How much is hay in your area?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ladycat, May 2, 2006.

  1. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    I know that due to drought in much of the country, hay can be very hard to find in some areas. And when you do find it, it can be expensive.

    Most of the feed stores in my area are having a really hard time finding any kind of hay. I went in one feed store today and they were proud to have 3 kinds of hay:

    Alfalfa: $8.50 bale
    Alfalfa/Brome: $8.00
    Coastal: $7.50

    The alfalfa looked really good. I don't know where they got it, but they are getting another load of alfalfa next week from Iowa. They told me they should have a steady supply for at least several more weeks (hmmm, I'm wondering about after that?).

    I didn't see the Alfalfa/Brome, but the coastal looked pretty bad. But I guess if you gotta have it, you gotta have it. It's so dry here there is little grazing for cattle (most cattle have gone to the sale barn because there is nothing to graze them on).

    How is your area doing, in relation to hay, grazing, and drought? Is hay easy or hard to find? Is it expensive?
     
  2. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Hay here is 13.50 a bale for mediocre alfalfa. Will go down a little as soon as they start cutting, hopefully soon.
     

  3. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I've got a fine leafed alfalfa for $11.50; large bales of eastern (WA) grass hay is $13.50.
     
  4. tricklecreek

    tricklecreek Well-Known Member

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    how big are the bales? here we have alfalfa brome mix hay 60 lbs m/l selling for $2.50 to 3 and no shortage, calves are very high, 300 to 400 for newborns ouch. how much are calves there? btw I'm in iowa. tc
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    My neighbor said there isn't any. She paid 7$ for a loose bale that didn't look too wonderful. Does look like some of the local farmers are going to get a cutting soon tho of the coastal.
     
  6. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    I got 5 of those alfalfa bales. They are about 70 to 75 lbs.

    Don't know how much the calves are. Probably cheap because nobody wants them because nobody can feed them.
     
  7. seanmn

    seanmn Well-Known Member

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    how big are those bales your talking about? are they the small square bales or the long square ones that are almost as long as a pickup bed?? I paid mostly 2.00-2.50 a bale here and I found some poorer quality grass hay for 1.50 some guy wanted to get rid of to clear some space in his barn
     
  8. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Small square bales, about 70-75#

    If I could get BIG square bales for $8.50 there would be something wrong with it lol
     
  9. RLMS

    RLMS Well-Known Member

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    I'm paying $220 per ton for 3 x 3 x 8 and 4 x 4 x 8 second and third cutting alfalfa delivered to upstate NY--paying by the scale ticket, not by the estimate. Coming out of Nebraska with protein analysis at 23%. Try weighing the 40 pounders, the 70 pounders and then work out the cost. Don't forget delivery charges and labor.

    Fifty-five 3 x 3s or twenty-six 4 x 4s is quick work with the forklift.

    Talked with a alfalfa producer outside of Tucson today. He gets 8 cuttings a year. His third cutting sells for $140 per ton at the farm.
     
  10. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    $220/ton works out to about $7.70 for a 70# bale.

    $140/ton works out to about $4.90 for a 70# bale.

    Those are pretty decent prices.

    I don't need a great deal and I'm thrilled to find any at all, so $8.50 is good for me. I got 5 bales (that's all that would fit in the car LOL), and it's very good quality. Very green and leafy. I'm going to try to get 5 more bales tomorrow. 10 bales will last me for months.
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We just had 5 days of slow rain, 2 inches, made a mess of corn plabnting, but alfalfa & grass hay should be a _big_ first crop.

    Only ever once saw hay sales go over $4 a small square bale around here for average alfalfa, & took 2 years of drought for that.

    Sold some average mixed alfalfa/grass for $1.50 last month. That's typical. Grass hay can be under $1 a bale in season, this time of year $1.50 to 2. Dairy alfalfa can be $3 a bale, but not always.

    Rounds go as high as $25 unless dairy alfalfa, that can go $65.

    Don't know anyone who can pay $7 a small sqare. Don't hear of that around here. Ever. Folks will switch to more grain, dried distillers grain, and the free (for the hauling, so it isn't free) sweet corn silage, cornstalk & soybean bales long before hay would get that high.

    --->Paul
     
  12. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I was buying large round bales from a neighbor $15 each last summer (I picked them up) he had a lot of cows and did not really want to sell them so I will probably find someplace else when i get back home. they are ususally 15-$20 in noth W AR
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    because of the gasoline and diesel prices I have to now pay 2 bucks a bale for the hay here... but they are tight large bales so its not so bad.

    if you like rolled hay, there is a lot of it hereabouts that rots in the fields.

    pick bales out of the field when its baled and its $1 a bale. after they store it up its more, of course.

    I can get last yrs hay delivered for 1.50 a bale when someone needs room for the current hay cut.

    often, its pretty good hay even a yr old.
     
  14. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    We have plenty of hay in my area. I just picked up a pick up load of 50 pound bales for 2 bucks a bale. all stored under cover. I have seen many fields that never took in the Round bales they are just sitting out there wrapped up in that netting stuff. And another farmer that I get hay from said just 2 days ago when I asked about hay. He said yes he has plenty. nice Alfalfa mixed small 45 pound bales for $2.25. All barn stored~! The 1500# round bales are going from 30 to 50 dollars depending on what kind of hay (grass, grass mixed. or alfalfa) And NOW with a nice soaking rain for the past 4 days there will be some VERY very nice first crop hay being put up for sure. And if we keep getting enough rain what a WONDERFUL 2nd crop will be..That will be just like candy~!!!!1
     
  15. farmerscotty

    farmerscotty Well-Known Member

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    Ok being an alfalfa producer, I think you will have to realize that costs are going to be up this year quite a bit. Last May my diesel cost 135 this year 250 Fertilizer is crazy in price. I sold last winters hay for 140 to 150 a ton in the barn here in SW Missouri.

    That figured out 4.75 a bale. That is where I will have to start this year at least. I have a way to put it in the barn with small squares. If I cannot make money why do it?

    I have 120 acres of alfalfa.

    Not complaining just giving the other side.

    Would you want to work for nothing? me neither. SO expect it to cost more.
     
  16. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Yes, there is that, plus much of the country is in severe drouth. That's why I started the topic. There is already a hay shortage, and if the drouth continues, of course the shortage will get worse.

    When a million acres of pasture burned in the Texas Panhandle several weeks ago, it left farmers/ranchers with NOTHING to feed their cattle. A call for hay went out to other parts of the country, but there was little to be had.

    The feedstores here have had a rough time finding any kind of hay. They have repeatedly run out. And when they have been able to get ahold of any, it's been ridiculously steep in price.

    Where I live, the primary crop is wheat. Normally, after the wheat is harvested, the straw is baled into round bales. Much of this straw rots in the field, I don't even know why they bother baling it. When it's sold (in most years), it sells for about $15/roll.

    But this past winter, 2 things happened. One, with the hay shortage, people couldn't find hay, got desperate, and were coming from long distances to buy last year's wheat straw for like $50/roll.

    The other thing that happened, we got no rain when we needed it, and the wheat didn't come up. Then it finally rained in March, briefly, *just* enough for the wheat to finally sprout, but by then it was too late to be able to make a crop. So what little wheat sprouted and grew a few inches, it has now been baled up into rounds. Not as straw, of course. Just young wheat grass.

    So, if the drouth continues, and fuel/fertilize prices keep rising, the situation is just going to deteriorate further.

    Those of you who currently live in areas where hay is abundant and cheap, I think you will also see some rising prices, due to increased costs of production, plus more and more people coming from other areas to buy it.
     
  17. Bitsy-Bet

    Bitsy-Bet Well-Known Member

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    There is so much hay here in Northern MN that we can hardly give it away and it will soon be haying time again.
     
  18. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup, I'm in southern MN, same deal. No drought anywhere near here either, rain rain rain..... There is always a steady market for top quality alfalfa, but avreage hay bales are worth about the price of fuel to make them, rarely any more. Folks make some money custom baling, or delivery, but grass hay or mixed is just a junk crop around here. In 40 years, been only 2 that have been dry enough to affect hay prices enough to get any notice.

    --->Paul
     
  19. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    Hay is high here. I paid $650 for a roadside, delivered. The guy lives not five minutes from me. That's 54 bales - about two and a half tons, give or take. The quality is alright - nothing spectacular. Buy it by the bale and it is $12 and change for alfalfa. Bermuda hay often is higher.

    One of my dreams would be to be able to grow my own feed - probably won't happen here in Arizona. The farms are being developed now - land is going for $2-$300k per acre. Wonder where we'll get our hay? And at what cost? I better be outta here by the time the alfalfa fields are gone!

    niki
     
  20. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    In the past few years we've been having trouble because the Japanese hay buyers are buying a lot of the good stuff up. They buy up the best Timothy hay for their racehorses, the best alfalfa for their cattle, and now they've approached our grass hay rancher (luckily an independently wealthy cattle rancher) to buy up all of his grass hay. Thank goodness he turned them down! Anyone else running into this?