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  1. #1
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    Default Question for haymakers

    A gentleman that I know in the local area grows some of his own hay (many of us run some cattle in these parts) for feed.
    He still makes "stupid bales" (small 80-100lb) and I mentioned that I use (buy) larger bales (700-800 lb) and it is much easier to move (hay spike) and feed (big bites with bucket and grapple jaw).

    He said that he would like to switch to big bales but he did not know if his tractor was powerful enough (68 pto Massey).

    I told him that I would field this question on this forum for him (He does not do the net too much...he said he is too busy making stupid bales.)

    What do you gentlemen say; does he have enough hp?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member D7E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    Depends on the age of the tractor/how his hyd's are set up etc but theres nothing stupid about small bales . They are our most profitable for the horse market and i think if if just for your own use and you are'nt too big far more convenient , Just a bit more time and labour consuming .
    There was a time where we fed 300 hereford cattle with all small square bales ?

  3. #3
    Super Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    There are several farmer's in this area that bale big round bales with tractors in that hp range - JD 3010, JD 5400, etc.

    I don't recall the model number of the JD round balers. They're newer models with net wrap and preservative applicators (1). We're working with timothy hay (some brome) but most of the bales are 750lb and less.

    I'd think he would do just fine unless he's trying to bale 1200lb alfalfa rounds - (are those "smart" bales..)?

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    Could the tractor bale larger rounds - I bet it could, but I always like to use the Rev. Lovejoy's answer of "Short answer, yes with an if; Long answer, no with a but."

    As far as "stupid bales" - c'mon, man!

    All we've ever done is small bales, mostly because we have small herds of cows. I only run about 20-30 head at any given time, and in the winter feed between 5 and 9 bales per day (and we only bale ours at about 50-60 lbs), so I only feed between 250 and 500 lbs per day.

    If I set out a large bale, even in a feeder or ring, some would still go to waste (I'm guessing between 20 and 30 percent), so we would have to produce 20 to 30 percent more hay. That takes more land, more fuel, more space, etc. etc.


    Additionally, when I have to put an old cow or calf in the barn, I need to have small bales to feed a little at a time, so I would still need some small bales at some point.

    Granted, we have to have more labor for a couple of days to put the hay up, but that's just a couple hundred dollars.

    I will admit that I do plan on converting to round bales at some point in the future, but that is partly because I've seen the advent of smaller round balers that can make a 500 lb roll, so I won't waste nearly as much (and I might be adding a few cows as well).

    Also as a side note - I call the square bales "stupid" bales too!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    I agree with rtimgray on al counts. With the right size baler he should be fine. He won't be rolling 1500 lb bales, but he could probably do a 4x4 or maybe even 4x5 if the ground is flat.
    I also agree with small squares certainly not being "stupid", except when stacking.
    They have their place, and with unlimited time and space I think most people would prefer them. But, they do take more time to feed and much more storage room.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member pitt_md's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    I am taking the OP to mean he wants to have large squares made and not rounds.
    I do not know exactly how much hp it takes to run run a heston or the like but I contract a guy to bale mine into 800 lb bales and he uses a JD 4WD with 200+ HP. I don't know all the options for baling large squares but I don't think a 68 hp machine could even pull one very well let alone run it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    Quote Originally Posted by pitt_md View Post
    I am taking the OP to mean he wants to have large squares made and not rounds.
    I do not know exactly how much hp it takes to run run a heston or the like but I contract a guy to bale mine into 800 lb bales and he uses a JD 4WD with 200+ HP. I don't know all the options for baling large squares but I don't think a 68 hp machine could even pull one very well let alone run it.
    I think you may be right. I automatically thought of round bales because large squares aren't done around here.
    You could find the specs for any baler on the internet, but I doubt 68hp is enough for large squares.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    Correct...large square bales weighing about 750lb.

    Around these parts very few people use small bales. Most of the year-round ranchers either roll out (3 point roller) large round bales or spike feed from large squares. Small bales are to throw a few flakes to horses, but most folks are using ATV's for ranching. One can still see the occasional horse use when the cattle are driven into the high country but beyond that, its mostly house-pet horses. All the large quantity hay use is big bale.

    (Some guys make the 1600 lbs squares and export to Japan and China. Multiple 1 acre hay barns with those bales stacked 25 feet high and loaded/offloaded with tele-handlers and harvested by semi-trucks from the field.)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    Quote Originally Posted by RFB View Post
    Correct...large square bales weighing about 750lb.

    Around these parts very few people use small bales. Most of the year-round ranchers either roll out (3 point roller) large round bales or spike feed from large squares. Small bales are to throw a few flakes to horses, but most folks are using ATV's for ranching. One can still see the occasional horse use when the cattle are driven into the high country but beyond that, its mostly house-pet horses. All the large quantity hay use is big bale.

    (Some guys make the 1600 lbs squares and export to Japan and China. Multiple 1 acre hay barns with those bales stacked 25 feet high and loaded/offloaded with tele-handlers and harvested by semi-trucks from the field.)
    The answer to his question does he have enough hp for a big square baler the answer is no he needs minimum 150 hp MFWD tractor for a big square baler . If he was doing round bales he has enough hp if the fields are fairly level and no big hills .

  10. #10
    Veteran Member D7E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for haymakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan_Cen_Ont View Post
    The answer to his question does he have enough hp for a big square baler the answer is no he needs minimum 150 hp MFWD tractor for a big square baler . If he was doing round bales he has enough hp if the fields are fairly level and no big hills .
    When i worked for custom balers back in the 90's we ran 3 foot balers on smaller tractors like NH 8240's and MF 6180's and one driver even had a NH D1000 on a Ford 7610 .
    I bought a baler this week and previous owner was using it on a 115hp IH (2wd), I have it on 154hp though (2wd) !

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