As you may recall SWMBO and I bought 76 acres back in the summer with the intent of building a house on it. 22 acres of the 76 is tillable and was leased to a farmer. Soybeans are planted. As a part of our real-estate agreement, the seller was to terminate their handshake lease with the farmer, although they would be allowed to harvest their 2018 crop. A couple reasons for that, one is we're going to build a house in the one field. And two is we have a relationship with someone else we know and trust that will lease the property at a higher rate, and take better care of it going forward than the visible evidence shows it has been to date.
Now for the non-county people in here, the soybean harvest typically starts in late September around here and runs into November. The ones on our property have been ready for harvest since the 1st week of October give or take a few days.
Around then, we got a call from the current lesse telling us he was going to plant winter wheat after he harvested the beans. He had only found out we bought the property from the sellers' brother, and had to look us up in the phonebook as the seller never told him. I explained in no uncertain terms that his lease was terminated, and I wouldn't be signing one with anyone until spring when we got things figured out with the house. He whined about he had already purchased seed and fertilizer and I explained that it wasn't my problem.
Fast forward, or slow forward as the case may be. And his crops are still in my fields. It has been a wet fall, but in the meantime, 96%+ of the soybean crop in Indiana has been harvested according to the USDA. We've had some wind storms and an ice storm that took out power for 59 hours. The crop is literally rotting in the field at this point. The storm damage has a large portion of the stalks laying on the ground, the wet weather is rotting the beans in their pods, and the deer, well you could say they are soy fed.
In the meantime, I'm literally at a standstill on the housing project. We can't put in our driveway, cause it is going to go through the field. I can't get my septic sites surveyed, cause the Health Dept won't do it on a field with crops in it. So I can't get my percolation test for the septic. I can't finalize siting the house and its plans without shooting grades, on and on and on.
I've been in touch with the guy repeatedly. He keeps blowing me off, next week, next week. He knows he's holding me up. The latest is that he doesn't even plan to attempt to harvest until theirs a hard freeze. Of course, a hard freeze puts a stop to any dirt work or septic surveys I might have wanted to do this fall. I'm sure he knows this as he works for one of the excavation companies around here that do that type of work.
Page 3 reveal maybe. The farmer we're going to be working with, in the future, was in his last fields on Thanksgiving day to finish up. Those happen to be my Mother-In-Laws fields. He had a combine running for 12 hours or so that day to get done before his crop degraded farther. That's about a 1/4 mile from me and similar terrain, so I know with 100% certainty, my fields have been harvestable repeatedly in the last few months. Add in the USDA stopped tracking crop harvest progress at 96% the week of 11/26 because they consider it complete, or lost at that point in Indiana.
So what would the PHBT do? I'm at the end of my rope here. I'm about to lose any possibility of construction until spring. It's not the end of the world, but it will have schedule impacts come spring.
I'm considering contracting my driveway to be built. Without a hard gravel driveway, I will not have access this winter or until it dries out in the spring. The farm driveway, grass surface has been fine until the growing season stopped. After that, it's just wearing out, which is understandable. My 4x4 F-150 gets in and out, but I'm doing damage and I can see the day coming where I only my tractor gets in. SWMBO's Traverse can't do it now. I can keep the driveway disruption to probably an acre or less of the crop if I shorten it from the final destination.
I figure for sure once I hit 1/1/19 and it's frozen, I'm headed in with my tractor and bush hog and clearing the house site so I can get elevations, finish plans etc.
Am I an asshole? Should I be doing something different?