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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm looking at purchasing a peice of property in Northern Arkansas that is about 50 acres. 20 acres of the property is rolling grass fields, with the other 30 being mixture of hard and softwoods. All of the surrounding land is the same for 3+ miles with a little bit of row crop.

The primary purpose for this land is for hunting and recreation. I may eventually retire on it, but I will not be putting in 40+ hours a week to maintain it.

With that said, I'm looking for information on what the bees would like to have. Ideally, I would plant a varity of things, to keep them fat and happy for the whole year. Additionally, I'd like for them to gather excess honey for sale.

The majority of the planting will be in the grass/pasture areas. I don't intended to cut hay or graze many cattle. But, I'm not opposed to cutting little food plots in the woods to plant slower growing trees. The plants should be fairly hardy, since I will not be able to baby sit them often.

I'm leaning toward lots of clover, black berries, and fruit trees. I'm just not sure how much of each I should plant. I may also plant some walnut for investment purposes.

I realistally expect for the bees to fly off my property to gather nectar from places I can't control. But, in your perfect world. What would you plant on the 50 acres?

Thanks,
 

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Walnut is a slow growing tree and here on the Mid -Atlantic,, Maryland, cherry commands a higher price. Fast growing Lob lolly Pine will give you a pulp wood thinning cut in 10/15 yrs. another at 20/25 , then in at 30 + you can get lumber grade which is where real money is. I would plant the trees in strip and in between with various bloom date bee forage. Sweet clover is incredible!
All the harvest times are from memory and my mem not so good anymore. Your local Forestry unit I'm sure could help you with a Mgt plan. My Dad had a Tree Farm in South Carolina that I assisted with a little. He had 190 acres in Lob Pine. Paid for the land many times over.
Just some thoughts.;)
Rick
SoMd
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looks like Sainfoin is a zone 2/3 plant. The land I'm looking at is in the zone 7/5B area.

The walnuts I'm looking at would be for veneer. When I looked into it years ago, you could harvest the walnut at 8-15 years. Can't remember exactly, but I'm not set on those. Just a potential long term money maker.

I'm not sure if I'll do Cherries. I believe that some of their leaves are poisonous to live stock.

Definately looking at doing strips on trees and low growing blooming plants.

Pine is definately an option for the potential money makers, but my concerns with pine is that you need to plant it super dense. So that i grows straight with few branches. At least that is my understanding. I'm not sure how that would work out in strips. Did you plant the pines from seedlings?

There use to be alot of catalpa trees in the area, so that might be an option also.

Thanks for the replies.
 

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I've been to Northern Arkansas. :) Does anything other than trees and grass grow there? The soil that I remembered seeing was rather shale like. Not much to turn over w/ a plow and plant in.
 

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We planted 2yr old seedlings on a 8X8 grid.(I believe)As they became crowded, the harvesters went in to do a thinning. Wood went for pulp. Lobs naturally grow straight and shed their branches as they do. There's been alot of genetic improvements in those trees since I was around them. Probably grow faster. Diversification is a key to success.
Rick SoMd
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There are places in AR that are rocky, but not where I am.

It's mostly clay soil. The row crop farmers plant soy beans, corn, milo, cotton and wheat. Some rice in the flat/leveled areas.

The trees are mixture of pines, oaks, pecans, walnuts, persimmons etc...

What do you mean by 8x8 grid? My buddy has a 40 acres of pines that is about 12 years old and needs to be thinned soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hmmm the pines on my buddies place are planted alot closer together than that.

I'd guess they are trees every 2 feet or less...

I think are thinned at 8-10 years, then again later.

*shrugs*

Thanks for the clarification.
 

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divide up the acreage and plant crops that will bloom right after another crop has finished blooming to keep it up throughout the season.. do the research and contact the local county agent as to what varieties do well in that particular area
 

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up here the terain makes it so youd be payin to have it thined so they
plantin modyfyed lobs 10 x 10. an harvest once

what kinda returns are you lookin right now. you can rent out your land
an that should cover taxs each year or do portions make part of the deal he gotta plant a couple 3 plots for you.
if you got deep pockets id be lookin on buildin a irigation pond. you gota
make sure you call it a irigation pond for farm purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not "looking" for any particular return on the land. Additional revenue would be nice, but is not required. The primary goal of the land is recreational. i.e. Hunting/Camping.

The secondary goal of the land is to provide place to grow bees. Long term, there migh be some organic gardening for the local farmers market.

Currently, I'm leaning toward planting the following.

A mix of dutch and yellow sweet clover in pasture.
In the clover fields, I'll plant loblolly pines with a circular weed mats on 8x8 grid.
Several rows of blackberries/blue berries.
20+ Peach and Plum Trees.

Misc food plots for the deer.

There is or will be a pond on the place. The pond will be stocked with catifsh and fathead minnows. Long term, I'll have an irrigation well installed if needed. Additionally, I may dig some smaller ponds to raise koi for the wife. She loves her current koi pond and they seem to have a "potential" to make money.

As for plant irrigation, I'm leaning toward a gravity fed system that will pump from the pond into the holding tank out to the water lines.

On a side note,

If anyone has suggestions for a money making adventures. I'm all ears, but most land based profits I have seen require a lot of time.
 

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I'm north of you (S.W. Mo.) i have tried planting pine trees on some hunting property i own to only have the deer riddle them when they get three ft. tall.:pinch: In my area it takes walnut more than 15 yrs. to get big enough to harvest. Trees for bee forage, you probably already have redbud, wild plum,and persimmon,the tulip popular, black locust and most fruit trees are also good. In my area we have gooseberry vines, sumac (4 different types) poison ivy ( bees do work it) and lots of different wild mints, these are probably in your area also. But like someone else said, you can't beat sweet clover for bee forage in our area.:thumbsup:. Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I look at Sainfoin the other day. I could have sworn that it wasn't sutable for my area, Zone 7.

Would it feasible to mix dutch clover, sweet yellow clover, and sainfoin into a spreader and cover the pasture.

Or would one of the plants out compete the other?

Ideally, I'll run the tractor though with a disc to break up the ground them I'll spread the seeds. Then I was going to pull a peice of chainlink, or hit them with the disc again. Might look at using the drill, but I dunno if clover seed is a good Candidate for that.

Any one out there planting clover? Other than a spread and pray method?
 
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