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Posted: 7/13/2013 5:06:44 PM EDT
I have a 12 acre chunk of land. Half of it is a hay field. The other half is fenced horse pastures. The previous owners had someone who cut the hay. The farmers in my area were cutting around memorial day. The field did seem at its peak about that time. The guy who had previously cut my field contacted me and I told him he could but I've not heard from him for several weeks for the grass isn't looking so nice any more. Other plants are starting to grow up as well.

Is it no good after a certain point?
Whats the going rate for hay?
What do people charge to cut it?

No clue what I'm doing here in this respect. I'm not a farmer.
Link Posted: 7/13/2013 5:38:47 PM EDT
Im pretty sure you shouldnt have to pay to cut decent hay down.  Most farmers will pay you assuming you have hay worth cutting down and paying for..
Link Posted: 7/13/2013 5:39:14 PM EDT
Depending on the type of grass, and how much rain you get or don't get, you can get one cutting per year, or up to 3-4 cuttings from your field.  Some custom balers charge x-amount per bale, or some will cut & bale it for a certain % of the number of bales.  If you don't want to pay cash to have it baled, negotiate "for halves", he provides the tractor, baler and fuel, you give him half of the bales and you keep half the bales.  Several options, it all depends on quality of your grass.  If you can get it cut, it needs to dry a day or two after cutting before baling it.  Its preferrable for it not to get rained on while it is drying, before it is baled.

I don't know what its like in VA, but in OK, the biggest detriment you have is the fact you have ~6 acres to cut.  Maybe it isn't worth his time & effort to mobilize to cut/bale 6 acres.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 7/13/2013 8:08:40 PM EDT
small acreages fall to the bottom of the list to get cut. If you have a 60 acre field that yields 4 bales to the acre and a six acre field that yields 2 bales an acre, the 6 acre field is just going to have to wait.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 10:15:34 AM EDT
Foxxz Do you need the hay?

If not it might be cheaper to brush hog it.

Or if for cattle you might be better off to leave it as standing hay and feed it early with molasses as a substitute protein.
6 acres isn't much and most custom hay folks see that as a pain unless somebody next to you has a descant sized field to help offset the cost of moving to your location. As far cost I have no ideal we have done our own hay for many years now. I have heard around $20.00 per bale here but not certain. So you are looking at mediocre hay maybe 12 to 25 bales at $20 = $240 to $500. With the cost of fuel I could not break evan to move any distance with my larger equipment.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 10:33:05 AM EDT
Quoted:
Foxxz Do you need the hay?

If not it might be cheaper to brush hog it.

Or if for cattle you might be better off to leave it as standing hay and feed it early with molasses as a substitute protein.
6 acres isn't much and most custom hay folks see that as a pain unless somebody next to you has a descant sized field to help offset the cost of moving to your location. As far cost I have no ideal we have done our own hay for many years now. I have heard around $20.00 per bale here but not certain. So you are looking at mediocre hay maybe 12 to 25 bales at $20 = $240 to $500. With the cost of fuel I could not break evan to move any distance with my larger equipment.


Here in VA we would pay $5-15 depending on the year to feed horses. The original farmer still owns the land around me and I'm in the middle of it all. Didn't get a chance to talk to him about it before he cut his. I don't have a use for any of it yet, No livestock.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 10:36:59 AM EDT
just put your horses in the hay pasture and let them graze it till if or when it gets cut..less on you for feeding and good to rotate pasture anyway.

edit" you called the pastures surrounding you horse pastures .. you do not have any horses to put on it...well im sure if sure if you got some friends with horses you put five head in there and they will work it over quickly.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 11:03:18 AM EDT
Quoted:
just put your horses in the hay pasture and let them graze it till if or when it gets cut..less on you for feeding and good to rotate pasture anyway.

edit" you called the pastures surrounding you horse pastures .. you do not have any horses to put on it...well im sure if sure if you got some friends with horses you put five head in there and they will work it over quickly.


This.  6 acres of hay isn't that much.  I wouldn't think any farmer would want to burn the fuel to get there.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 11:27:12 AM EDT
I have 4 acres that get cut for hay twice a season and get 3-400 bales each time. the guy that cuts and bales it gets half and I get half, I sell my excess for 5-6.00 a bale and pay my property taxes with the proceeds.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 1:18:03 PM EDT
So you are looking at small square bales, somebody might bale it for that but it is awful late in the season. Brush hog it for new growth and try for fall cutting if still wish for hay. It is cheaper to run a small Square baler than a large one or round baler. People here get $5.00 to $6.00 bale not including hauling. Or lease to somebody to graze it.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 4:04:51 PM EDT
Quoted:
I have 4 acres that get cut for hay twice a season and get 3-400 bales each time. the guy that cuts and bales it gets hafl and I get half, I sell mine excess for 5-6.00 a bale and pay my property taxes with the proceeds.


That comes out to 150 to 200 bales per acre. That sounds about in the right ballpark. I've read from many others who grow their own hay that they can get 150 bales per acre in the first cutting and 100 per acre in the second. Those bales average 40 lbs (square). After paying 6.50 per bale (for 40 lb average bales) my wife and I are considering buying 3-4 additional acres in the coming years and growing our own hay if we can negotiate a deal with a local farmer to have him cut/rake/bale it. What equipment do you need to cultivate/seed/prep/etc. the land for hay? If the investment for a used tractor and other farm implements to get the land to the point of the hay growing is high, we would probably just stick with buying our hay. But at $1,700/year for hay (250 bales for two horses), it wouldn't take long to break even on buying three to four acres and some used equipment to plant hay.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 6:23:07 PM EDT
Quoted:
I have a 12 acre chunk of land. Half of it is a hay field. The other half is fenced horse pastures. The previous owners had someone who cut the hay. The farmers in my area were cutting around memorial day. The field did seem at its peak about that time. The guy who had previously cut my field contacted me and I told him he could but I've not heard from him for several weeks for the grass isn't looking so nice any more. Other plants are starting to grow up as well.

Is it no good after a certain point?
Whats the going rate for hay?
What do people charge to cut it?

No clue what I'm doing here in this respect. I'm not a farmer.


Much of your questions depends on what type of hay it is. Is it alfalfa (best) you can get 1-6 cuttings a year weather depending. Timothy, pasture grass?  After it starts drying, you will loose protein past a certain point , negating its feed value.  It can be used for bedding etc. ( called straw) Weed free feed hay gets a premium price  out here on the west coast, it is at an all time high due to demand.  Check your local agriculture, feed stores , papers etc... to see what it is going for per ton in your area.  Most custom operators charge per ton for cutting &  baling hay. I know no one who would do it for free. fuel, twine , wages etc... again, check the local market .  Balers have a bale counter, $ per # of bales.    Most of these guys have all the hay they need.  Generally  "horse people" are your market, check at some local feed, western, tack, horse stores for a market.  My suggestion would be to rent out the property to someone with the equipment and not have bother with the hassle.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 1:01:51 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
I have 4 acres that get cut for hay twice a season and get 3-400 bales each time. the guy that cuts and bales it gets half and I get half, I sell my excess for 5-6.00 a bale and pay my property taxes with the proceeds.


That comes out to 150 to 200 bales per acre. That sounds about in the right ballpark. I've read from many others who grow their own hay that they can get 150 bales per acre in the first cutting and 100 per acre in the second. Those bales average 40 lbs (square). After paying 6.50 per bale (for 40 lb average bales) my wife and I are considering buying 3-4 additional acres in the coming years and growing our own hay if we can negotiate a deal with a local farmer to have him cut/rake/bale it. What equipment do you need to cultivate/seed/prep/etc. the land for hay? If the investment for a used tractor and other farm implements to get the land to the point of the hay growing is high, we would probably just stick with buying our hay. But at $1,700/year for hay (250 bales for two horses), it wouldn't take long to break even on buying three to four acres and some used equipment to plant hay.


I have checked into used equipment to harvest our hay and it would take right around 30,000.00 for decent equipment you would need a Baler, haybine, Rake and a tractor.

For me it is easier to have the guy down the road deal with it and simply split  the crop 50/50 with him.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 1:45:54 PM EDT
Used Equipment Equipment Good place to start.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 3:00:14 PM EDT
Quoted:
I have a 12 acre chunk of land. Half of it is a hay field. The other half is fenced horse pastures. The previous owners had someone who cut the hay. The farmers in my area were cutting around memorial day. The field did seem at its peak about that time. The guy who had previously cut my field contacted me and I told him he could but I've not heard from him for several weeks for the grass isn't looking so nice any more. Other plants are starting to grow up as well.

Is it no good after a certain point? It is always worth something but better to cut it when its ready.
Whats the going rate for hay? Check craigslist in your area to see what it is selling for.
What do people charge to cut it? Cutting raking and baling will run half to 2/3rds of the hay value.

No clue what I'm doing here in this respect. I'm not a farmer.
View Quote



Edits above.
I will be baling about 10 acres of 2nd cutting tomorrow.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 6:39:57 AM EDT

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Quoted:
Edits above.

I will be baling about 10 acres of 2nd cutting tomorrow.
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Quoted:



Quoted:

I have a 12 acre chunk of land. Half of it is a hay field. The other half is fenced horse pastures. The previous owners had someone who cut the hay. The farmers in my area were cutting around memorial day. The field did seem at its peak about that time. The guy who had previously cut my field contacted me and I told him he could but I've not heard from him for several weeks for the grass isn't looking so nice any more. Other plants are starting to grow up as well.



Is it no good after a certain point? It is always worth something but better to cut it when its ready.

Whats the going rate for hay? Check craigslist in your area to see what it is selling for.

What do people charge to cut it? Cutting raking and baling will run half to 2/3rds of the hay value.



No clue what I'm doing here in this respect. I'm not a farmer.






Edits above.

I will be baling about 10 acres of 2nd cutting tomorrow.




 
Came here to post similar to this. I help bale hay for some friends who board horses. They have a very nice 5 acre hay field that yields some very nice hay, especially the 3rd and 4th cuts. I work for hay when I help, as we have goats.




Anyway, the farmer that would come down and cut, rake, and bale would take at least half of the hay as payment. I've heard of farmers taking 2/3 to 3/4. I believe on the latter, that's when the farmer is providing the labor as well. In our case, all he did was drive the tractor, we did all the manual labor. Our friends finally got their own equipment, and we did their 2nd cut last week all on our own. They got sick of running out of hay, then paying $5 a bale to buy back the hay off their field from said farmer.




I'd look around like many have said, and try to get someone to come and bale it.  
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 7:12:12 PM EDT
Got my hay baled but had a few problems, which is somewhat normal for running older equipment(19?? NH 273 baler)  Belt for the bale thrower broke, took the broken belt to the auto parts store for a replacement. Measure it up and away I go. Got back and new belt is 2 ft short!!???  Send wife back for another belt while I do some field work and watch clouds move in. She gets back with another belt and its 6" too short. She runs again while I finish my work and the next belt is just a bit short but works. Finished up some nice looking bales and got them into the shed.

Reason I mention this is if the guy you hire isnt running brand new equipment breakdowns happen. It IS ALWAYS GOING TO RAIN TOMORROW. Period. It's just the way the weather patterns are. When the hay is ready it might wait another day if it stays dry, but if it gets drenched in a good downpour, it will lose feed value.

If you hire someone to do your hay discuss what happens if the weather turns and it gets rained on and ruined. I would try to both agree when to cut to avoid any problems. No matter what the weather it will have to get baled or chopped back onto the field.
Lets face it, If we could run the Halliburton Weather Machine we wouldn't be doing this would we?
Link Posted: 7/26/2013 4:28:00 AM EDT
I think the only reason you want to get knee deep in hay production is so you can control the quality of feed, cost of feed, and supply.


It's hard in a lot of places to sell enough hay to ever make a profit, but I think it's worth the effort to produce what you need.





Link Posted: 7/28/2013 11:22:07 AM EDT
Mow it or let animals eat it.  Not enough to warrant someone cutting it.  You could probably buy hay cheaper if you need it.
Link Posted: 7/28/2013 11:41:09 AM EDT
Fence it off and turn a couple (2 or 3) calves in it.They will keep it nicely mowed.....and fertilized.They do require a lot of water.
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