how many bales per acre? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 02/18/07, 07:42 PM
Natureschild's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 118
how many bales per acre?

I can't seem to find any info on-line.

In a hay field, on average, how many small squares, large squares or rounds do you get per acre?

Also, if you had 10 acres and say 5-10 horses, would you set aside any of the land for hay? and the horses could go on it in the winter or after cutting.

Or would it be more economical to pasture the horses on the largest acrage possible and just buy hay?

thanks

__________________

Its a gift to simple, its a gift to be free

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02/18/07, 07:55 PM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
More dharma, less drama.
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
Posts: 30,195

It depends on what kind of grass, your rainfall, sunlight, fertilizer, temperatures, etc etc. That's why you can't find info.

If you don't already own hay equipment, it's better to pasture the horses and buy hay.

That's too many horses for your acreage anyway.

__________________

Alice
* * *
"No great thing is created suddenly." ~Epictitus

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02/18/07, 08:06 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natureschild
I can't seem to find any info on-line.

In a hay field, on average, how many small squares, large squares or rounds do you get per acre?

Also, if you had 10 acres and say 5-10 horses, would you set aside any of the land for hay? and the horses could go on it in the winter or after cutting.

Or would it be more economical to pasture the horses on the largest acrage possible and just buy hay?

thanks
You assume that we know a lot about you and your needs.

Wrong.

The question has no answer as asked. We do not know where you are (guess it's a secret), how much rainfall you get, what kind of grasses that you have, and what kinds of soil you have for starters. We also do not know anything about your horses. If we had a little of the above info we could probably give you some kind of an answer.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02/18/07, 08:20 PM
Natureschild's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 118

ooookaaaaayyyy

any one have an intelligent thoughts on how many bales can come off an acre?
Just a rough estimate is all Im asking.

What do you hay cutters get off of your fields?

__________________

Its a gift to simple, its a gift to be free

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02/18/07, 08:23 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,245

If it's like everything else, it'll be about 25 % of what you would like..........IF you WORK at it!

just joking.......sorta.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02/18/07, 08:35 PM
mtman's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: AR
Posts: 2,259

big round bails per acre aqbout 5 and thats about 1000 lbs per bail a sq. bail is around 50 lbs give or take

__________________

Don't complain, just do it


Last edited by mtman; 02/18/07 at 08:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02/18/07, 08:50 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 7,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natureschild
ooookaaaaayyyy

any one have an intelligent thoughts on how many bales can come off an acre?
Just a rough estimate is all Im asking.

What do you hay cutters get off of your fields?
We cannot read your mind.

They say there are no dumb questions.

So, it can range from 20 square bales (or less) per acre in a bad year in dry country, to 500+ bales in heavy alfalfa in good weather with 4-5 cuttings a year.

Your question is as meaningless as my answer.

It will depend on your climate, type of hay, rainfall, soil fertility, and how far north or south you are.

This why you can't find any info on the internet - it is _highly_ variable depending on your own situation.

You gave _no_ reply when asked for more info.

Help us help you.

Where are you, what kinda rain, soil, and hay do you have?


Cutting your pasture into 2-3 acre partitions and rotating your horses so each partition gets 28-30 days of rest between grazings will give you the best, most pasture. Buy your baled hay. Best $$$ way for you to go.

In many locations, you will have too many head for the amount of land you have, and will end up with very little grass to come back for future years. But, since you refuse to answer anyone & we don't know where you live, can't really help you with that part.

One big pasture this is what happens: The horses eat an acre or 2 of it. The rest gets kinda big. They eat another acre of it, then the rest is really kinda stemmy. They like the tender new growth, so they go back & eat the first 2 acres again. This makes 1/2 of your pasture real stemmy & weedy, and the horses don't eat it. They continue to re-graze that small tender spot, & basically kill off the grass by overgrazing it. Then the weeds come in.

Next year, you have a mess.

You want rotational grazing. Force the critters to eat 25-35 day old plots, clean them up. It will give you _much_ more pasture available, and much healthier grass with less weeds.

Another thing to do is help people out when they are trying to help you.

--->Paul
__________________

Last edited by rambler; 02/18/07 at 08:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02/18/07, 09:23 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: lat 38 23' 25" lon -84 17' 38"
Posts: 3,050

The answer to your question, part III, sub paragraph i, section 2, d. is........4?

__________________

"Only the rocks [and really embarassing moments] live forever"

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands..." tick-tick-tick

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02/18/07, 09:38 PM
mtman's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: AR
Posts: 2,259

we fenced in 8 acres for hay only we do not let the animals on it thats the best way

__________________

Don't complain, just do it

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02/18/07, 10:25 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 7,188

Here where 2 cuttings of grass hay are norm, & 3-4 cuttings of alfalfa in a year...

It is common to cut the first cutting on some of your land, and then graze it later after it regrows. The grass really seems to like that, some manure gets returned, weeds seem to be better controlled.

In a dry climate, that might not work well at all. It's always interesting to see how things get done in different parts of the world.

--->Paul

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02/19/07, 01:07 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SW MO
Posts: 278

there is a big difference between north and south or in-between. my land in KS gets about 5-7 round bales in one cutting (i'm lucky) per acre with no fertilizer. my cousin in AR gets two cuttings a year and around 10-12 ( don't know his fertilizing)per acre.

don't forget about microclimates and water runoff. my place in KS is situated where it is in a valley and get runoff from at least 15 acres.

__________________

-when life gives you lemons, find a big slingshot!!!-

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02/19/07, 04:00 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154

If you put 10 horses on 10 acres, there will be no hay to make. You will have to buy hay all winter, and in most of the US you will also have to buy some hay to supplement the pasture most of the summer.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02/19/07, 06:05 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 104
Extension office

Time for a call to your local extension office. The extension agent may be able to give you an answer as to what hay yields are for your area.

__________________

Two cents worth given, don't expect change.

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02/19/07, 06:16 AM
minnikin1's Avatar
Shepherd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Central NY
Posts: 1,658

grass fed guesstimate 1 acre = 3 tons forage
3 tons feeds a 1000lb critter for 6 months

this was listed as average for state of WI in an article from the organic broadcaster. (10 mistakes)

How many bales you can get from a ton depends on how big/heavy your bales are.

Plan to feed by weight, not by number of bales.

__________________
Hut on the Hill Farm
http://www.hutonthehill.org
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02/19/07, 06:32 AM
doohap's Avatar
Another American Patriot
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Living in the Metroplex. Moving to the country in Oct. 2009.
Posts: 2,313

We've got almost ten acres in pasture in northeast Texas ... sandy soil ... Bahaia grass ... little bermuda mixed in down on a berm. This past year, with drought, we cut 36 bails. Not much ....

We will be having the soil tested and will probably overseed with some vetch next time 'round. We've got quite a bit already on the property. No real problems with erosion or weeds. We let a couin's cattle (in adjacent fields) in once this past summer. Adds a little fertilizer, birds scratch it around (crows and egrets, for now. Chickens someday). We will be using organic practices on our place and are, for the moment, trying to let the land rest from overgrazing and neglect. We've divided the pasture into three smaller ones. They are approximately one-and-one-half acres, three acres and six acres. Right now we're just tending the grass. Hopefully some of the moisture we've acquired in the recent weeks will help the area. Hopefully we'll continue to get adequate rainfall to see us to a generous crop next year.

__________________
"I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about." -- Psalm 3:6, KJV

Freedom Advocates: Recognize Unalienable Rights

Last edited by doohap; 02/19/07 at 06:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02/19/07, 07:45 AM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
More dharma, less drama.
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
Posts: 30,195

I suspect the original post was from a young person just starting out in homesteading or thinking about homesteading. Sooooooooooo much to learn about dreams that don't fit with reality.

__________________

Alice
* * *
"No great thing is created suddenly." ~Epictitus

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02/19/07, 08:13 AM
Natureschild's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by siouxsie
How about;

"How many square bales do you make per acre, on any given average year per cutting?"

Maybe thats a bit more clear to those who didn't grasp the OP question.

They just want some average numbers, from various places.

YES!!!!

Please refer to this question, that is what I was trying to say in too many words.

I do not have land yet, I am on the prowl


The land I am hopeful about is clayish soil, not sure about drainage, gets a good amount of rainfall, lots of snow, one side is bordered by stream.

but this place is expensive, so bid will probably not be accepted, I could land just about anywhere.
my main goal is about 10 acres. I would just like to do some planning, or maybe dreaming for now. Spring is a coming and I am anxious
__________________

Its a gift to simple, its a gift to be free

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02/19/07, 08:17 AM
Natureschild's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 118
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Cents Worth
Time for a call to your local extension office. The extension agent may be able to give you an answer as to what hay yields are for your area.
this will be a helpful tidbit when I find a place, thanks.

and thanks so far to those who have shared what they know about thier area.

Like I always tell my daughter when she is suffering angst about kids touching her toys "Sharing is hard, but it doesnt hurt you to give a little"
__________________

Its a gift to simple, its a gift to be free

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02/19/07, 08:33 AM
Jennifer L.'s Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: New York bordering Ontario
Posts: 4,510

Depends an awful lot on where you are located. Where I am, I have "seedings" over 40 years old that generally produce two tons on a normal year. That's with absolutely no input, just going out and cutting once a year. It's mixed timothy with trefoil and clover in some fields, others are more smooth broome grass with trefoil.

So that would give you 90 small square bales per acre (50#) depending on the year here.

You have to say WHERE YOU ARE to get good answers.

Jennifer

__________________

-Northern NYS

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02/19/07, 10:02 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 7,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natureschild
Like I always tell my daughter when she is suffering angst about kids touching her toys "Sharing is hard, but it doesnt hurt you to give a little"

Yup, the more you share with us, the more help you will get.

Making hay in the western USA is very different from making hay in the eastern USA. It is done differently, very different yields.

Then from there it will depend on how much rain you get in an average year.

Then it depends on the local soil - most of the time good soil is used for crops; if you are buying an old pasture then there was something wrong with it - shallow soil, too dry, rocky, worn out, etc. All of these things limit hay growth - less than average for the area.

Then it depends on what you do with the ground. Are you going to fertilize & lime it as needed, and seed in better forages? That can double your hay yields, but it requires you to keep after it from year to year.

Sounds like you will be looking at 10 acres total. Some of that land will be house, buildings, garden, trees perhaps. Will you have even 7 acres left for the actual pasture?

Things to consider.

If you don't want to buy much feed, if you have a damper climate (which you aren't telling us where, but hinting at...) you might consider 2 acres to be a starting point per animal. You may only need 1/2 acre, but if you are in South Dakota in a dry cycle you might need 15+ acres per animal.

Winter stockpiling of grasses is nice, but it doesn't work for me with the 5 months of serious winter & deep snow I get. Works ok just 400 miles away from me.

The more info you share, just like your advise, the better advise you will get. Reap what you shall sow.

--->Paul
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:55 PM.