Dave wrote:I buy my hay. I do it for several reasons. I use to make my own hay and custom hay for others. it seemed like all I did all summer was hay. Now my hay season is pretty short, just the time it takes to haul it home and stack it.
I have figured that here when you factor in all the cost, 4 out of 5 years I can buy hay as cheap or cheaper then raising it myself.
Because of the environment I live in the cows are locked up on concrete all winter. Thus all the manure is collected and the nutrients from the imported hay is spread on my pastures. So I rarely need fertilizer on the pastures. I let other people mine the nutrients out of their soil.
There is a lot of hay made around here. Grass hay locally, alfalfa from the irrigated areas east of here, and straw from the grass seed growning area down in the Willamette Valley some of which makes good feed. So although the price may go up or down there is pretty much lots available every year. Late winter it can get scarce some years but good planning and putting in some extra helps avoid a problem there.
Hay here is sold by the ton. Which is the best way to buy it. That way you are comparing apples to apples. A ton is a ton. A bale is? There can and is a lot of variablity in the size and weight of bales.
I am sure it doesn't work for everyone but it sure works here.
I can appreciate paying by weight but, do you know anything about the nutrient content of what your getting? Producing your own allows you that opportunity (knowledge of the amounts of fertilizer, hay testing, grass type, etc). You could always test the hay your buying but very few people actually do it.