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Starting Small Haying Operation Questions


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#1 saltwater_addict

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:43 PM

Guys,

I am wanting to start a small haying operation. I have access to about 40 acres of coastal and a Kubota MX5100 which puts out about 44pto horsepower. This would be sort of a hobby hay operation, but i do run cattle and for the last few yrs hay has been going for $55+ for a 4X5 less than stellar bale. I was thinking that I could enjoy myself, feed the cows, and support a few neighbors and make alittle bit of cash in the process.

My real questions (after reading pages upon pages on this site and others) is:

1. Would this tractor really be able to handle a baler like the Rebel 5410? The land is flat as can be (south of Houston TX).

2. Are the disc mowers that are right at the limit, like the smaller Vermeers and the HayMagnums that state that 45 pto is sufficient. ( I understand its better to have much more power than you need, but through talking with someone who runs this tractor with a, in my opinion, much too large disc mower, it seems it can be done) I am mainly wondering if i can run the larger HayMag disc mowers.

3. This tractor is light, but would adding rimguard or equivalent help? I'm not worried so much about the baler since we are very flat land here, but just the jolting i've read comes with it.

Also, what would be a good size field for this equipment, i have access from 20 acres to about 50 if i want.

Besides that, i have a smaller tractor for raking, which i think would be good enough, but whats the smallest you have seen legitamately get away with pulling the rake? it wouldnt be feasible for me to get another tractor i dont think, having two already, but if i could find an oldie may not be too big of a problem, but i would definately rather use what i have paid for. I also have a decent labor force, all the trucks and trailers you could want as well.

If you have any suggestions or anything else, please let me know. This is something i have been wanting to get into for awhile now, hopefully the news wont be too bad. Thanks for any and all help guys.

#2 sedurbin

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 12:36 PM

What you are proposing may not be ideal but if you are careful and don't push too hard, you can do a lot with the tractors that you have. Your flat land will make a lot of difference. I have used my NH TC45 to run the NH 644 baler a few times, it didn't like it much but it got the job done. I could sure tell when the bale was about full and had to gear down accordingly. I was in a pinch and sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your time in the hay field. If it ever stops raining long enough, I would like to enjoy myself for a while. :-) Looks like it may be worse than last year.

#3 kyfred

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:20 PM

I have a M5030SU Kubota 4WD. Supposed to be 49 or 50 pto hp with a loader. I run a,AM243-S Easy Cut Krone disc mower 7ft10in cut. Vermeer Rebel 5410 recommends 40hp min 50hp recommended. We have a M&W 4590 4ftW 5ft Diameter roll Recommended, Hp owners manual says approx.40 hp. A fixed chamber rollbaler doesn't get tight till the last part of making a roll. It might run the Rebel but I think it will be a hard pull all the way through making the roll. Krone makes a good rollbaler [fixed chamber] also. If you look on the Haytalk members list their is a member named Krone. I would ask him he could tell you what model disc mower and rollbaler that would work good for you.Your Kubota or the smaller tractor would be ok to rake with depending on the size of the rake. We have a NH256 that we use. I have seen people use p/u trucks and JD gators to rake with in a pinch. I would put fluid in the rear tires or ad wheel weights on the tractor. You could pick up a cycle mower cheap to get started. If you get a haybine you will need more Hp to run it.
Have Fun

Edited by kyfred, 24 May 2010 - 07:43 PM.


#4 saltwater_addict

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:09 PM

Thanks guys for all of the replies, please if you can think of anything else, let me know.

Since this will be coastal bermuda and in south tx (where we dry fast, weather permitting) i never really entertained the idea of a haybine. After tons of reading, ive pretty much decided on a disc cutter, i just want to know whats the best/biggest i could handle. This being a major purchase, i want to get this right.

To the guys with the soft core balers, what do you like best about them. i know i have bought some soft core bales, and didnt like them, i cant really explain why, but just preferences i guess. But i do like the power recommendations. I was hoping that since i am right between the min, and recommended power on the Rebel, i would be able to swing it. Having a relatively new baler and netwrap would be huge pro's in my book. Sedurbin, i cant find the specs for that NH644 anywhere, whats the recommended power for it.

I was planning on adding ballast to both tractors, with less in the raking tractor. That ones mainly for mowing the 3 acre yard, and is instrumental in that. im afraid with too much ballast it will tear the yard up but i dont see it a problem pulling a smaller rake. I will have the luxury of having some help with the raking and putting away of hay during baling day.

Any help that yall can offer i will gladly take. While im not a total newb, i am to the smaller equipment haying, and i have been wanting to do this for such a long time and have finally found an opportunity, i just want to make sure that i dont make any huge mistakes, financially most importantly. im definately not trying to get rich doing this, but i can think of worse ways to spend my time.

Thanks again guys....

#5 sedurbin

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:36 AM

I'm not sure what the specs call for on the 644. It is a 4' x 5' baler and is a simple reliable baler. It makes pretty tight bales so it does take all the 45hp (38 PTO) wants when the bale is near finished. I think that you will be okay with your tractor as long as you are patient. You can do a lot more with these smaller tractors than what some of the guys will admit. I spent a lot of years using smaller tractors to do what everyone was using larger ones to do and I didn't tear them apart doing it. Having said that, I am sure glad that I now have a larger tractor, NH TD95D (~80hp PTO), to work with.

Will your dealer let you try a baler before you buy it? That would tell you what you need to know. Your flat ground makes a lot of difference in the power and weight needed. If you were on hill ground I wouldn't make this recommendation. You have to be safe above all else.

#6 Krone

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:06 AM

Krone 3-point Disc Mowers to consider:
AM-203 (6'6") - 948 lbs. - minimum tractor hp = 40hp
AM-243 (7'10") - 1,092 lbs. - minimum tractor hp = 45hp
Direct Drive - no belts - plus no inner shoe that creates extra pull/drag on the tractor

Krone Round Balers:
Our fixed chamber balers make a really tight bale and are easy to operate - plus they don't require alot of hp to operate:
4x4 - KR-125 - minimum tractor hp = 35hp
4x4 - KR-130 (wide pickup) - minimum tractor hp = 45
4x5 - KR-160 (twine or net) - minimum tractor hp = 50

Please let us know if you need any additional information!
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#7 kyfred

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 07:48 PM

With a fixed chamber baler you can make a good solid bale. Some guys don't put enough hay in the bale to make it solid. The rolls we have look like a picture in a advertisement. Some of them are hard to stick with a speer to move them. The M&W baler makes a good looking roll. When we replace this rollbaler it will probably be with a Krone fixed chamber baler that makes a 5ft tall and 4ft wide roll. As far as I know Krone Company has not been bought out by anyone M&W was bought out by the Alamo group or company. I would rather buy from someone with a reputation to keep rather than companys trading companys not knowing who owns what.

#8 saltwater_addict

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:20 PM

Thanks guys for all of the info. It can get really confusing going through all of this over and over. I'm sure every single person on here understands you dont want to put money somewhere it wont work. Thanks guys, if you can think of anything else, let me know. i really do appreciate it.

#9 tw30

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:45 PM

just a idea but allis chalmers are cheap tractors with big hp

#10 barnrope

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:22 PM

You shouldn't have a problem pulling a 5410 Vermeer. I have a 554XL with a wide pickup which is comparable to the 5410, and baled once with a 48 HP 1958 John Deere 620. The 620 was a little short on hydraulics but the job got done until I got my 4440 back.


I would consider getting a bigger tractor for a little bigger discbine, and free up your current bigger one for raking.

There are a lot of bigger tractors made from the 60's to the 70's that are still in great shape, that can be bought for less than $10,000. A John Deere 4020 diesel is one of the best all around tractors ever made and would be very useful in any hay operation your size, and will retain 100% of its value. An IHC 986 1086 or 1486 would also make a great tractor for you and have a good quiet cab with air and can be bought under $10,000 as well. Sorry to get off topic.:D

What size is your rake?

Edited by barnrope, 20 May 2010 - 09:27 PM.


#11 saltwater_addict

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:23 PM

Rake not yet purchased. Ive done some reading on here, and it will be some type of small wheel rake. To be honest with you, ive literally never seen anything else used and i'm all over south and central tx during spring and summer. I figured that being the cheapest of all the other equip, it wouldnt hurt my feelings to buy something nice. That being said, they are constantly selling down here so when i find the one i like, i could sit for a short time and borrow one from the neighbor (has an extra) until i find something desireable.

I'm going to continue helping the guy i split cattle land with this summer, and hopefully get into this next spring. To be perfectly honest, i am getting more and more excited.

Thanks guys.
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#12 JLranch

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 07:39 PM

I was asking all the same questions 3 years ago. This is what I have learned since then.
I have a JD 5205 tractor (50hp) and a MF 135 tractor. I bought the Rebel 5410 baler, M5040 vermeer disc cutter (6"7") and an 8 wheel rake also made by Vermeer (WR20)>
The tractor has plenty of power for cutting with the disc cutter, and baling with the Rebel 5410. The only thing negative is that I have to run in first gear in heavy grass with the baler. Making hay in south Texas is punishing work, not much of a hobby... I have rolled about 500 rolls in the last three years. Today (100 deg) and had to crawl under the baler twice to clear a hay jam with a pocket knife. Doesn't require much HP to pull a wheel rake, but be aware that you will need hydraulic jacks on the rake tractor, in order to raise and lower it order rig up long extension hoses to reach to the baling tractor. Good Luck

#13 lewbest

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 10:43 PM

<<snip>> After tons of reading, ive pretty much decided on a disc cutter, i just want to know whats the best/biggest i could handle. This being a major purchase, i want to get this right.

<<snip>>


I can't say what would be the biggest you could use but I have an old Vicon 6 rotor & just picked up a used 6 rotor Kuhn (I've made one cutting with it) & both handled fine with an old Ford 4000 diesel tractor. I feel sure you'll want a disc mower (everyone says fire ant mounds will give you fits with a sickle bar) so I never tried one; started out with the disc.

You might watch the auctions & Craigslist; equipment seems dirt cheap right now. I got my Kuhn at an auction for 400; all it needed was new blades & one blade bolt was missing; total outlay for those from the Kuhn dealer was less than 20 bux. Also found a good running 9600 Ford with air conditioned cab (tho the a/c didn't work but I rebuilt that myself) for less than 5 grand.

Enjoy your equipment search & hay making!

Lew near Waco

#14 saltwater_addict

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:18 PM

Thanks JLRanch. This year I just helped out, i started asking all the right questions too late, but learning alot. But i feel alot better hearing about your success with a similar setup. How are you liking that Rebel, i believe i have read everything that has ever been written about it on the net at least 5 times. Anything in particular you couldnt live without, or would change? Thanks again guys for all of the help, next year i think i will be able to make it happen. Been looking hard now that its getting close to the end of the season, next month or two, and hoping to find someone looking to upgrade alittle.

Lew, we have no shortage of red ant mounds around here. One thing im sure, disc cutter is the way to go.

#15 lewbest

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:50 PM

We have those tiny Argentine fire ants here; make big mounds (wouldn't surprise me if they had literally millions of ants per mound. BIG problem. The next few months should be the time to buy used equipment; demand goes way up in the spring time. Prices seem really depressed right now around here.

Lew

#16 tnwalkingred

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:55 AM

I just started selling hay to the public for the first time this year so what I know is very little but I can share a few things with you. I have a JD 5210 (45hp) and a NH TC40 (40hp) tractor. I just bought a Vicon CM2400 7'10" cut disc mower. We use the JD to mow with and it works just fine. I think more important than the HP is the weight of the tractor. While the JD and NH I have are only 5 HP difference on the PTO the NH weighs over a 1000 pounds less and wouldn't be able to handle the mower but the JD handles it just fine. I cut with it on friday on a field that was hilly and rough without the first lick of trouble. Now I do not have a round baler so I can't offer much advice as to it. We use the NH to rake and tedder with and it works great and gives the JD a break from going around the field so many times. I have a NH side delivery rake and a MF 12 square baler. We normally use the JD to bale with but the NH will certainly get the job done. I myself am wanting to buy a bigger tractor 60-80 hp but seeing how I just bought the mower and a brand new gooseneck to haul hay on I'm gonna have to do some work with what I have before that happens!!!!! LOL.

Kyle

#17 bowlnchamp219

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 09:33 AM

Well my first suggustion is to get rid of the Kubota. Those tractors are really for small scale gardening and cutting grass ( but were doing that on a larger scale) I have a JD 95 that I use to pull our parallel bar rake it puts out about 35 hp.
Jonathan

#18 swmnhay

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 11:39 AM

Well my first suggustion is to get rid of the Kubota. Those tractors are really for small scale gardening and cutting grass ( but were doing that on a larger scale) I have a JD 95 that I use to pull our parallel bar rake it puts out about 35 hp.
Jonathan


Kubota makes tractors up to 135 hp :)

Don't know much about the tractors but Bobcat skidloaders have Kubota engines and they are bullet proof.

Kubota Kubota Tractor Corporation - Tractors | M Series | M100X/M110X/M126X/M135X
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