Hay

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RanchMan90

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Why does everybody get into baling their own hay from an economic standpoint? A lot of operations I know have over $100k tied up in hay equipment for 100 cows and may custom bale some. I have a hard time pencilling that out not counting the lost grazing. Other than perhaps not getting gouged on hay prices in a drought year. What do you think?
 

callmefence

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When the drought raised hay to 3x normal cost. Every one jumped in the hay business.
We have more hay balers round here than rocks. Very competitive business.

I would love to grow my own hay, but it would have to be for love, because I can buy it delivered for the same sometimes less cost.
I still mess with growing some improved forage , but it all gets grazed.
 

cattle60

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I don't have near that much in mine. But , I just like to do it, sure that I will have what I need, Not get gouged, and sell some, too. In a bad year, dry or overly wet, It can be a pain to get all you need without paying out the rear.
 

M-5

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growing up we baled thousands of bales of hay a year. when I started on my own I bought hay for a few yrs then I bartered hay a few and then bought the guy out. Its used equipment but very maintained. Lots of custom guys here and a few good ones but coming from plenty of experience and knowing I can do my part to control quality it makes sense to me. I enjoy it more than fishing or hunting if you want to know the truth. Its very stressful but extremely rewarding and I don't have to rely on anyone but me to get what I need. If I only do what I need each year . the equipment will likely last my lifetime. I have around 50k invested.
 

talltimber

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I don't have but about thirty head and I'm going to buy a used baler and either a second side delivery rake or a wheel rake for my own use. Already tired of waiting on a custom baler to finish his, then his primary big count customers before he can do mine. Hay for sale is either baled crp junk or priced as horse hay, for fescue
 

cattle60

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TT- There is a Vermeer 5500 Rebel in Jackson, Don't know anything about it. Seen it when I went to a auction down by Chaffee. It is the same as mine. Mine is a 2000 model and I paid 5000 for it three years ago. We also use a WR-20 V rake that we bought for 2000. It is a lot better and faster than my ole 256 side delivery.
 

Bright Raven

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I hire my hay cut, raked and rolled. I pay $20 per roll for those custom services. Add another $1000 per year for soil amendments. For $35 a roll, I could buy hay.

I struggle each year about this time of year wondering if I should purchase hay and pasture my hay field.

Hay seems to be a no win enterprise. The guys who buy the equipment say it does not pencil out. The ones who custom cut, rake and roll say they don't make enough to pay their costs.

IDK!
 

Bright Raven

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talltimber":iumwojjm said:
I don't have but about thirty head and I'm going to buy a used baler and either a second side delivery rake or a wheel rake for my own use. Already tired of waiting on a custom baler to finish his, then his primary big count customers before he can do mine. Hay for sale is either baled crp junk or priced as horse hay, for fescue

Similar issues here.
 

True Grit Farms

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Hay is a no win situation that we must have in middle Georgia. For the most part I enjoy bailing hay but every so often I'm not fit to be around according to my helper. From all my experiments feeding cows during the winter, I've found good hay is the cheapest and easiest way to carry a cow through the winter. The reason I bought my hay equipment is for the good years, like when it rains. Everyone is so busy by the time they get around to bailing your hay it's rank and must be supplemented.
 

dun

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Pretty much the same as the others. I've not got all that much tied up, maybe 12 k. I know the quality of the hay, I can do it when it needs it not when it's convenient, don;t have to buy questionable hay and I enjoy doing it.
 

TexasBred

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With multiple suppliers I could always buy better hay than I could put up even when using very large amounts and get it delivered when I needed it, not having to stockpile it. Maybe no cheaper but better by testing and being selective.
 

boondocks

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Bright Raven":6gp0yrc4 said:
talltimber":6gp0yrc4 said:
I don't have but about thirty head and I'm going to buy a used baler and either a second side delivery rake or a wheel rake for my own use. Already tired of waiting on a custom baler to finish his, then his primary big count customers before he can do mine. Hay for sale is either baled crp junk or priced as horse hay, for fescue

Similar issues here.

We have a guy do ours, for which he gets about 2/3 of it. That is bad enough, but we are at the bottom of his list so either it's a bad year for hay (in which case our hay is not great) OR it's a good year for hay, so he can barely get it done at all, let alone in what condition. We had some last year didn't get a first cutting til JULY. Now, granted we are northern but that was easily a month past prime even to this newbie. No co-op equipment (nor frankly much hay knowledge on our part, although we are trying to learn). Few custom balers. If fencing into rock wasn't a PITA, I'd buy a bunch of commercial cows this spring and put them on the hay fields, sell them in the late fall and just keep our registered herd below in the current pastures, and buy what we need. Yhe winter hay costs kill us anyway...Seems like ya get screwed coming or going, sometimes both!
 

Ky cowboy

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I try to sell enough hay to pay for my fertilizer, string, and fuel. Keep enough to feed me thru the winter +some. Works good for us. We use to have it done by a neighbor but like the rest of you it was always when he was done with his. I enjoy doing it. Most of our equipment is older except out new krone tedder. You learn to work on junk pretty fast and when to replace it
 

farmerjan

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We started with a dump rake, horse drawn sickle bar and pitchforks, onto the pickup....wow. Then bought a tractor with a sickle bar, then a baler with an engine mounted on the front like the amish use with their horses...Couldn't find anyone to make it. Now we are "big time" and have a lot of money in some fairly new equipment. Most of the farms we rent have hay ground and pasture. Hay ground doesn't have any fences, or no water nearby....we make hay on several places, given to us so the owners can keep farm land use taxes....But we can buy hay as cheap or cheaper than making it many years.
We custom make small square bales and sell them to some horse people, and even cattle people who have some 4-H or FFA show calves. Also some to goat and llama owners now. It pretty much pays for the fertilizer and most expenses, twine, fuel etc., and we do custom for a few too.
It is like everyone else; custom operators can't get there when your hay is at optimal stage...last year it rained so much that almost no one got 1st cutting made until late June....No way would a custom operator been able to get most hay 1st cutting done before the end of July. My son enjoys cutting, and I enjoy tedding and raking so it has some pluses there. But not all our equipment is new. The discbine is new, have a couple of round balers that are probably 10 years old. Wheel rake that is 10+ years old, a couple of side delivery rakes that are MANY years old. Newest tractor is 20 + years old and I do alot of raking with the Farmall super H....now how "NEW" is that????? Tedder is probably 10+ years old too. We can work on and fix all the older stuff...no electronics to go bad on the H...put an umbrella on it 2 years ago as the hot sun was a bit too much some days for me....He does use a cab tractor with air-conditioning for mowing with the discbine (partly for the safety of the cab with the discbine) and the air-conditioning is essential for round baling - heat and dust.
We use the bigger tractors on the farm all the time so they are not just a "haying" expense.
 

Stocker Steve

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RanchMan90":1qnvillg said:
Why does everybody get into baling their own hay from an economic standpoint? What do you think?
A hobby for most. Financially, you might be better off letting the cattle trample any extra grass.

A few hay high volume on shares to avoid land investment and spread equipment cost.
 

Son of Butch

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RanchMan90":331tlwoh said:
Why does everybody get into baling their own hay from an economic standpoint?
What do you think?
Because that's the way we have always done it. Already have the equipment, so no motivation to change.
Also sense of independence and dependability of not having to wait or be at the mercy of the whims of others.
 

Txpiney

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8) Just as others have said, I got tired of having the hay done when "they" got time, not when I needed it done. I've got 6500 tied up in my having equipment, so you know it's state of the art equipment, right :cry2:
 

FiveOaksFarmGA

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For me it was simple: I have more fields than I do cows. I put up what I need for the "winter" (not much in central GA), and I sell the rest. I also do hay for other farms in the area. It amounts to extra income, and I don't have to buy hay which puts more $ back in my pocket. I would rather have the hay under my control so I can produce GOOD hay and not buy crap hay that may or may not have been fertilized correctly or at all, may or may not have been sprayed for weeds, or may have been sprayed and harvested too early in the window.

Where are you at True Grit?
 
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