How much would you charge for field cuttings?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Sumer, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Sumer

    Sumer Well-Known Member

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    My X-Mother in law has some acreage in the U.P. of Michigan. An old farm, lots of acres that used to be hay fields. It hasn’t been planted in many many years -- over 20, so its not just hay anymore, there is lots of stuff in it but farmers are interested in it so it has to be worth something.
    She has had farmers pay for the field cuttings before but I think she is getting ripped off. What would you charge for your hay(ish) field per acre? They cut it using their equipment and they keep it.
    Even if I could get a rough figure it would help out,

    Thanks.
    Sumer
     
  2. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    Most people in our area cut hay on shares, 50% for the cutter 50% for the land owner. If the land owner doesn't want their 50% the hay cutter usually buys it for the going rate in that area.
     

  3. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    60/40 here, land owner gets 40% and the farmer buys the 40% at going rates.

    Alex
     
  4. Sumer

    Sumer Well-Known Member

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    She dosent need any of it at all, she dosnt even live there anymore. Were talking just a straight cost for them cutting her fields and them takeing all of it.
     
  5. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    Around here, they get 50% for cutting and baling it for us, and we get the other half. Often they'll buy what we don't want or need at the going rate in the area.

    Even if your X-MIL isn't living there, she's entitled to half the hay or the amount the hay is worth in the area. Grass hay is great to feed livestock with, so whether there's much alfalfa or clover - it's still of value to people for feed. She could even rent her land to some farmer for his livestock to graze on, if it's fenced.
     
  6. Sumer

    Sumer Well-Known Member

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    Oh ok , I know Zero about hay, this really helped me understand it better. Thanks. The land is not fenced. She just thru all this at me yesterday durring my monthly "where is my child support-does the X have a job yet chat". So I just called her again for a bit more information and all she did was confuse me. But from what I did get she in the past had rented the land out to someone, thru a relative she has up there, for cutting the hay and the price she told me made me gag. Even if I dont know didly about it it made me gag. I think she is losing her mind or something. She was renting out 35-40 acers at $100 per year. Somewhere not all that long ago someone seeded it with Alfalfa,,. I didnt get it out of her if its currently rented or not.
    She only lives on SS and the rental should in my opinon at least cover the taxes she has to pay. There is more to this but she had a phone call and had to go which just left me with even more questons. :bash: I think I have to do some more looking up and educateing myself here so she dosent loose the farm.
    .. I will have more questions that need awnsers ya know..but now I must go bash my head against the nearest wall.

    Sumer
     
  7. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    In northern BC we get one good cut of Alfalfa a year. Top quality fields get 5 round bales at 1500 lb each per acre per year (depending on the year --some worse few better,) and sell for $50. Your share per acre if you get 50% is:
    • 5 bales/acre x $50/bale x 35 acres x 50% = $1,750 per year
    • 5 bales/acre x $50/bale x 40 acres x 50% = $2,500 per year

    Some areas get two and three cuts a year, not one, then you get more money. Some areas get more than 7,500 lb per acre (3.75 tons per acre, 5 round 1500lb bales or 100 square 70-lb bales per acre). Some old hay fields get much less -- then it's time to re-do and re-plant -- usually paid for by the land owner, not the farmer.

    Your instincts are correct: you need to look into this, MIL may be getting the bad end of a deal by a dishonest person, or may not.

    Good luck,

    Alex
     
  8. Sumer

    Sumer Well-Known Member

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    WOW - It sure seems that there is something fishy going on. I will have to get more anwsers on this from her, Thanks for putting it plain like that. Sure helps me to know I have to look into this more.
    Sumer
     
  9. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    If your fields are mostly untended briars and weeds, you may want to count your blessings that anyone will take it off your hands.

    A better solution IMHO would be for you to begin a re-seeding program to improve the quality of your hay.

    It will cost a little in the beginning, but it would pay off in the long run.

    Hay is a premium commodity in drought-stricken areas of the country, so if I had the land and time, I would definitely begin to improve my hay fields.
     
  10. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    we have been offered fields like you describe in the past, untended unfertilized hay crops that will be hard to get the fuel money out of. with increasing fuel prices may be hard to get much out of a farmer. last year ,even in a heavy drought ,there were fields like this uncut in our area. the 40-60 split is common on good hay ground but the land owner pays for fert. seed and seeding as well as tillage work. and the fields tend to be tile drained too.
     
  11. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Boleyz,

    Exactly!

    Sumer,

    In Vancouver and the Lower Mainland BC square bales sell for $8 or $10 per 70 lb bale. Your MIL's share that way:

    • 100 bales/acre x $10/bale x 35 acres x 50% = $17,500
    • 100 bales/acre x $10/bale x 40 acres x 50% = $20,000

    Selling for that high would have trucking costs for us – 600 miles. Still selling hay can be a few spare dollars. Or, if it is good land you can make a living at it, if you have enough land, equipment, labor, or energy of your own -- few weeks at the right time of the year -- there you go. Keep in mind there are expenses for equipment, fuel, twine, etc.

    Weather and hay growth will NOT wait for you. Either, you, or the farmer who takes your hay off your land [who will take HIS own (he gets 100%) hay off HIS land FIRST] MUST, as they say:

    • You have to make hay while the sun shines.

    There is a lot to find out and consider about all this. There is the inflating value of the land. Have you thought what is it worth . . . today with wild speculation . . . it might be worth too much? Too much to only get even $10,000 a year from for share crop hay?

    For instance, no risk money, NO involvement, sitting in a bond, or other fund, gives $10,000 if your MIL has $250,000 sitting there at only 4%. Or, is there something else which is safe and pays more? You might have a bigger job on your hands than just figuring out if $100 a year is a good yield for farming land, or maybe not, too many unknowns to say.

    But if the land is worth $2,500 then 4% is $100 per year and it’s OK, because she get the supposed underlying land inflation too, so it may be good. Who knows, not me?

    Enjoy,

    Alex
     
  12. LiL OHNNL

    LiL OHNNL Well-Known Member

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    I just had some hay cut. The guy buying it had it cut and baled vy someone else and he picked it up. He payed me $5 a roll for it. I didnt do a thing but close the gate when they were done. I think this was a low price and would like to know better for next time myself. They got 44 rolls at $5 a peice.
    Was this good or not? It was just tall fescue
    Thanks
    JOhn
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    LiL OHNNL, on a percentage basis your share of the 44 rolls would have been 15 bales. At $20 per bale for cattle feed quality fescue you would have had $300 but you would have also the requirement of finding a buyer and collecting. Personally I think I would have done as you did just collect the $220 and close the gate. It was worth something to you to get the field mowed for free with the current price of fuel. In the future you could possibly presell your portion and come out a little better. PS..I think any land owner should be entitled to a return equal to the value of the CRP payment in the area the property is located.
     
  14. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Nobody does small squares on a 50/50 share any more. Small squares run $4 per bales here for top quality hay not run down native grasses. They'd still bring $2.50 ish but as one of the very few who will even do small squares I'd want 70% for stuff like that (truthfully I wouldn't want to waste my time making square baled native grass hay) and to only get 60% I want to run over new crop alfalfa you put in and fertilized. Round bales I'd go 50/50, or even 40/60 for good hay. Round bales run $20-$40 for a 1500lb bale. I'd think Michigan would have similar prices to mine. Agman makes a point she should get whatever the CRP would be as a minimum, no socialist govt. program here in Canada to compare it to.
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    This is an aside situation regarding hay. With fertilizer at $345 per ton earlier this Spring is there anyone out there that justify giving 60% of the yield to someone to cut , rake and bale? I cannot. What I do not graze I will bush hog and let the nutrient return to the soil. You thoughts please.
     
  16. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    If she's getting anything at all, it's a blessing. Otherwise she'd be paying someone to bushhog it every year to keep trees from reclaiming it.

    Now if someone were living there, maintained fences, and spent thousands of dollars on fertilizer, yes, she might be able to get more...

    IMHO, the deal she's got isn't sweet, but it certainly isn't sour... as I'd charge a couple hundred at least to mow it once each year...
     
  17. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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  18. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    my parents own the farmland around my house. there is about 4 or 5 acres that is basically fescue but hasn't been fertilized or replanted in years (maybe not even in the 20 years they have owned it). they just had a farmer come out and bale it but he got to keep it all at no costs. it was more than worth it to my dad to not have to get his haybine fixed or spend the gas money. no cows on the fields right now or there wouldn't be a need to mow it.
     
  19. Hee Haw

    Hee Haw Well-Known Member

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    As Mel mentioned, that is the way it is done around here. People are glad to help each other out. For one,greed will get you no where but misery. First,the person that is not using the field should be glad for someone to have use of the hay mixed briars and weeds. That is helping them to have someone to clean off the fields, and will make the grass better the next year and so on.Two just to have someone that could use the mixed mess and ofter to clean off your field is a blessing, otherwise trees will take over it in time and bulldozer clearing dont come cheep. Think about it. No greed people helping people. The used to be American way.
     
  20. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    During the two years before we got our house built and weren't living on the property we had a local dairy farmer cut our hay for free. He got the hay and we got our place maintained. Seemed like a good deal.

    Now we have a local guy cut it and we get part of the hay for our horses.