400 acres, 40 miles away.

I have been offered 400 acres of good arable land 40 miles away. It’s in decent sized fields averaging about 22 acres and not too many awkward ones. It’s got ok grain storage with an ancient drier. There’s a couple of other barns too, nothing special. Think it is just being offered to me at the moment and I think I could probably get it on an ok deal. It’s about an hour to get to in a car.
My heart says go for it but my head says don’t. Is anyone else farming at this sort of distance? It’s in a different direction to anything else I farm. I would love to have a go at it but I just foresee lots of difficulties so I’m probably going to say no. Any thoughts from the tff collective?
Can your current drilling, spraying and harvesting capacity cope with the extra? (Spraying capacity being the most important IMO)
I think if I did it I would use contractor for spraying and all liquid fert. Drilling would be ok. Combining might be a bit tricky, I’m cutting about 2900 acres now with one machine, but again there are plenty of contractors about who could do a bit here and there.

I am more worried about the general management of it because inevitably I won’t see as much of this land as I do land next door.
You’re farming 2900 already and you are considering 400 acres 40 miles away. Ask yourself why you want that 400 and then ask yourself again no really why do you want it? There is only one sensible answer.
You did ask!
22 acre field size is small in my book.
It’s a friend’s farm and he has asked me which is the reason I’m considering it. I think I’m going to say no but it’s not often you get an offer like this so I really want to make sure I’ve really thought about every angle.


I farm 500 acres 20 miles from me. Its all cropped on as simple a system as I can do. Wheat, osr and spring barley. I don’t do anything fancy, the fields tend to be blocked together but this is flexible as I do multiple years of SB on bad black grass fields. I don’t go there with a tractor unless I have at least a days work for it unless it’s a spraying emergency which is usually OSR related.

Over the years I have cultivated a couple of the locals who will go out and look for things slugs and flea beetles being the biggest problems. I have a good agronomist and we plan allowing for me not always being able to get there at the perfect time. 1 example be the distant farm will nearly always have a T0 on wheat, my own farm will probably not have it. It is an insurance.

I would go for the deal. If it doesn’t work you can give up the land, you won’t know unless you try.

If you can block crop it
One days spraying if organised
Is it earlier or later than your home area less windy ect
If it is a friend who has is farming it then you are not coming from an dead start

400 acres with buildings and water in the middle 20 miles away is easier than bare land 4 miles away


40 miles is a long way. I used to manage 1000 acres 18 miles away from my base and used a contractor for spraying and fertilising. It took some planning and an extra forklift & frankly I’m not sure I’d do it again. If you’ve got Fastracs and good road links or your own lorry and low loader it’s possible but will take a disproportionate amount of your time.


North Wilts
It’s a friend’s farm and he has asked me which is the reason I’m considering it. I think I’m going to say no but it’s not often you get an offer like this so I really want to make sure I’ve really thought about every angle.
If its a friends farm, and you already realise that you're not going to be able to give it the care and attention that you can give to land closer by, then I'd pass rather than risk your friendship over any perceived lack of care of the place. If it was a third party, and it was an entirely financial decision (can I make enough out of it to justify the extra hassle?) then its different. But if its a friends place and he's going to be looking at crops that maybe don't look as good as they could because of the distance factor, then is he the sort to be able to separate business (the rent cheque coming in on time) and friendship (any feelings he might have that a friend 'should be looking after the place better')?

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