We have about 10 acres in hay. Currently, we have to hire a guy to come cut it. He's taken his sweet little time to cut it. It just got cut yesterday. No rain was predicted until Friday. Guess what? It's overcast and now storms are predicted. ARGH!
My hubby and I were talking yesterday about whether or not it would pay to get the equipment to do small bales ourselves. Anybody do their own hay? How much would you expect the equipment to cost?
It depends on the brand you choose and what size you buy, there are allot of things that can affect the price. I personally have been a John Deere man but in recent years their equipment has gone down in quality. This is it is mainly caused the newer models are less roughed than the older one due to the electric items that have been added. And of course new or used, in John Deere the model that end with 55 and lower like 2355 and 2440 are harder to find becuase they are very popular compared to the newer model .
And you should look at "fastline" magazine, all it is, is adds for farm machinary dealers and a few other farm related items.
We have about 60 acres with wheat, well, some grasses and weeds, but we hire someone to come do it. Especially since we just bought the property, it is 160 acres, the other 100 or so we have 3 cows with babies, that are pregnant and do in the summer. so, we are just starting in the cattle business XD
I don't know if the equipment would pay for itself or not with gas prices and stuff.
we have been doing the same thing for the last 3 yrs but instead of paying for it we just split the hay with the guy that cut it and i always felt like we were getting the short end of the deal! about a month ago we finally decided to get the equipment ourselves since we had horses and could use the tractor for more than just doing hay. you might not think it would pay for itself but you have to keep in mind the equipment now belongs to you and you no longer have to wait for someone esle to have the time to come out and cut the hay for youa...and that is a wonderful feeling!
I thought hay was high too until we started doing our own. Now I think it is cheap. We do our own hay (about 150 acres) and some custom jobs...most of which are not worth our trouble. It costs us more to do the work than we get out of it. This is why. It takes at least 5 peices of equiptment to do hay. A tractor big enough for the haying equiptment, ours is a 100hp. Not a cheap thing to buy by any means, but you can get old used ones for $10000. The trouble with older used ones is they then to break down often and parts are expensive. A way to cut the grass. Ours is a bar style rotary cutter and those things are very heavy and about $10000 used. They have rotating blades that get dull easily and have to be replaced regularly. It takes a rake to put the hay in windrows. We have a 10 wheel rake. That is one of the cheaper peices of equiptment. The teeth on the rake need replacing frequently. You need a baler. A new JD square baler is $25,000. An older one that needs frequent repair is still $8000. You also need baler wire. That runs $70 a box and it takes two. You can only use it one season if you are lucky as it gets rusty and then hangs up in the baler.Once you have your hay baled you then you need some way to get the bales out of the feild. A truck and trailer perhaps. So the diesel to take your tractor around the feild at least 3 times, one to cut, one to rake and one to bale. The fuel to run everything, supplies and hours of time. So it does'nt pay unless you do a lot of hay that you don't have to haul equiptment to. Hauling that much equiptment is a whole new set of expenses. It takes a big truck and heavy trailer and several trips. We do hay on shares but it is 70/30 and we get the 70. I realize that it sounds unfair. Once I get that 70 bales out of 100, I still have to haul it off your property to mine. We will happily do it for cash but there is a minimum fee. I have to at least cover the cost to haul my equiptment, fuel, supplies and labor. I can't do that on a small feild.
I am in somewhat similar situation as the OP, 10 acres and no equipment, and most likely the big farmers here wouldn't even bother doing ours. All dairy/alfalfa here, huge fields and machinery to match it.
Sharing it is no option, we need it all.
Is there any equipment to be found for smaller scale at all?
Anybody knows how much custom farmers would charge?
Or would I be more feasable to just let cows on and buy hay from what the cows "earn"?
Probably, but I'd sure like to make my own hay to my standards........
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