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  1. #1
    Platinum Member rmonio's Avatar
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    JD 4600

    Default Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    Folks -

    I'm have a small 3-4 acre portion of my property that I'm looking to cut hay off for my horses. My options are to pay someone to do it - or look for equipment myself that would allow me to cut, rake, and bail in squares the hay (at least 2-3 cuttings a year). Given I've got Deere everything, I'm wondering what my options would be - new/used - for some cost effective equipment that I could use to do this myself.

    Thoughts? Thanks for your help and support!

    -Bob

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Have a few of this and that...but I bleed green!

    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    For that small of an area, I'd be inclined to pay someone with the right equipment a per bale (ie $2-$3.50/bale) to come in and bale it for you. Those prices MIGHT sound high, but you want it cut when it won't get rained on, not when they might decide to cut it (they don't have anything to loose if it gets wet). Even if you invest in the equipment, your time is still worth something.
    My family was in the same place until a few years ago, we would buy hay from different people, because we could be picky. Now we make our own and have to feed what we make.
    My point is- figure your time (and vacation time off work), initial equipment purchase, and repair costs for 3-4 acres and I think you will find it cheaper to pay someone a little more to do it or buy it from a hay producer and mow the 3-4 acres as a yard or pasture for the horses.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    Typically you can have someone make your hay for about 1/2 the bales. They get 1/2, you get 1/2. Your field is a bit small, might not be so easy to find someone.

    If you want to price new hay equipment for 4 acres, you live in a much different world that I ever will...... What, $40,000 or so????

    Good used baler is about $1000, can spend a lot more if you want to. Most prefer NH balers, but JD is about as good. I wouldn't look at any other brand. NH & JD figured out knotters first & best, the rest struggled to catch up.

    The baler will need a real tractor, not a small compact, because they are heavy, & rock a lot, and while they only use 17 hp or so to run the baler they transfer a heavy shock load through the pto because of the flywheel & plunger action. All this requires a utility (heavier built) type tractor of 30-50 hp, not a weaker compact.

    Need a side rake, most any will rake the hay.

    Need some way to cut the crop. Is it all grass, all alfalfa, or mix? Alfalfa & more humid grass areas of the country, you want a mower conditioner, which is several thousand bucks. This crimps the hay so it dries faster. They are like a baler, big & heavy, actually I want more powerful tractor on a moco than on a baler..... JD are fine, so are NH, Hesston made good ones too.

    A sickle mower can cut grass hay, can find those under $500 pretty easy, sometimes well under.

    Disc & drum mowers are in between, will cost more, cut easier.

    Some way to collect the hay bales. A hayrack is $250 or so for a used one.

    You can hook different colored equipment together, it won't spontaniously combust.

    --->Paul

  4. #4
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    ive been looking for some smaller used hay equipment.

    a 9' bar rake (NH) will go for someplace between $800 and $1500 (for a nice old one)
    a sq (NH) bailer can be had (again a smaller one) for about $1500 although i have seen some smaller round bailers go for that also (like 4x4-4x5)
    how you cut is going to be the question. an old 9' cyclebar might be had for cheep, but its the oldest and slowest of the ways.
    a cycle-bine is what im looking at, slightly faster and wont clog as bad if the hay is a little damp. look for one around 3K
    a disc mower is more expensive but will cut at over twice the ground speed.
    a disc-bine is what the "real hay guys" round hear use. but $$$$

    i have my eye on a little 2 basket tedder/rake that i think i can get for a grand. another option if you want to toss it after you cut, getting one that can pull double duty would be nice.

    My plan is to get the above 3 items (mower, rake, bailer) all well used smaller equipment for under 5K which i think is doable in my area. the issue at this point is getting the 50hp tractor to pull it all

    we have a lot of small lot hay within about 2 min tractor ride of my place, this year it was a real chore to track someone down to do it on shares. People dont want to mess with it, and due to weather, first cut time fell on the same time as when they could first get into the feilds, so planting came before haying... which pushed it back... then more rain... first cut was nearly a month off of what it should have been (for virtually everyone)

    I could have squeezed in my 3 acers and a few other small lots durring that time, but not having any equipment... i was SOL.

    we pulled 18 4x5's off my 3 acers this year. "we" guess at ~800 lbs each.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    Three to four acres and reasonable haying gear???

    Get a sickle bar mower, an older hay rake, preferably dump, and make a little hay sweep for the tractor loader. Stack the hay where you need it for feed.

    It was done this way once and would be easiest and cheapest for those very small acres right at home.

    I know my little kubota B7100 would be enough tractor to do this.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
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  6. #6
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    I'm stuck in the past with my hayin' equipment. I still cut with a New Holland 451 sickle bar mower. I don't own a tedder. Still raking with a New Holland 57 roll-a-bar rake, and still using my trusty old Deere 336 baler. (I've owned a New Holland 273 baler, and have a Massey Ferguson #12 baler as a back up for now) 99% of the time I use a 47 hp tractor. I've accumulated 7 good hay racks. Once upon a time, I did around 60 acres of hay. Nowdays it's down to less than 30. If I didn't already own the equipment, it simply would not pencil out to buy and own what I have for my acreage. It would be more economical to let someone else have 1/2 or else buy hay if I needed it. (I sell all of mine)

    Let's look at starting off with the bare bones basics.

    The mower; It's not IMPOSSIBLE to find them as low as $300, but more reasonable to expect to spend $500 to $1500 for a GOOD sickle bar mower these days, even more if you want fairly new or one of a few "premium" models. (ie Deere 350, New Holland 451, ect) If you're going to be cutting hay on a regular basis, the mower needs to be in good condition. Buy cheap, expect to spend the difference in parts to get it into good shape.

    Rake; I've seen a few bargains on rakes, but in general, a GOOD rake is like money in the bank. They just don't give 'em away. New Holland roll-a-bars sell high, as they're probably the most popular single brand/type of rake on the market. Not unreasonable to expect to spend $1500 to $2000 for a good USED one.

    Baler; Where do we start? I've seen "working" balers as low as $500. I've seen really good, later model used sell at almost new prices. It's not uncommon to see a late 1960's through late 1980's baler from a name brand sell for $3000 to $5000. (or more....) A baler such as my 336 should be priced somewhere around $3000. Older Deere or New Holland balers in "good condition", maybe $2500 as an average.

    Wagons; Anything with 4 wheels and a decent deck will bring (at an absolute minimum) $500 to $750 here. A good 8 to 10 ton gear with a good solid bed, good rubber, upwards of a grand isn't unheard of.

    So... Average prices for average equipment, expect to spend at least $1000 on the mower, probably $1200 or so on a good rake, and lat's say about $2500 on a baler. Add a couple wagons at $500 a pop, and you now have $5700 invested. Now add for fuel and twine. You'll have 6 grand wrapped up in overhead before the first bale hits the ground.

    And we aren't even talking about maintenance and upkeep of equipment yet....

    You can own a disc mower, a mower conditioner, a tedder, maybe a stack wagon or accumulator, even need an elevator. Look at slight increases in cost, clear on up to a dramatic increase over the very basics.

    You CAN find used equipment cheaper. More obscure brands, or less popular models can be had for less, but expect delays when you need parts. (and trust me, you will) Hay equipment only breaks when you have hay on the ground. And hayin' is VERY time critical.

    Long and short, expect $5000 to $6000 AT LEAST to get in the game, and keep the wallet handy while the game goes along. Even at todays wild hay prices, you can buy a LOT of hay for that sort of money.
    There are three kinds of men;
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    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    John deere 2155, ford 1600

    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    rmonio This is my 2 cents worth. I am in the same boat as you are except I dont have the horses.( we have 4h stuff- calfs -sheep). I was thinking the same last year about this time. And of now I have not had 1 bale hit the ground do too rain. I am ready to cut though!
    Back to the subject, As far as info needed look on this site in the ag section ( search for 14t). I have bought or am in the process of buying the equipment I need for making hay.
    You can get the equipment fairly cheap if you hit auctions,paper and ebay. You just have to figure out what you want and have to be a bit handy to work on the stuff. Cause it aint going to be close to new! but it will work.
    If you are serious about it let me give you a big tip make that a huge tip! buy your haying equipment starting in october to january off season! Cause anywhere around haying season prices go threw the roof! I guess supply and demand.
    All I am saying is look into it, do some home work! good luck!

  8. #8
    Elite Member czechsonofagun's Avatar
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    Kubota B1750

    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    I am in similar situation. Animals to feed and hay to buy, but I have only an acre I would like to utilize for hay.
    Well, being the nut I am, my plan is to fall back on what I used as a kid - the scythe. I can cut down an acre in a day, than flip it with a hay rake for few days - by hand - and than move it to the hay storage. Peasants in my country - did I mentioned I am a bohunk - done it for years and years.

    Good excersise too
    Regards,

    Prokop


    I was put on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Now I'm so far behind, I'll never die!

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    Very sound plan. No expense to visit a health club also.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  10. #10
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: Need Advice - Hay Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by rmonio
    Folks -

    I'm have a small 3-4 acre portion of my property that I'm looking to cut hay off for my horses. My options are to pay someone to do it - or look for equipment myself that would allow me to cut, rake, and bail in squares the hay (at least 2-3 cuttings a year). Given I've got Deere everything, I'm wondering what my options would be - new/used - for some cost effective equipment that I could use to do this myself.

    Thoughts? Thanks for your help and support!


    -Bob
    I plan to go haying on about 7 of my 10 acres of pasture late this year. I've been accumulating equipment for about 10 months. Here's what I have so far:

    IH #8 2-14 "Little Genius" trailer type plow--$350. Paid $700 shipping from central Illinois area. I really wanted this plow so I paid the price.

    JD 415 2-14 plow for 3-pt hitch -- $200

    Towner offset disc 7-ft - gift from a neighbor--put in about $70 to replace 5 of the 20 blades

    Fergusion 7-ft tandem disc - $200

    Minneapolis Moline P3-6 grain drill (20 rows, 6" spacing)--$275 for a primary unit and a spares unit--needs thorough cleaning, working on that now. Requires significant disassembly to get the job done.

    Cultipacker-10ft wide-$600

    Allis Chalmers 80T tow-type sicklebar mower-6-ft bar -- $150

    JD 350 side delivery hay rake (10 ft, pto driven) --$800

    MF-124 square baler - $2000 - bought this one right out of the field. Seller baled with in the day before I bought it.


    Except for the IH plow, all this stuff was found locally.

    Tractors:
    a new Mahindra 5525 (55 hp engine, 45 hp pto, 2WD) with ML250 FEL (6-ft bucket, 2900lb capacity) for plowing, discing, baling. Traded my 2005 kubota B7510 HST/LA302 FEL as part of the deal. $19.1K including $750 for dealer- installed triple remotes and 7.25% sales tax. March 2008.

    A 1964 MF-135 diesel (45 hp engine, 35 hp pto, 2WD) for the other haying chores. $3600 in July06.

    Still want to get a 7-ft/3pt hitch tandem disc (mostly for cutting firebreaks along my fence lines), a broadcast spreader and a 55-gal /3pt hitch sprayer unit. I'll probably build a hay accumulator/grapple per my own design later this year.

    Here's a photo of some of that equpment



    You don't need to spend a mint for haying equpment if you don't mind a bit of wrenching on old stuff.

    Good luck.

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