How to Make Money Clearing Land

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Clearing land
Clearing land (Image: Gary Lorenz)

There are several methods to making money by clearing land. Land owners and saw mills are just two entities that are willing to pay for the results of this process. By becoming knowledgeable about the income possibilities and proper execution of clearing land you can increase your profits and prepare your parcel for a plethora of purposes, some of which offer an income.

Things You'll Need

  • Land parcel
  • Heavy machinery
  • Seed
  • Logging company

Determine what value your land can provide by being cleared. You can get an estimate of the value of standing timber on your land by contacting various logging companies. Do not trust the estimate of one individual but acquire several estimates from a variety of companies and you will come up with a more accurate idea of the value of your timber.

Decide if timber on your land can be harvested to sell to a logging company in exchange for clearing your land and removing debris. In the process of acquiring estimates of the standing timber, logging companies will likely offer you a price for them to come in and clear the land. As the land owner you have the right to select which trees you want cut and which ones you want to be left standing.

Take advantage of government subsidies that pay land owners for not growing crops. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) provides subsidies to land owners whose land falls under a specific list of guidelines. The land owner must agree to a 10- or 15-year contract that stipulates the land will not be used for agriculture during that time. You can find more information on whether your land qualifies for this program by going to the link provided in the Resources section of this guide.

Plant a garden for personal use and sale. This will make good use of vacant land, provide your family with inexpensive produce and allow you to sell the commodities for extra cash.

Erect storage units and charge a monthly fee. Storage units are fairly inexpensive to produce and erect. The income from renting out these units is usually enough to cover property taxes, utilities and even produce a profit. Make sure that your land is zoned for this use before you plan to build.

Plant grass and hay seed for use as feed. If you have cattle or horses it may be beneficial to grow these crops on vacant land. You can also sell any unused hay.

Lease your land to a farmer for grazing. Many farmers will pay you to allow their animals to graze on your land. You may want to consider placing an ad in your local paper or agricultural trade journal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the reputations of logging companies before signing any contracts. You may want to speak with former clients to get a feel for their work.
  • Make sure that you acquire any necessary permits from your county before building or erecting any foundation.

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