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Custom Hay bailing charges


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Texasmark

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:01 AM

I live in the drought stricken Texas and hay has moved from $40 per 4x6 roll to $125. Beins most other things are relatively flat, what would one expect the custom hay bailer would do to come to your place and do your field dropping the bales and you haul? Couple of years ago the charge was $20. If the bale sold for $40 that's half.

Think they would up their fee to half $125? I realize that their annual volume is reduced due to the drought and the bales per acre would be less obviously increasing the price, but just wondering about the upper limit?

My field has been dormant for 2 years and I am trying to decide as to whether or not I grow my own or just buy the finished bale...obviously growing my own, I know what's in the bale and around here, especially in drought/near drought conditions, it could be anything.

Additionally, the field needs weed control and the best way for me is to just keep it plowed...mowing just makes the weeds grow closer to the ground. Growing a hay crop would help with weed control.

Thanks,
Mark

#2 Mike120

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 10:25 AM

The prices around here were certainly not excessive, a neighbor paid $25/roll the last time he had one of his baled this year. Custom baling around here seems to be based more on the price of diesel, size/shape of field, amount of grass to bale, etc. I haven't heard of any price gouging just because the bales sold for more. Most custom guys I know understand the highs/lows in the value of hay from season to season and are more interested in maintaining their customer base.

My view is that the make/buy decision should be based on economics and most economic models should contain personal variables for convenience, quality assurance, etc. For just weed control, get some goats. They'll eat the weeds long before they'll touch the grass.

#3 Tim/South

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:43 PM

A guy cutting, raking and baling hay has to cover the same area/acres if he is getting 3 rolls per acre or one.
I do not know how a person would adjust the price unless they went to an hourly rate.

We experienced drought conditions a few years ago. We were lucky to get a bale per acre on our best hay fields. Our fertilize cost per acre was $40. That is what people were charging per bale in the field.
Customers accused everyone of price gouging "because hay was scarce".
They had a hard time believing $40 per roll only covered the fertilizer.

I do not know of a formula to figure the difference in one bale per acre or four bales per acre.
The hay would be less strain to cut and bale since it is not as thick. Cost to rake would be about the same.

It is a good question and something to think about.

Edited by Tim/South, 16 January 2012 - 10:40 PM.


#4 haybaler101

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 06:31 PM

Only other option is to price by the hour. If there is any work in your area, custom operators will only price gouge for one year, and someone else will buy a baler and start up a custom business using a sharper pencil.

#5 country boy

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 09:59 AM

I was asked about cutting some fields this year and I quoted the price of 50.00 per acre and there was a few that could not figure out why I would not do it per bale at 2 acres per bale , but on a good year they are happy to pay 20 - 25 per bale at 3 per acre

#6 JB1023

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:19 PM

This is how we billed it out a coulple of years ago. $15 per acre to cut, $5 acre to rake and $15 per bale. That is for a 6x5 bale. Ours customers liked this size the best b/c they didn't have to feed so often than with the smaller bales. This may or may not work for you but it did for us. We do custom work on the side not our main income, mainly to help our neighbors out. Dad always said they could take or leave it, but I am not about to run all my equipment for someone else for nothing, or risk tearing it up either.

#7 Teslan

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 08:42 AM

I don't think the price of the hay should matter with custom rates. It's time, fuel, type of hay, field size. There might be $200 a ton hay, but what if your hay got rained on 10 times and turned black. It wouldn't be worth 200 a ton then, but you still have to bale it

#8 Waterway64

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:48 PM

I don't think hay prices should dictate custom rates either. If hay drops to $45/ton I still will expect a profitable rate for custom work.

#9 RCF

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

We put a min. on the work we do. Just to simplify it for folks we charge them at least two bales to the acre. We also sometimes charge them by the acre for cutting and raking then by the bale for baling. To answer the original question I have never known anyone to charge half of what the hay is worth.

#10 panhandle9400

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

here we get 17.00 and up for swathing per acre, 18.00 per bale either 5x6 round or 4x4x8 square, 6.50 for rake per acre, 5.00 to 6.00 per bale stacking within 1 mile of field. if we run a dew simulator it is 10.00 per acre prices have nothing to do with the price of hay.

#11 Waterway64

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:16 PM

If your going to share in the fluctuation of market price, you about have to share in the production risks to. That is what you do when putting hay up on shares versus a flat custom rate where the owner has all the risk.

#12 Texasmark

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

This is how we billed it out a coulple of years ago. $15 per acre to cut, $5 acre to rake and $15 per bale. That is for a 6x5 bale. Ours customers liked this size the best b/c they didn't have to feed so often than with the smaller bales. This may or may not work for you but it did for us. We do custom work on the side not our main income, mainly to help our neighbors out. Dad always said they could take or leave it, but I am not about to run all my equipment for someone else for nothing, or risk tearing it up either.


Having BTDT your numbers for 2ea 5x6 rolls per acre....what I got in my fields, is right in line. Something in the low 20's for a 4x6 would be fine with me....field is easily accessible, lots of room to fences, flat terrain and I can rake (your rake) and move the bales out of your way.

Mark

#13 Texasmark

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:05 PM

Ok guys. Thanks for the inputs. Numbers are good. You are honest folks.

Mark

#14 Texasmark

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:19 AM

Well yesterday I solved part of my baling problem. I bought a wheel rake and drum cutter for my small farm. Price was very attractive and got a 2 year warranty. This way I can cut when the hay is ready, rake more than once, tedder (already had) the clumps out for even drying, and rake in front of the baler when he comes making it easier for him and a more thorough bailing operation.

Called a custom guy and asked what he'd roll it for and he said considering diesel is going up as usual, he'd do it for $12 a bale. I said perfect. A couple of years ago I had the cutter and rake (which I sold later) and had my bales rolled for $10. Thought the current offer was very reasonable.

Mark

#15 Tim/South

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:31 AM

That is good. Glad to hear things are working out.
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