First time field has been planted in probably 20+ years

Asked August 13, 2019, 12:52 PM EDT

I have some vacant land in Jackson Michigan. The land has a 10 acre field that has tall grass and I am pretty sure the guy before me farmed it because when I bought it, it came with a combine and a few tractors. That was 15 years ago. Now I was thinking of planting some crops in there myself. I haven't done anything with the land in the 15 years I have had it and so it is all overgrown and the field has grass that grows about 6 ft tall every year. It is also a bit wet. I have visions in my head of this beautiful property with flowing streams and some crops but I don't know if that is possible or if the way the land is, it will always be a sloppy mess. How can I find the water that is making its way to my land and control it so it doesn't flood anyone else's land but so that I can funnel it so other areas of the property can be crops? I heard from the realtor the property has an artisan well. I don't even know if that is true but thought I would add that since it might be a factor. Right now I have done some brush hogging in a couple small areas and I am clearing a ton of old and new grass and getting down to the soil but I am worried it will all be slop if I get down to the soil and till. Somehow I think I need to find the water source and route it so I can plant.

Jackson County Michigan

2 Responses

Good Morning

The only way to tell would be to walk the property and see how wet it is. Does the property have standing water on it in the spring? It might help to brush hog the weeds now while it is dry and then the area can be examined easier. This might also help to dry out the land as it will allow the sun to penetrate to the soil surface.

What type of soil is there? Is it sandy? Or is it a very dark muck type soil? This will also give you an idea of the conditions. A artisan well would be a free flowing well that just spills water out on to the surface, although perhaps not during the drier parts of the year.

I do believe that in order to make changes to the drainage you would need to consult with the county drain commissioner.

Hope this helps

Hi Mike,

The property has a lot of standing water in the spring. Usually drier in the fall. I was thinking I could dig a pond and run the water to it. I would get with the county before actually digging a pond.

i did brush hog certain areas that were driest. The tractor did ok but would sink in certain spots. Almost like just below the root system is water. The soil is black muck. I dug a hole 5 feet from one spot where the tractor sank. It was dry and clay like but as I got closer to the spot it was loose muck.

The artisan well is a puddle whenever I go over there. I believe that is the start of my water and I can follow the water flow a little before it goes under ground. It runs like a small creek.

Now that I brush hogged some areas I will see how much those areas dry out to see if it makes sense to cut more next year. I also tilled some spots and put in seeds, hopefully something grows.