• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

which is the better deal, opinions

Help Support CattleToday:

talltimber

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
1
Location
Southeast Missouri
I am trying to decide which way to go on buying/purchasing hay. None of it is tested, so we will just use past experiences and seat of the pants reasoning. Here are the options

1. 5x6 bales of rye,orchard grass, timothy, fert., new stand, 30/bale plus transport half = around $32/bale (I will mow it with my rig, taking that value off the hay price. I drive others tractor raking while he bales, trading my raking labor off with half the hay transport to my place, so I will have some additional time in on it)

2. Make my own hay, fescue with probably a small to med amount of wild clover in it. It will cost at least 100/ac for fert. If I make 4 bales an acre, that's 11.75 (mow, rake and bale, counting my mowing it in there, family discount on baling at 8/bale) + 25= 37.75/ bale 5x5.5

Purchase outside last years hay currently at the following three sources, have not seen any of it so don't know the density, weeds, fert? etc:
3. 5x5 net, barn, mixed grass, delivery available, 25/bale
4. 5x5.5 net, barn, fescue, 35/bale
I anticipate these last two getting cheaper as time goes on, if it doesn't sell first.

If orchard grass, timothy, and ryegrass is as good or better than fescue/clover then I'm thinking that's the better route for new hay. Cheaper than making it here, and I still have my hay ground for backgrounding my calves this summer. I will have some area for the calves if I do make my own, but may play out in the middle of summer.

What do you all think? What do you know about #1 option hay mix vs fescue/clover?
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,286
Reaction score
63
Location
Central Texas
3&4... you have to take someone's word that the quality is as good as it looks.

2.... it will be your hay even if it gets rained on or doesn't rain for 60 days after you fertilize. You do have a little control, it the weather cooperates, of making top notch hay if your baler can make it when you want them.

1.... assuming.....you and the baler can agree on when to cut you should have a good chance on getting some good hay. If the weather doesn't cooperate...being able to pass on taking that hay would be a plus. However, I'm not sure that option is in your deal.

To clarify...you figure $5.75 more per bale to raise it yourself? You would still help your baler do theirs and get paid for the help? Another question....how many bales, for each of you, are we talking about?
 

JSCATTLE

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
2,295
Reaction score
0
Location
S.E TEXAS
This probably doesn't help but if I have ground available I'll bail it. But I always look for last year's barn kept hay . Sometimes you can pick up hay that people wanted 40 a roll for last year for 15 a roll because they want to clear the barn.
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,514
Reaction score
86
Location
Heart of Texas
I've always purchased hay but always after "I" test it. Cost $15 and lets me know the quality of the hay rather than taking Joe Hayjockey's word for it. Gives me a bit of negotiating power as well. Without a test you have no idea. (same applies to hay you put up yourself) Test it !!!!
 
OP
T

talltimber

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
1
Location
Southeast Missouri
82, yes that's what I am coming up with. If fescue/clover is better hay than the rye/og/tim then it may be worth it as far as hay goes. Might put me into sell mode early on my calves if we have a dry summer though. My fertilize cost of 100/ac is an estimate to p and k to practically soil test, then I think I had either 60 or 100 lbs n/urea figured into that only. I am not sure how much mine would make with that amount of fert though. I made 4 bales last yr on 20 ac with none at all, but I don't see that happening without fert it. That patch had not had hardly any early grazing on it, and had not had hay made on it maybe ever. I will mow the rye, and take my custom costs off the cost per bale (30 per bale initial cost minus my mow charge = 27.12/ bale out of pocket if it makes 4 per ac). I will trade him by him running his rig and trailer helping haul the hay to my place by running his tractor and rake. I will run a rig to haul the other half of the hay to here. 125 bale total assumed, 4/ac on 36 acres. 10 ac for my mowing, known local charge last year. This is not halves, this is me buying 125 bales, helping get it done and that is discounted off the per bale price, or whatever this patch makes. We are assuming it makes 4/ac. I am running the rake tractor in trade for getting another rig to help haul it home. For that, add 2.16 per bale for my half of the hauling charge =29.28 per bale, given all the assumptions to be accurate. For option two, he custom bales, so might be tough, or easy enough, to get on it when I am ready.

JS, that's another unknown. How cheap will last years get before it's sold.

A common issue we have here is drying conditions during that time period.Mid May.

TB, the options 1 and 2 I know will be fertilized so it is what it is. That's one reason for the question concerning the general comparison between fescue mix vs rye mix here. Have not found an online comparison yet. Deciding between the other options could better be done with tests. I agree.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,473
Reaction score
134
Location
Central Minnesota
Buying hay is by far the better deal. :nod:
In part - - because you should be subtracting the fertilizer value of the purchased hay from the gross price. :banana:
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,514
Reaction score
86
Location
Heart of Texas
Son of Butch":x00m0l44 said:
With hay so much depends on the year and the weather.
The advantage to buying hay is you can walk away if you don't like it and buy what you do like.
:nod: :nod: Yep and if you raise and put up your own "it is what it is" as the young folks like to say.
 

Workinonit Farm

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
7,151
Reaction score
0
Location
Ctrl Virginia
No Rest Farm":ten0f9bo said:
If I could find a deal like #1 I would buy everything I could get my hands on.

:nod: :nod:

Same here.

As to Texasbred suggestion to have it tested, I agree that it is a good thing to do, but good luck with that. It has been my experience that some hay sellers get offended by such a request. I'll leave it at that.
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,514
Reaction score
86
Location
Heart of Texas
Workinonit Farm":2ma19x7v said:
No Rest Farm":2ma19x7v said:
If I could find a deal like #1 I would buy everything I could get my hands on.

:nod: :nod:

Same here.

As to Texasbred suggestion to have it tested, I agree that it is a good thing to do, but good luck with that. It has been my experience that some hay sellers get offended by such a request. I'll leave it at that.
That should tell you something. I don't even accept "Their" test but do my own. They get to watch me probe the bales, prepare the sample and they mail it themselves but results come to me. They should have nothing to hide.
 
OP
T

talltimber

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
1
Location
Southeast Missouri
The "it is what it is" concerning the first two options, they will be fertilized and whatever it turns out to be, nutrient-wise, a test won't affect, I will own it. The other options it could make a difference while weighing the bale size/price/hauling. The option #1 is family so we have discussed the potential of it not making. If it don't turn out he will bush hog it or graze it, then I'm back to square one, only around the first of May, instead of early enough to fertilize my own. I'm thinking I may shoot just a smidge of nitrogen on mine just in case. Then if it really takes off make hay on it too. My goal was to eventually have two yrs worth on hand anyway. A hay barn would be nice about now.
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,514
Reaction score
86
Location
Heart of Texas
talltimber":nyxcerd0 said:
The "it is what it is" concerning the first two options, they will be fertilized and whatever it turns out to be, nutrient-wise, a test won't affect, I will own it. The other options it could make a difference while weighing the bale size/price/hauling. The option #1 is family so we have discussed the potential of it not making. If it don't turn out he will bush hog it or graze it, then I'm back to square one, only around the first of May, instead of early enough to fertilize my own. I'm thinking I may shoot just a smidge of nitrogen on mine just in case. Then if it really takes off make hay on it too. My goal was to eventually have two yrs worth on hand anyway. A hay barn would be nice about now.
A test won't change the nutrient profile but it should at least give you the nutrient profile and hopefully help you make a wise decision. And then again if you don't care, what you don't know won't hurt you until.................
 

rain dance

Active member
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
Just buy your hay. You should be able to buy it at or below cost of production most years if you shop around without waisting money on equipment. You could build a hay shed for cheaper then a line of baling equipment so you can stock up on when prices are low and help you get through a drought or tough winter when prices will go back up.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,473
Reaction score
134
Location
Central Minnesota
talltimber":127j0k6y said:
What do you all think?

Depends on your goal.

Are you trying to maximize tractor tach hours?
Are you trying to maximize soil health?
Are you trying to maximize profit per acre?
 

M-5

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2015
Messages
7,338
Reaction score
2
Location
AT the FLORIDA STATE line checking papers
Up until last yr. I traded labor and a few other things for hay and paid 20$ a roll for it. I worked just as hard and the time committed if I was doing everything myself. when I bought the little piece of property I got all the equipment and made all the hay basically right by myself( had a little help a couple times when rain was coming ) I had less the 20$ per roll in the hay. It was fair quality due to weather but that's the gamble. Because of what I paid for the property v/s the land value the equipment was not in the loan. If I had to buy equipment and factor the cost then your looking at a lot more to make that roll of hay. YES I understand that in the scheme of things Im paying for the equipment with the land loan but if I wanted I could cash all of that out today. my point is Your going to have just as much time in helping as you would doing it yourself. The risk can be greater than the reward but sometimes the reward wins. I personally enjoy the time in the hay fields to me its better than a week on a vacation. A lot of my most vivid memories growing up come from the hay fields sometimes the value cant be monetized .
 

Cucumber35

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
147
Reaction score
0
Location
Mason Dixon Line
I've often thought it's probably better to sell the hay equipment and buy hay but I'd rather do it myself. The last few years we cut and raked and hired the baling done but then you're at the mercy of the custom guys schedule or breakdowns. It's true that when you do it yourself "it is what it is" but at least I know what it is. I guess I just don't like relying on someone else. And I always worry about getting gouged on price if it's a bad hay year. We've put up some crap but we planned ahead and it got us through the winter. May have had to buy a little but not a whole supply. I think the cost factor comes down to volume. The only way to make the equipment pencil is to do enough volume to spread out the cost. Also we cut a lot of horse pasture ground and pay fairly cheap by the bale. If it doesn't yield much it's not a big loss. We usually hit it with a bit of fertilizer but nothing crazy. Makes decent cheap hay for us and saves the landowner time and fuel to keep it bush-hogged.
 

True Grit Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
9,453
Reaction score
3
Location
Middle Georgia
If you rotational graze you need your own hay equipment on the good years. I can't make it without hay...so I'll depend on myself to be there and get the job done.
 

ddd75

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
0
Location
KY
i'd be buying that old barn hay

they still want 70.00 / roll for a 4x5 in the barn here.
 

Latest posts

Top