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suggestions for hay baling system

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SRBeef

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I work in row crops and have for as long time but no experience making my own hay. I am getting very tired of begging folks to please custom bale some hay for me. They are all busy and over worked as it is so I guess I understand.

However in a year like this one in WI I have more grass in my paddocks than the cows can consume - at least for awhile (having said that weather will probably turn hot and dry and I will be scurrying around for grass like last summer!)

Reading CB's thread on balers there were some good suggestions. But I don't want to hijack his thread.

My question:

In a northern climate (SW WI) what setup of equipment would you suggest for a fellow who has no hay equipment but might have the opportunity to roll 100 bales some years rather than just mow the pasture down? This would usually be a clover/grass mix and my time is limited. I need a system that can dry it fairly quickly.

I know it may not make economic sense but this year in particular I could probably bale 1/2 or more of my own hay needs which are currently all purchased. It might take 10 yrs to pay back but I think that would be acceptable.

Particularly, I have seen some Reese belt drive drum mowers with a windrow spreader/flail demonstrated and the cut hay seemed to dry down fast. Then maybe a simple rake? What type? and used round baler?I'd like to stay with about 1500 lb 5 ft wide x 6 ft dia bales since they are easier to feed/last longer than smaller bales. Suggestions? Thanks. Jim
 

1982vett

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For maybe 100 or so bales a year you need to keep your costs to a minimum which I think means some of the older balers and rakes. You are going to need to trade ease of use and speed for economics.
 

Caustic Burno

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Check out Tractorhouse.com the main thing to is to find a brand with local parts. Man down the road died last year had a Hesston 745 the paint isn't even wore off the pick up teeth. The wife said she would sell it for 8000
sounds great except the nearest dealer is 150 miles away. This means being broke down 2 to 3 days minimum.
Always remember new or old hay bakers break down
 

Jogeephus

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I agree about keeping your costs down. This may just be me but it seems I can always find stuff cheap when I'm not looking for it. Last summer a woman overheard me talking about hay at a restaurant and she asked me if I wanted to buy a hay baler. I asked her how much and she said $1800. (Seems she divorced her husband and got a baler in the process) I didn't buy it myself but told a friend about it and the baler was 8 years old, shelter stored and turned out to be a heck of a deal. I have bought rakes for $300 and tedders for $600. So I guess what I'm saying is that if you don't get in a hurry and put your feelers out you might be surprised at how cheaply you could get some decent hay equipment. Probably won't help you none this year but it might later.
 

dun

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Caustic Burno":12kybjt4 said:
Check out Tractorhouse.com the main thing to is to find a brand with local parts. Man down the road died last year had a Hesston 745 the paint isn't even wore off the pick up teeth. The wife said she would sell it for 8000
sounds great except the nearest dealer is 150 miles away. This means being broke down 2 to 3 days minimum.
Always remember new or old hay bakers break down

Best possible advice!
 

grannysoo

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Jogeephus":1fhrlaoj said:
I agree about keeping your costs down. This may just be me but it seems I can always find stuff cheap when I'm not looking for it.

I always seem to find things cheap "after" I bought one. :lol2:
 

killingtime

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I have to agree with granny. I just bought a gooseneck hitch to put in my new truck. I paid $400 bucks and saw one in the ag review classifieds for $100 2 weeks after.
 

mnmtranching

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If you don't mind or have time to do your own mechanic work there are cheap ways to get your hay up. I bought old used up machinery and junkers for parts. Staying mostly away from buying new parts. I've got less the $10 thousand total into my haying equipment. And will bale about 750 5X5's this year.
 

terra8186

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You might want to try ebay. They usually have a couple of bailers within 200 miles of me. You could probably find what you are looking for at a reasonable price.

I have purchased a hay rake and John Deere 6 row corn planter for really good prices.
 

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