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  1. #1
    Gold Member CWP37's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    275
    Location
    Hill Country, TX
    Tractor
    John Deere 5103 w/ 512 LDR

    Default Haying Equipment

    Can anybody give me an approximate start-up cost for getting equipped to bale hay? I'm guessing the following equipment would be needed:

    1)Tractor
    2)Sickle Mower
    3)Rake/Tedder
    4)Baler

    I'm sure that there is a wide variance depending on the quality of equipment, so I'm just looking for a rough estimate and/or any advice from someone who has tried to start baling from scratch.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    370
    Location
    Merrimack county, NH
    Tractor
    JD 110 TLB

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    Costs vary wildy because you do not give an amount of acreage to hay, or tell if you are looking for horse quality hay or mulch [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Elite Member Kyle_in_Tex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,830
    Location
    Giddings, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4310,JD5420

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    How much acreage do you want to hay? Do you want to custom bale? Square or round?

    On the cheap:
    Used 2wd 60 HP tractor 30 years old = $5k to $10K
    Used sickle bar example JD 350 9' = $1K
    Used rake = $500-1000
    Used sq baler = $2500-8500
    Used round baler = $8K-20K

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    When doing your own hay for personal use, unless you need quite a bit, it's almost always better to partner with a farmer.

    You can work something out where he will cut and bale and take X many bails. Or you cut and he bales. Etc...

    Hay is very tricky to do right, especially if you want good hay. An experienced farmers still needs a lot of luck to get a nice cut. Between weather, moisture, time of day, etc... it can get very compicated in a hurry.

    Aside from all that, the equipment costs are rediculous. Even at $10 a bail, Florida prices, you will have to bail well over 6000 bales before you start to break even. Realisticaly, hay is around $3.50-$5.00 a bale. So like $12,000 bales.

    You need a reliable tractor and bailer. In most locations your window for haying is narrow. You don't want to be fiddling with your baler or tractor when a storm is rolling in.

    You also will need atleast one wagon.

    I'm not saying don't do it. Hay is the only crop worth growing right now. Atleast here in Canada, the $44 it costs to plant an acre of corn, is close to what you will get for it. It costs more to plant/harvest and dry than you can sell it for.

    With hay prices climbing past $17 a bale in places like Florida, good hay is well worth selling.

    But for doing your own little bit of hay, the cost of equipment takes a long, long time to cover itself. But I suppose to some it could be a fun hobby.

  5. #5
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,716
    Location
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L5030HSTC

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    I can only agree completely with Kyle_in_Tex and CrazyMike. To do haying you need to want to work a lot, pay a lot for equipment, and cover lots and lots of acres to make your investment back. Of course, this allows you time to enjoy your AC cab and sunglasses! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    811
    Location
    Waterman, DeKalb County, Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 855 MFWD; Oliver 1850 Gas

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I can only agree completely with Kyle_in_Tex and CrazyMike. To do haying you need to want to work a lot, pay a lot for equipment, and cover lots and lots of acres to make your investment back. Of course, this allows you time to enjoy your AC cab and sunglasses! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] )</font>

    Hmmmm.....

    For the last three years, I have paid someone to cut, rake and bale my hay. I ended up paying about $3K for the 3000 bales off my property every year.

    In the end, finding someone else to do my hay three times a year became too unreliable (they are full time farmers, and have their own land to care for), and I decided to buy my own equipment.

    Cutter, rake, baler, two wagons, a 16' elevator and the tractor all total was less than $9,000. Is it new equipment? Of course not. Add another zero on there if you want all new. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] Personally, I don't believe it is beyond anyones capability to grow and harvest hay. Average people with average skills (and without the extensive resources available on the Internet) have been planting, growing and harvesting crops of all kinds for a long, long time.

    I am estimating that my annual cost per bale will be around $0.20 (fuel, maintenance, baling twine, beer, pizza). With the average price of horse quality hay in my area being $3.50 - $4.00, I am saving between $3.30 and $3.80 per bale. To purchase openly the same 3000 bales I can grow, costs $10,500 - $12,000. I am saving $9,900 - $11,400 each year by doing it myself vs. buying it. I am saving $2,400 each year vs. paying someone. A four year payback doesn't seem all that long to me. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,697
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Tractor
    JD 4110

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    And when the four years are done, the used equipment you bought will probably be worth about the same as you paid for it. At some point such equipment doesn't loose much value year to year if maintained well.

    Cliff

  8. #8
    Bronze Member stump54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    78
    Location
    Bladen County North Carolina
    Tractor
    MF1540

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    After, or before, you buy the equipment; how do you learn how to hay?
    I have 6 acres of costal bermuda that I cut and leave 3 times a year. I'd also like to stop paying others for something I already have.
    I've tried to work out deals with local farmers but they're all busy with their own crops.
    I'm looking for some way to educate myself.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    744
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    So my situation is I now have about 2 acres in hay (I don't even know what kind) that has been growing on my property for a long time. A local farmer mows and bales it and keeps it for himself. I really do not have a need for it myself. I would love to sell it however. Previous owner let this farmer just keep it. So far I have done the same.

    I only have a JD 3320 32.5hp tractor - is that large enough to take care of hay with????

    Sorry to thread leech but does Anyone have an opionion on what I should do in my hay situation?

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    811
    Location
    Waterman, DeKalb County, Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 855 MFWD; Oliver 1850 Gas

    Default Re: Haying Equipment

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I only have a JD 3320 32.5hp tractor - is that large enough to take care of hay with????)</font>

    No.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Sorry to thread leech but does Anyone have an opionion on what I should do in my hay situation? )</font>

    Nothing...Not worth it to change anything.

    Dave

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