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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    66
    Location
    Southwest suburb of Chicago Area
    Tractor
    JD 4400

    Default Advice on doing my own hay

    Hi everyone.
    Perfect timing for this forum. We are looking at doing our own hay next year. We paid to have our 15 acre field disced and then planter with a good grass pasture mix for our horses. Unfortunately, due to the drought all we have had is weeds. Everyone I talked to tells us that he grass will grow next year with proper spraying and feltilizing. The farmer plans to round bale it for his cattle. We had planned to do a 50/50 deal, but this guy has become unreliable, which leads to my decision to do my own.
    I have a JD 4400 CUT. I would like to try doing my own hay next year. Based on what I have read in the forums I might be able to run a small baler for small squares. I know that I will need other implements and am looking for advice on what I might need and what you all suggest to look for on used equipment. I plan on looking at auctions, craigslist, e-bay etc. Depending on how things work out I may also look for a used 5xxx series JD utility tractor in the 50 HP range.
    Your advice an implements for my tractor would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Eldon

  2. #2
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    7,155
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    A new 4 wheel rake (1195) and a used JD, Ford, New Idea, Massey sickle mower ($995-2995) or a good used disc mower ($3500-$5000) and a good used JD 336, NH 68 or 269 square baler ($1995-$4500) + shipping is what we can do today. Ken Sweet
    http://www.sweetfarms.com/

    Sweet Farm Equipment LLC (Internet Sales, Shipping All States)
    Shipping Facility
    1815 Defries Rd., Canmer, Ky 42722 Toll Free 1-866-528-3323
    Ken Sweet sweet@scrtc.com

    Shipping Example: Can ship 800 lbs from Ky. to Dallas for $165
    The Northeast shipping corridor is a little more expensive.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    736
    Tractor
    cx70,5510,4630,5005

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    i would look for a used jd 5105 .for 15 acres a sickle mower would be the best.i would add a mf 124 baler to sweet's list. you will also need a trailer.good luck

  4. #4
    Member Amelia Farms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    40
    Location
    Julian, NC
    Tractor
    John Deere 1025R & 990 & 5520

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    Started doing my own hay this year. I picked up a used NH haybine, NH #56 rake, and a NH 68 baler. I bought a cheapo tedder from Agri Supply. I have a little under $3000 in all the equipment. I pulled all this with my JD 990, 40 horsepower. It all went much smoother than I anticipated. I made a little over 2000 bales in 2 cuttings this year with no major breakdowns. And it was a lot of fun, except heaving it up in the barn loft. I am looking for a used hay elevator now.

  5. #5
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,490
    Location
    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    Here's what I have:

    Old 6.5 ft Tower offset disc (free from neighbor, about $50 in new parts) and a home made drag for primary tillage.

    10 f wide cultipacker-$600

    Minneapolis Moline P3-6 grain drill (10 ft wide, 20 drops, grass seed boxes)-bought two for $275, used parts to make one good baler plus about $250 in new parts

    Massey Ferguson 31 sicklebar mower (7 ft), $550 at auction, $200 new parts

    John Deere 350 5-bar side delivery hayrake (3pt hitch/pto driven type), $800

    Massey Ferguson 124 baler (two twine, small squares 14" x 18" x 45" long), $2000

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,181
    Location
    Lee, IL
    Tractor
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    Sorry I can't give you a lot of advice on haying, but I am in your area and have a similar sized (slightly larger) tractor and would be willing to come help. I have never done hay and always look forward to learning new things and am always looking for side jobs. If you are interested, pm me. You say southwest suburbs, but your username implies Elgin. Let me know.

    I am also always going to auctions looking for implements, you may or may not know but Buck Bros. Deere dealer in hampshire has a big auction every year and there is also a big one in Woodstock I think twice a year.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    6,499
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota's, John Deere's

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia Farms View Post
    Started doing my own hay this year. I picked up a used NH haybine, NH #56 rake, and a NH 68 baler. I bought a cheapo tedder from Agri Supply. I have a little under $3000 in all the equipment. I pulled all this with my JD 990, 40 horsepower. It all went much smoother than I anticipated. I made a little over 2000 bales in 2 cuttings this year with no major breakdowns. And it was a lot of fun, except heaving it up in the barn loft. I am looking for a used hay elevator now.
    I use an old grain elevator, pics of my repair (broke a gear) and in-action on this site somewhere. It is PTO driven, height adjustable (a Plus) and most important to me at the time, is was free from a friend. It gets used, maybe twice a year, and puts about 500 bales up in the barn loft. It's harder getting the bales out of the hay wagon, then putting them in the loft.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Rara Avis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,023
    Location
    USA
    Tractor
    John Deere

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    A good baler is what you need to spend the most money for...because if you can't consistently bale all the other activity is just sunk cost...

    Depending on your weather patterns...which are changing rapidly...if you can't get three solidly dry days...you may also need a tedder to help dry your hay, a requirement here in the Northeast.

    Remember if you are going to sell your hay...ALL of your equipment will be able to be depreciated on your 1040 Schedule F...so you may be able to buy slightly more expensive equipment and recover costs on the tax savings.

    If you are doing small squares...if you are storing in a hay loft...invest in a good hay elevator system...to minimize having to handle bales...
    Loyal - Roth Manufacturing - Hay Bale-Elevator Systems

  9. #9
    Bronze Member biker4jc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    93
    Location
    Burton Mi
    Tractor
    AC WD 45, JD 212, Ford 850

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    I picked up an Allis Chalmers WD 45, an IH mower (model unknown) an IH rake(model unknown) and an old Massey Ferguson #12 baler and have less than $3500 into all of it and put up about 500 bales this year. The older equipment took some tinkering to get it working, mostly the mower but it sure was fun when I got it all working! Planning to do more next year

  10. #10
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,697
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Tractor
    JD 4110

    Default Re: Advice on doing my own hay

    Don't forget a couple wagons and a barn to put the bales in. :-)

    Make sure you have a manual for whatever baler you get. Knotters are fiddley.

    Also, I like square baling on a nice summer day. Send me an IM if you need some help next summer.
    I'm not fast or especially strong, but I'm reliable (and really really cheap -- that is, I work for gator-aide)

    In fact I'm helping a fellow TBNer bale tomorrow.

    Cliff
    My SF/mystery-noir Novel is out from Grand Mal Press:
    Walking Shadow by Clifford Royal Johns

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