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How to Reclaim Farm Land

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Overgrown land that is full of trees, shrubs and debris can provide the space needed to grow your food or graze your livestock. Removing the barriers and reclaiming the land for your farm is a long, labor-intensive process. First you must focus on the complete clearing of the existing land. Once the land is cleared it must be built up and conditioned with high grade top soil and fertilizer. After the process is complete your reclaimed farmland will be ready for crops.

Cut down the trees on the property with a chainsaw. Leave each stump less than 12 inches higher than the surface of the surrounding ground. Fell each tree, remove its branches, and cut it into firewood. Haul the firewood to an area you have chosen for storage. Stack the firewood until you are ready to use it, or sell it.

Adjust the teeth on your skid loader bucket so that they are parallel to the ground. Drive your skid loader slowly forward keeping the bucket 2-3 inches above the ground to uproot bushes and small trees. Push the vegetation to your loading spot and place it into your dump truck to be hauled away. Be careful and take your time when clearing away brush so that you can avoid stumps and other areas that can damage or trap your skid loader.

Approach each stump with your stump grinder. Start the machine and chip away a few inches of the stump at a time. Grind each stump from the top down. Dig into each stump and grind away the wood to eight inches below the surface of the surrounding ground.

Place debris from the property into the bucket of your skid loader. Fill the bucket and place the debris into your dump truck so that it can be hauled away. Remember to haul trash and construction debris in a load separate from loads of brush and branches.

Haul top soil to your property with your dump truck. Deposit dump truck loads of top soil onto the ground around your property. Leave 10 feet of space between the loads to give you room to spread the soil.

Push over the piles of top soil with your skid loader. Knock each pile down to fill in the spaces between piles. Adjust your skid loader bucket so that the teeth are pointing down. Lower the bucket until the teeth are covered with top soil. Back the skid loader slowly to contour the soil to the desired shape. Be sure to provide a slight slope to the property for proper drainage. Raise the bucket and drive the skid loader back and forth over the new top soil to compress it to prevent erosion.

Pour fertilizer pellets into your spreader. Walk back and forth, pushing the spreader to deposit fertilizer pellets over the entire property. Leave the soil and fertilizer undisturbed for 2 weeks before planting on your new farm land.


Hearing protection, work gloves, and safety glasses are required for this project.

About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.

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