With that simple country wisdom that comes from years of dependence on the rhythms of Mother Nature old farmers used to say “buy farm in August.” Experience had taught them that a farm or any kind of land is going to give you a better picture of its potential, opportunities and challenges it poses at the end of the growing season, but before frost.
The density of the foliage will show where the rich soil is as well as where it is thin and marginal. Whether it’s a stream, stock pond, spring or irrigation well; you get a true picture of what kind of water supply you can count on at the end of a long hot summer and before the fall rains begin.
At that time of year you will be able to see if there are overgrown areas that you want to reclaim or bring back into production and the crisp cool days between the first frost of the fall and the last frost in spring are the best time for that kind of work. Visibility is better than because the foliage is gone and you can do more work in less time and have those areas ready for the next season.
If soil needs to be tilled in the fall to prepare for the next crop year you’ll have plenty of time. You also have good visibility in areas where you may want to create a wildlife habitat or prevent wildlife from damaging crops. In most areas of the country you can plant late season food plots and get a good head start on a long-term wildlife plan by buying that time of year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “the years teach much which the days never knew,” and so it is with buying a farm late in the annual cycle. You see the whole picture, the sum of the good days and bad, the wind, rain and sun. Seeing the way the land reacted to the previous cycle allows you to identify its strengths and weaknesses and identify a property that is right for you.
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