Over the past several years, central Nebraska has experienced massive flooding, violent wind storms, drought, wildfires, and invasive species and diseases, such as the emerald ash borer and pine rust.
For farmers and ranchers, and other landowners, whether commercial or residential, removing unwanted organic debris from the land is vital. It can help with flood control, minimize the threat of wildfires and deal with invasive species, among other problems.
Little more than a year ago, Nick Stueven of Grand Island was asked to do maintenance of farm properties owned by a relative. That job eventually grew into a business called Pasture Farm Maintenance and Compact Equipment Services.
Stueven also operates Interior Repair Service (IRS), which performs a variety of home and commercial repair needs, such as electrical and plumbing.
Maintaining property is a constant chore, and one that can be costly if ignored or put off, especially when it comes to the forces of nature, he said.
Stueven said when he and his father, Randy Stueven, began tackling those initial properties owned by a relative, they knew there was a lot of work to be done.
He said the only way to accomplish the job was to bring in a lot of equipment to tackle the various problems, such as removing trees and other organic debris.
“I could have rented the equipment or hired someone else to do it, but I thought, ‘Why not start doing it ourselves,’” he said.
Stueven said he purchased several pieces of essential equipment and started cleaning up. A year later, it has become a business.
Stueven said the jobs can range from cutting out overgrown trees, cleaning fence lines, cleaning weed patches where farmers store old equipment and clearing waterways.
The company’s motto is: “Have pride when people drive past your farm.”
His services include:
— Tree removal. Stueven said, unlike with larger equipment, he can help a landowner pick and choose which trees stay and which ones go. They are able to remove undesirable trees up to 42” in diameter.
— Fence line clearing. “If there’s a fence in those bushes, make a field road, add more acres, protect your pivot and other equipment, we can help do that,” Stueven said.
— Post hole auger.
— Pasture cleanup. “We can help keep your livestock safe by removing debris, filling holes and clearing trees in your pastures,” Stueven said.
— Compact equipment work. “Our equipment is small, but mighty,” Stueven said. “That allows us to get places that others can’t.”
— Recreation. “We can sculpt the perfect hunting patch and trail to get you there,” Stueven said.
— Compact sprayer. “We can pinpoint accuracy to a 12-foot width and take care of those tight spaces,” Stueven said
— Small-scale flood control. “Let us improve the drainage on your property (by) bringing dirt in and taking dirt out, or just giving it a good haircut,” Stueven said.
“I reclaim people’s land for them,” he said.
Stueven said he knows the importance of working efficiently and fast.
“Time is of the essence, and when undesirable trees and bushes are left to go even one more season, the cost of removal can grow exponentially,” he said.
That is especially true with the scope of natural calamities that have been happening in recent years from violent windstorms, flooding, drought and wildfires. And as the climate warms, there’s also the onslaught of uninvited invasive species.
Recently, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture reported the emerald ash borer in Hall and Buffalo counties. Trees die within three to five years after becoming infested, but small trees may die within one to two years.
Protecting windbreaks are important to both farmers and ranchers. Windbreaks are rows of trees or shrubs that reduce the force of the wind. They reduce soil erosion, increase crop yields and protect livestock from heat and cold. They can shield buildings and roads from drifting snow. They beautify the landscape and provide travel routes and habitat for wildlife.
But with the prevalence of drought and vicious windstorms, windbreaks can become deadly victims of wildfires, especially when there is a lot of dead organic debris lying around from years of overgrowth and not being maintained.
Stuven said the land maintenance his company provides when it comes to removing over grown and underutilized land, can “greatly impact the value and marketability of your property.”
He said Pasture Farm Maintenance and Compact Equipment Services has also established relationships with the Central Platte NRD and county weed departments to ensure their work is both effective and environmentally friendly.
For more information, visit Pasture Farm Maintenance and Compact Equipment Services’ Facebook page or call Stueven at 308-258-2773.