 lol, gonna be intereting to see how this goes; i figure it cant hurt to try him out!

AndyL
05-27-2013, 04:59 PM
Mow followed by roundup then a soil sterilant... good for +/- 5years...

GTS4tw
05-27-2013, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by turbotrip
found a guy on kijiji that says he'll do it for $500-600 lol, gonna be intereting to see how this goes; i figure it cant hurt to try him out!

If he is anything like the guy my neighbor hired he will save you money in the end by burning it all down.

heavyfuel
05-27-2013, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by turbotrip
found a guy on kijiji that says he'll do it for $500-600 lol, gonna be intereting to see how this goes; i figure it cant hurt to try him out!

I had a customer today tell me that she had 3 Kijiji no shows then decided to call me lol well I hope it works out for you!

Tik-Tok
05-28-2013, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by AndyL
Mow followed by roundup then a soil sterilant... good for +/- 5years...

Roundup sucks these days. Even UFA stopped carrying the good stuff.

AndyL
05-28-2013, 08:31 AM
Yeah, gone all green and stuff, but theres still farmer available burn downs that work - some of the newer sterilants suck too; but on undisturbed ground still function...

An annual touchup spray is cheaper than mowing i would presume... Kill the green, then let the sterilant prevent new growth...

GTS4tw
05-28-2013, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by AndyL
theres still farmer available burn downs that work

Diesel? :D

m10-power
05-28-2013, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by AE92_TreunoSC
Goats are the best answer to any question.



Originally posted by 89s1
Seriously, you gotta do the goats.

There is no other way.

^ you fella's must be Scottish...

You should see if any neighbours have horses as you can lease out the land to them and they'll keep the grass down. They will pay you to do this which is a bonus.

JustinMCS
05-28-2013, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by turbotrip

thats what I was told, however I strongly doubt it. but anyways we still need to keep it trimmed whether or not its required by the bylaws

when my parents owned 4 acres in bearspaw, we got a a note once that the grass at the back of the property was too high and it needs to be trimmed....

turbotrip
05-28-2013, 02:58 PM
^ yea I found out that its not actually a restriction on the grass length but rather when the grass gets long you get a pink/purple weed growing which is harmful to humans and thats why the restriction is there


hypothetical question: if you had a monster/offroad truck, what kind of attachment would you need to buy that you can pull behind the truck and mow it all?? like a massive version of a manual lawn mower

codetrap
05-31-2013, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by turbotrip
^ yea I found out that its not actually a restriction on the grass length but rather when the grass gets long you get a pink/purple weed growing which is harmful to humans and thats why the restriction is there


hypothetical question: if you had a monster/offroad truck, what kind of attachment would you need to buy that you can pull behind the truck and mow it all?? like a massive version of a manual lawn mower http://www.promow.com/productimages/pro_series_5.jpg


http://www.mowersdirect.com/lawn/7-reel-gang-mowers.html

dubhead
06-01-2013, 09:42 AM
[i]sheep, certainly an attractant for the wolves/cougars that live on Calgary's western fringes.
[/B]

Easy fix just get a couple donkeys too they will keep predators away.