Hay and haying equipment

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SueMc, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. SueMc

    SueMc Well-Known Member

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    We have 13 acres in new grass hay on our property. In a couple of years we will have double that when the CRP contract runs out. We have gone crazy this year trying to find a farmer who is not too busy to cut and bale our hay. We finally found someone but the hay will be near the end of it's prime baling time.
    My question is; if we buy our own mowing, conditioning, baling equipment (already have a tractor), will we ever "break even" or pay for the cost of the equipment (new, unless we luck into decent used equip). We're beginning to think we might be better off using the fields as pasture and buying hay (horses, mules and a couple of beef steers in the future). Any opinions are greatly appreciated! We have come to the conclusion that we need our own equip. or don't cut for hay at all.
    Thank you!
     
  2. InvalidID

    InvalidID Too Complicated For Cable

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    Are there any rental areas near you? I know a few guys here that rent the equipment for a weekend or two at a time to get their hay in.
     

  3. time

    time Well-Known Member

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    For 13 acres, or even 20, no the equipment will not pay for itself if bought new. Not in a reasonable amount of time anyway.

    Old equipment could be worth it but be prepared to spend allot of time and money fixing it.

    Of course, you've found a market. If interested, it might be worhtwhile to buy new and do custom hay work. You'd have to have allot of time on your hands to do it though.
     
  4. SueMc

    SueMc Well-Known Member

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    Time, DH has thought about doing custom baling, if we buy equipment but a farmer friend of his told him he might not be so thrilled with that job. We did hear about a used mower/conditioner for sale nearby so might be able to gather up all the equipment by next year. If we could stay with the guy who finally said he'd do our hay this year, we'd skip the purchases...until he couldn't do it anymore. I just hate being dependent on anyone.
    Invalid, I've not seen any haying equip for rent around here but need to inquire more closely. We just didn't think we'd have this much trouble. Unfortunately, the grass is ready when the guys are the busiest in their own fields.
    Thanks for the ideas.
     
  5. time

    time Well-Known Member

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    Custom haying can be/is a pain.
     
  6. J.T.M.

    J.T.M. Well-Known Member

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    Sue , I am in the same boat as you.Grass is ready ,farmer is'nt.Its been like this for 10 years now.I think it has finily sunk into my thick skull ....I need my own equipment.I know it will never pay off ,but like you ,i hate being dependent others.
     
  7. JWK

    JWK Well-Known Member

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    I had a ten acre plot of good grass I was looking at and ran into the same issues that you are running into now. I also determined that the only real way I could get good hay of the property was to do it myself.

    The only cost effective way I could come up with was the BCS two wheeled tractor. I did the math for my area and determined that four years was the break even point. I think that's awfully good for buying new equipment and having that kind of control over your hay.

    On the other hand, not many people are willing to walk 10 - 15 acres behind a two wheel tractor. Cutting, then raking, then baling. A lot of walking. Also slow, compared to what we are used to. I would do it, but that's me. I wouldn't think ill of anyone thinking that's not such a good idea.

    I don't know of any regular cutting and baling equipment that's cost effective for such small acreage. Too bad they don't make mini hay equipment to fit my BX-24. That would be a treat.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    New won't pay but good used will. Shop very carefully. New Holland is a good name to remember, but there are others.
     
  9. achrap

    achrap Well-Known Member

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    I make two acres of hay. No one wants to deal with that little amount. I finally purchased all the equipment needed in very used condition. Here in Ohio (Amish country) there are many machinery sales, several times a year. People from other states come here to purchase their equipment. You can be set up with all of it for under $10,000.00. A lot less if you are mechanically proficient. If you cant fix it yourself (even newer equipment fails),you can be in trouble. This time of year the dealers are very far behind. Hay can not wait for a servicemen to show up, and who can afford the $75.00 per hour.
     
  10. TripleD

    TripleD Well-Known Member

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    SueMc how do you know they wont renew that CRP contract? I had a family member with over 100 acres renewed last year. You might be able to find someone to cut and bail on halves. Thats done around here all the time.
     
  11. Badger

    Badger Well-Known Member

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    I do about the same amount of acreage as you have with a modified bush hog ( left side rear cut out) and a NewHolland rake and a pine straw baler to make hay for my own use. It makes excellent hay but is very slow. I can make about 40 bales a day but they are only about 45 lb. bales. Works good for my rabbits and goats though, but pretty slow. They stack good, and keep good, and my animals like it better than feed store hay. There's no way I could justify the cost of even a used baler for my purposes. The pine straw baler workes real good, you just have to be willing to spend the time.
     
  12. J.T.M.

    J.T.M. Well-Known Member

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    10 k is way to high unless that price also includes tractor .People use to do shares around here, but like the way grampa farmed ,saddly thats in the past....
     
  13. J.T.M.

    J.T.M. Well-Known Member

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    Link please.......
     
  14. achrap

    achrap Well-Known Member

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    J.T.M. I did not spend that much, I was referring to ready to go equipment. My cost: Haybine $750.00, Tedder $800.00, Rake $650.00, Baler $900.00. I use flat bed trailer to carry it. A wagon (not kicker) can be had for $600.00.
     
  15. J.T.M.

    J.T.M. Well-Known Member

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    This is more in line with my thinking.....

    Any regrets ?
     
  16. Badger

    Badger Well-Known Member

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    link to what ?
     
  17. achrap

    achrap Well-Known Member

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    Badger, 40 bales a day? My two acres I just put away yielded 250 bales. It would have taken me six days to bale that based on your 40 bales per day. Ten acres would take a month to bale, or did I misunderstand you. I also used a brush hog for several years, the problem is that it tends to destroy the leaves on the Alfalfa.
     
  18. J.T.M.

    J.T.M. Well-Known Member

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    Id like to learn more about your bailer.Can you give a brand name so I can look it up?
     
  19. Badger

    Badger Well-Known Member

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    Well, I don't have alfalfa , and I'm only telling you what my experience is, I've been doing it for a few years now and that's a pretty good averege. I use a bush hog, New Holland rake. Pick it up on a trailer loose, move it to a shade tree and bale it with a pine straw baler, by hand. I get about 40 bales a day average.
     
  20. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I haver never heard of anyone renting out their equipment. At the costy of good eqwuipment who in their right mind would let an inexperienced person use it.

    I have a 1934 CC Case tractor that my grandad bought. I wont even let people set on it. I have a 48 H Farmall, and a 1950 Cub Farmall that once was painted white when new, for a year. I have 2 horse mowers that work, both 6ft, ones a MH, the others an IHC. I havew 2 steel wheeled side rakes that work, Ones a JD, the others a Case. I have a Dump rake, I have a loose, and a bale type hay loader. I have a 1960 140 Casae bailer that wont tie right. I could fix it, but I cant find anybody alive who knows about them, so Im still trying to fix it. Other than the bailer, everything else runs good. I also have a 40s IHC simi mount 7ft mower. 2 flat bed trailers.
    Alla this is OLD old used equipment. I wouldnt rent it out for ANY amount of money that anybody would be willing to pay. Ive got along without money for most of my life, I dfont need it now.

    Like some others in here, when I came to Okieland, I had hay to bale. The baler people had tyheir steady customers, and their relations to baler up. I couldnt find anybody to do mine. Thats when I started buying and bringing down here the equipment I had in NW Mo. Now, I can tell them to kiss, off. I dont need them. Ive made sorgum sudan hay and ive made pararie hay.