Frequent question: What equipment is needed for hay farming?

A compact tractor is the staple of every operation, but mowers, conditioners, hay rakes, balers, and sometimes hay tedders and bale wrappers are also needed. Pay close attention to make sure your tractor has enough engine horsepower to meet the horsepower requirement for each implement.

What size tractor do you need for hay?

A basic dividing line is this: if you want to put up round bales, get a tractor in the 75-105 horsepower range. For square bales, get at least 45 horsepower.

What is the best hay equipment?

Buyer’s Guide to Hay Equipment

  • Choosing the Right Hay Rake. …
  • Wheel Rakes. …
  • Parallel Bar Rakes. …
  • Rotary Rakes. …
  • Belt Rakes. …
  • Choosing the Right Baler. …
  • Mini Round Baler. The word is spreading about mini round balers, also called roto-balers. …
  • Square Balers. The first machines that baled hay baled square bales.
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What do you need to farm hay?

However, purchasing hay-growing equipment — at a minimum you’ll need a tractor, mower, hay rake and baler — is costly and will likely prevent you from earning a profit your first year or two in business. A hay business depends on two things: cooperative weather and a reliable customer base.

How much does it cost to start a hay farm?

He says it costs about $297 per acre to seed and prepare hay ground. “You are going to get more than three years out of that, but if we use three years, that’s about $100 per acre per year,” Brown says. “If you are getting $125 per ton for quality hay, you are going to see a profit of $51 per ton, or $204 per acre.

How many small square bales can you get per acre?

With an average bale weight of around 40 pounds (with our Abbriata small square baler or any of our mini round balers), that’s 100 bales to the acre for a first cutting.

How much hay can one acre produce?

The average U.S. dry hay yield (all types) dropped from 2.52 tons per acre in 2016 to 2.44 tons per acre in 2017. For alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures, the average yield declined from 3.45 tons per acre in 2016 to 3.32 tons per acre in 2017.

Is it cheaper to buy hay or make it?

In most environments where forage production is based on natural rainfall, you can almost always buy hay cheaper than you can produce it. Most farmers and ranchers initially don’t believe this. … When full cost of production is accounted for, hay generally costs between $70 and $140/ton to produce.

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Is it cost effective to bale your own hay?

Given today’s high machinery costs, custom hay harvesting may be a more profitable option than harvesting with your own machinery, particularly for smaller operations. … In some markets, it may be cheaper to buy someone else’s hay and use your own forage for additional grazing.

Does hay grow back every year?

Some fields are always used to grow hay, and don’t require re-planting every year. In other cases, hay is a part of a crop rotation, where farmers plant different crops on the same field in different years. Hayseed can be a mixture of many types of seeds, with alfalfa, clover, and timothy being among the most common.

How many times a year can you harvest hay?

Unfortunately, weather and other commitments don’t always let you cut hay at the optimum time. In most areas of the country, grass hay can be cut twice, sometimes three times, per year. The first cutting generally has the largest yield.

Is it hard to grow hay?

Commercial farms have little difficulty raising hay or sourcing out their needs, but smaller farmers and urban hobbyists can also grow, harvest and bale hay even on a smaller scale. Haying can be challenging, and some farmers simply enjoy that challenge.

How much money does a hay farmer make?

The average pay for a Hay Farmer is $57,165 a year and $27 an hour in the United States. The average salary range for a Hay Farmer is between $41,872 and $69,961.

How much does a ton of hay sell for?

Specifically, alfalfa-grade hay bales are priced between $140 and $165 per ton, while grass, midquality hay bales are selling for $125 to $150 per ton.

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How much does a square bale of hay cost?

From the hay market, square bales, on average, will cost you between $3 and $10 per bale, but some farmers prefer selling their hay per pound, in which case such a bale will be around 50 pounds.