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Hay Brokers


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#1 Van Zee Ag.

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:48 PM

Has anyone ever used a hay broker? If so, are there any good/honest ones in Iowa?

#2 nwfarmer

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:08 PM

I don't know about Iowa. In Wyoming some of them like to take your hay and pay you later. I don't let hay leave the property unless it is paid for so I don't see brokers here very much.

I find that if you have an ad in the paper and once winter arrives and the cheap hay is gone you can get a good price for your own hay. You just have to be patient. Hay sales is starting to pick up a little out here. Several of the callers have been from the other side of the state saying hay is harder to find in small bales. Many animals are grazing until the snow flies and the grass is gone. Then they buy cheap hay. When it is gone they have to pay for good hay.
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#3 Van Zee Ag.

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for the info. Im new to the business and just wondering if they are worth going through.

#4 swmnhay

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:33 PM

What are you trying to move?

#5 Production Acres

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:42 AM

We purchase a lot of hay every year. We might be considered a broker on some hay, and we buy hay from a few brokers occasionally. There are a lot of good honest people buying and selling hay. There are also several real scumbags! But that goes the same way for the farmers selling the hay - there are some good operators and some real sorry duds. If you deal with a good broker, and you have good hay, they can really move a lot of hay in a hurry.
We rarely look at any hay that we purchase. It comes into our facility here, but we don't drive to kansas personally, load the truck and write the guy a check. We call the farmer, discuss the hay, hire a truck, get the hay, write a check for the load. And yes you can find all sorts of things to say about the one load you had to chase for 6 months to get paid for from some customer. We have had mutiple customers dissapear, go bankrupt, etc.
But boy oh boy some of the loads of hay we get shipped in here that some moron considered hay! Bottom bales with 2" of mud on them, Unreal amounts of trash, Bales with lots of carmilazation in the centers. Sent a van to TX one year to load out some bermuda. Supposed to be nice dry hay - got loaded out of a stack in the field in the pouring rain - bales were 9' long - farmer pushed 1/3 of the truck full and ran out of traction with his farm tractor. Didn't call, didn't say anything! Truck showed up with steam coming out of the back of the truck. Didn't pay for that load of hay!!!!!!!!!!!! (water soaked mulch hay)

#6 HALLSHAY

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 07:46 AM

I don't have any use for a hay broker that sits behind a desk and buys and sells hay that they have never seen! It is fine if you are talking grinding hay, but everyone has a different idea of what "good" hay is. Try to market locally if that is an option. If you get caught in a situation where the broker sold your hay as something better than what it really was, you will end up being the one who is shorted on your check. Brokers tend to dissapear when there is a problem! That being said, there are also some very honest people in the business who actually travel a bunch and know what they are selling. Just know who you are doing business with.

#7 nwfarmer

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 07:50 AM

I don't mean to suggest hay brokers are dishonest. They have to make money also. I just figure if they drive in and look at my hay or have a driver that drives in and looks at my hay, being in the hay business they should know good hay from bad hay. They know when they buy my hay what they are going to make on it. No reason not to have cash when the hay leaves.

If I have bad hay and can't sell it I shouldn't think that a hay broker will be able to sell the hay either. That would be dishonest on my part.

I have had drivers come in to pick up hay and start loading ground bales. When I tell them the deal is no ground bales I usually get an answer of "doesn't matter to me, I'm not paying for it". I could just turn around and walk away and let them load the ground bales. I don't. I usually get on their case and ask them where they will be working next week. If they have ground bales loaded I make them unload them or I call the buyer. My ground bales are discounted because of the mud.

We are lucky here because of low humidity. I can loosely cross stack ground bales mud up 2 by 2 about 8 high. That mud dries before it penetrates the hay. I get at least half price for those bales for cow hay.

When a good hay broker is taking discounted ground bales they drag them on the dry ground. That removes all mud and loose damp hay. You can watch these guys and learn all the tricks.

#8 swmnhay

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:06 AM

I got a call from a producer this spring that had some hay for sale.Hay jockey had bought his entire crop for so much a ton straight across.He picks up the best hay 3rd & some of the 2nd cutting and leaves him hanging with the rest.The price of hay had dropped in the mean time.

Another guy I know thought he had 17 loads sold to a Texas broker @ 150 ton picked up.He didn't have nothing down on it and when the hay price dropped the broker reniged on the deal.

Thats the game a lot of them play,book the hay at such a price,and if they can't get it sold or the price goes down they leave you hanging.And if the price goes up they want it at the booked price.

Not saying that they are all bad just a few things that I've heard.

Edited by swmnhay, 28 October 2009 - 08:16 AM.


#9 Jake_NEIA

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 07:26 PM

What kind of hay? Where you at in Iowa? Brother in law goes through 250-300 tons of dairy quality alfalfa per year. Prefers big squares, but has used rounds before to. If he can help ya out and buy direct let me know. He's in NE Iowa.

Jake

#10 Van Zee Ag.

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:57 PM

I'm just getting started with 40 acres of 1 yr. established alfalfa and timothy. I am planning on planting another 80 acres of straight alfalfa in the spring (unless someone has better advice). The bales will be 3x3 big squares. I am 20 miles east of Des Moines. I really like to keep the hay inside when baled, but am limited to around 500 big square bales of inside storage. If at all possible selling it straight off the farm would be the best.

#11 nwfarmer

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:15 AM

What you plant depends on local markets unless you plan to ship.

#12 Jake_NEIA

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:38 AM

I'm just getting started with 40 acres of 1 yr. established alfalfa and timothy. I am planning on planting another 80 acres of straight alfalfa in the spring (unless someone has better advice). The bales will be 3x3 big squares. I am 20 miles east of Des Moines. I really like to keep the hay inside when baled, but am limited to around 500 big square bales of inside storage. If at all possible selling it straight off the farm would be the best.


I'll send you a PM and I'll see if I can help ya out.

Jake

#13 Hayguy

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 02:32 PM

Is it usual practice for hay brokers to pay the seller after delivery? My neighbor sold a load through a broker to a polo ranch in Texas. Never collected a dime for that hay. Buyers claimed the hay was crap and couldn't sell to local feedyards. I stacked every bale on that load and know for a fact there wasn't a bad bale on the load. That experience alone convinced me to NEVER let a load leave the yard without payment (preferably cash!) in hand , and to insist on payment on delivery for hay I haul myself.

#14 Production Acres

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 06:37 AM

It is very hard to get all the paperwork in order all the time to get paid for your hay immediatly when the load is ready to leave. As we buy everything by the ton, sometimes the truck will have to go to a set of scales 50 miles from the farm to weigh out. Sometimes, the trucks have to weigh out here after they have delivered a load of hay. Then the paperwork can be put together and invoices faxed or mailed. Additionally, when you are dealing with commercial trucks, you cannot give the driver a check;.) In an ideal world, everyone would pay cash on the barrelhead, but in reality, some customers have 30-60 day accounts, and when you want to sell to these customers, sometimes you have to play by their rules.

#15 HALLSHAY

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

Knowing who you are doing business with is #1 priority. Shipping exactally what the customer wants is the next priority. ALL of the people that buy our hay from the east coast and south get 30 days to pay. There are times that we will be 100k+ out on our money and not worried about it a bit. In the last three years I have not lost a dime or had to deduct from a load of delivered hay. We do not sell hay to anyone that just calls. You must go through an established distributor to buy our product. We will sell hay to anyone that pulls into the drive, but they must pay when they pick it up.
90% of the hay we buy is bought on credit. The other 10% is people we are establishing a relationship with. It is definitely a 2 way street. It is just as hard to get deposit money back on hay that ended up being worse than it was represented as. I don't reject loads of hay and not pay for them, instead we work with the people who sent it and try to figure out how to make that load not cost any more money for both parties involved. If it turns into a pissing match, we pay for the load of hay, take the loss, and never buy from that person again.
I consider myself a hay broker, but I try to look at all of the hay before it is bought, and then every bale is brought here to be processed. I can accurately represent what we sell, because I look at every bale that runs through the press.




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