Gemstone Ranch Services LLC
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Q & AResourcesQ & A

What things should I consider when evaluating hiring a custom operator?
The availability of custom operators, quality of work and their timeliness in completing the work when they said they could. Each client needs to determine the risk associated with timeliness and quality of work. These risks vary by crop, location, conditions of land, goals and competition in the custom services market. Consider what services you are requiring; mowing a field or pasture or planting.
General Questions and Answers
I want to re-plant a pasture; can I just spread the seed by a broadcast spreader?
It is beneficial to reseed a pasture about every 3 to 4 years depending on how heavy it is grazed. Once the soil is prepared (loosened) you can broadcast the seed. There is a lower germination rate of the seed from broadcasting and loss to birds.  I would recommend Drill Seeding a majority or the time, as it places the seed at the appropriate depth for better germination. Broadcast spreading is more applicable for patch seeding small  areas and should be raked or dragged to place some cover over the seed.
How often should I mow a pasture or a dry field to manage a fire hazard?
Volatile and uncertain fuel prices in recent years can and does affect custom rates. Costs are evaluated to determine rates charged by a custom operator normally include: Cost of machinery ownership, Insurance, Repairs and Maintenance, Fuel Consumption by each implement utilized, a Labor Rate and a Profit.
Why should I consider hiring a custom operator?
How productive can I expect my field or pasture to be?
I have a lot of weeds in my pasture which I would like to eliminate, can you address them?
How are custom rates determined?
Hiring a custom operator provides a reasonable way to accomplish work when time or machinery is lacking. Prevailing conditions such as weather, field shape and size, the presence of rocks, and other factors affecting ease or difficulty of operation should be considered. Where a neighbor simply may have the equipment and time to trade work or to provide services for a fee. A custom operator would have provide the experience and specialized equipment for the job.
Gemstone Ranch Services LLC does not provide any weed spraying services, however we can provide you with referral’s to qualified services that can assist you in managing your weeds or identifying noxious weeds. See Resource page.
As livestock grazes on a pasture they tend to eat the most tender blades of grass and ignore the coarser grasses leaving areas of clumps. Mowing a pasture will facilitate more even grazing, and provide a healthier appearance.  On average once every 4 weeks, depending on how heavily it is grazed. Dry fields should be kept mowed down to at least 6 inches to prevent a fire hazard, and it is recommended that in some areas a fire break should be considered for safety. Even Disking a fire break perhaps.
Irrigation is essential to crop production throughout southwestern Idaho. Farming practices are comparable across much of southwestern Idaho, however, field size and shape, soil conditions, water availability and land slope are influential. Dryland farming  is utilized in parts of Southwestern Idaho, however, it results in a lower production rate.  So it depends on your individual land.