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Net cost of feeding Cow Hay in the North

Stocker Steve

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Hay has come down a little here with average hay running 3.0 to 3.8 cents per pound.
If you bale graze there will be minimal equipment cost. Right now I am using snow shoes and a safety knife...
Fertilizer costs continue to change, but last fall I estimated the fertilizer value of out wintered hay at $27 per ton. Cut that back a bit and call it 1.2 cents per pound.
We have global cooling here and I estimate heifers and cows combined average 30# of hay per day.
So net feed cost is (3.8-1.2)*30=US$ 0.72 per day plus $0.08 for mineral or about $24 per month.
If you feed November through April that comes to $144 to overwinter a small cow.

Am I missing anything here?
 

Alberta farmer

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You are pretty close. I think the 30 lbs might be low with bale grazing. There is a fair bit of feed wasted. My 1400 lbs cows need about 37 lbs of hay/straw a day over the winter. They eat more when it is really cold.
In my opinion a dry cow does not need 12% protein hay, which would be common in a good alphalfa mix. Let her have about 25 to 27 lbs. of hay and then fill her up with good straw. Depending on what your straw costs this can make sense economically.
 

hayray

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Steve, can you go over how you got the numbers for fertilizer value. I am doing bale grazing this year for the first time.
 

nap

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Does your bale grazing analysis include the cost of getting the hay cut and baled? Such things as fuel, time and labor. Since you included fertilizer cost I am assuming that you are cutting your own hay. Is this correct or are you buying it? Thanks for the helpful analysis.
 

hayray

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nap":1mp4qif5 said:
Does your bale grazing analysis include the cost of getting the hay cut and baled? Such things as fuel, time and labor. Since you included fertilizer cost I am assuming that you are cutting your own hay. Is this correct or are you buying it? Thanks for the helpful analysis.
That price is included in his cost per pound of hay - purchased or harvest your own.
 

Aaron

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In an earlier thread about feed costs, I posted our feed costs for this year at about $200 per cow. That takes into effect the cost of fertilizer and a higher than normal waste percentage in our feed due to water damage. Normally, our feed cost would be around $150 or less for the winter. Add to the fact that this winter has been brutally cold, and the cows are packing it away as fast as they can.

Your lucky if you can feed straw. I know a lot of guys out west and south can do this, and I am amazed that they don't realize the cost savings they are making.

To land straw in the yard would be about $40 a ton for us at the cheapest, and it would have to be sourced from Manitoba. More like $50+ a ton, and that would put it on a equal footing with our hay value this year. :cowboy:
 

Stocker Steve

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nap":3huqih0j said:
Does your bale grazing analysis include the cost of getting the hay cut and baled? Such things as fuel, time and labor. Since you included fertilizer cost I am assuming that you are cutting your own hay.

I buy most of my hay and that is the delivered cost. If I grew hay and owned a full line of newer equipment it would cost more. I do have an older swather so I can have some bales rolled each year for $8 each rather than clipping.
I should have included a cost for covering hay or a weathering loss like Adam did.
I usually use rings and poly twine for bale grazing.
Calculating fertilizer value of the hay manure takes a couple numbers:
1) lbs/ton for N,P,K The amount of leaves and where you feed it make a difference. Ideally you have leafy hay with a higher fertilizer content and feed it in the field so the urine soaks in. I can dig if you want more lb/ton estimates.
2) $/lb for N,P,K
3) multiply each element and add up the 3 numbers for a value per ton
 

nap

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Stocker Steve":15ny9zs1 said:
nap":15ny9zs1 said:
Does your bale grazing analysis include the cost of getting the hay cut and baled? Such things as fuel, time and labor. Since you included fertilizer cost I am assuming that you are cutting your own hay.

I buy most of my hay and that is the delivered cost. If I grew hay and owned a full line of newer equipment it would cost more. I do have an older swather so I can have some bales rolled each year for $8 each rather than clipping.
I should have included a cost for covering hay or a weathering loss like Adam did.
I usually use rings and poly twine for bale grazing.
Calculating fertilizer value of the hay manure takes a couple numbers:
1) lbs/ton for N,P,K The amount of leaves and where you feed it make a difference. Ideally you have leafy hay with a higher fertilizer content and feed it in the field so the urine soaks in. I can dig if you want more lb/ton estimates.
2) $/lb for N,P,K
3) multiply each element and add up the 3 numbers for a value per ton


Thanks Steve. It sounds like buying hay at those prices is working for you. For those of you who cut and bale your own hay, how do you figure labor and equipment costs (depreciation and fuel)? I am curious if you can still come out under 3.8 per pound.
 

jedstivers

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nap":1atho46e said:
Stocker Steve":1atho46e said:
nap":1atho46e said:
Does your bale grazing analysis include the cost of getting the hay cut and baled? Such things as fuel, time and labor. Since you included fertilizer cost I am assuming that you are cutting your own hay.

I buy most of my hay and that is the delivered cost. If I grew hay and owned a full line of newer equipment it would cost more. I do have an older swather so I can have some bales rolled each year for $8 each rather than clipping.
I should have included a cost for covering hay or a weathering loss like Adam did.
I usually use rings and poly twine for bale grazing.
Calculating fertilizer value of the hay manure takes a couple numbers:
1) lbs/ton for N,P,K The amount of leaves and where you feed it make a difference. Ideally you have leafy hay with a higher fertilizer content and feed it in the field so the urine soaks in. I can dig if you want more lb/ton estimates.
2) $/lb for N,P,K
3) multiply each element and add up the 3 numbers for a value per ton


Thanks Steve. It sounds like buying hay at those prices is working for you. For those of you who cut and bale your own hay, how do you figure labor and equipment costs (depreciation and fuel)? I am curious if you can still come out under 3.8 per pound.
We can buy net wrapped, fertilized, watered, barn stored bermuda delivered for $20 bale here. Don't know the weight but probably 800 to 1000lbs. per bale. I haven't had to buy any yet (I've only used 6 bales of my neighbors and were on a swap program and quite a few wheat straw bales but they are free (the construction co. could not use them so they would be pushed in a pile and burned). I started using them for bedding but the cows love to eat them. I didn't want to pay that much for them but ya'lls prices make them a bargain.
 

Stocker Steve

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nap":1xx1osbn said:
For those of you who cut and bale your own hay, how do you figure labor and equipment costs (depreciation and fuel)? I am curious if you can still come out under 3.8 per pound for 14% CP hay.

Making hay is an expensive hobby for most folks. It makes a fishing boat look like a good investment. One way to estimate cost is to:
Keep track of inputs and hours and what you could have rented the land for, multiply your hours by the std $/hour per implement or tractor that the University publishes yearly, then add equipment cost to inputs and rent opportunity, then divide this total by the pounds of hay harvested.

I have never seen upland hay cost numbers published for less than $80/ton. Exceptions might be haying a heavy crop on generous shares, running antique equipment with a spare for parts, and zero input reed canary meadows. I have tried all of these and they can work in special situations.
 

Aaron

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Stocker Steve":1pcc623y said:
nap":1pcc623y said:
For those of you who cut and bale your own hay, how do you figure labor and equipment costs (depreciation and fuel)? I am curious if you can still come out under 3.8 per pound for 14% CP hay.

Making hay is an expensive hobby for most folks. It makes a fishing boat look like a good investment. One way to estimate cost is to:
Keep track of inputs and hours and what you could have rented the land for, multiply your hours by the std $/hour per implement or tractor that the University publishes yearly, then add equipment cost to inputs and rent opportunity, then divide this total by the pounds of hay harvested.

I have never seen upland hay cost numbers published for less than $80/ton. Exceptions might be haying a heavy crop on generous shares, running antique equipment with a spare for parts, and zero input reed canary meadows. I have tried all of these and they can work in special situations.

So true. Luckily, I join the antique equipment club (not sure how you can make a buck at running new top equipment with bank money) and am the proud owner of worthless land if rented out. If it was all rented out, I may get $1500 annually, but I could only buy 1/10 of the hay I need with that money, and not even pay the taxes. Running a low horsepower tractor that is good on fuel (a gallon an hour) also helps to keep you in the black. Cost comparisons fluctuate greatly. Example, we crop 220 acres and spend about $1200 in fuel doing it. One of the neighbours doesn't even crop half of that acreage and spent $2400 on fuel this year. Difference? We do it with a 60 HP 2WD and 479 NH 9' Haybine while the neighbour uses a 120 HP International 2WD with duals and a 16' CaseIH Hydraswing Discbine. :cowboy:
 

Stocker Steve

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The semi retired dairy farmer I buy most of my hay from purchased a new 10' MF disc bine last year. Two other neighbors had one just like it. He was complaining in December that he had to cash in CDs (generated by the dairy) to pay for new equipment.

I put together a line of tillage and seeding equipment for US$ 1,000 (plus parts :( ). Now that this is behind me I may have to also join the haying chapter of the antique equipment club...
 

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