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How Much to Pay for a Hay Field?

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#1 Tim/South



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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:06 PM

A local has a 12 acre, nice level hay field.
Half is Tifton 44, half Tiffton 85.
The guy cutting it now has had it @8 years and the field has gone down hill. Needs lime and fertilizer.
The owner has retired and living on the property now. He is thinking about making a change. The current guy cutting the hay is not paying anything. He just keeps it cleaned up.
I talked with the owner today and told him if he made a change I was interested.
He said he would like a little rent money to help with taxes. Fair enough to me.
He was thinking along the lines of so much per roll.
I was thinking so much per acre.
What would be a fair price if we went per roll and also per acre.


#2 scrapiron


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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:19 AM


If I had to feed the tift-44 to my cows or horses HE would have to PAY ME at least $15.00 per 4x5 roll to bale it & haul it home. Now the Tift-85 is a different deal. Tift-44 just doesn't have the genetics behind it to make great hay, Tift-85 does. Coastal is better hay than 44. We have sprayed all of our 44 with roundup & replaced it with other grass.

In our area most hay buyers just want tifton hay, don't care or know the difference. On t- 44 it is a 75/25 split unless the landlord furnishes some/most the fertlizer. On the Tift-85 it is a 80/20 split, unless landlord furnishes all fertlizer & it is cut on a 28-32 day schedule then it is a 55/45 split. Tift-85 takes a lot of fertlizer & produces a lot of hay. Most of the time the landlord wants ALL of the tift-85 !! Then it is $ 26.00 to $32.00 per roll for mow,rake & bale for a 4x5 roll. Tift-85 is that much better.

We don't have any tift-44 left at all. Most of the tift-44 was replaced by tift-9 bahia,about the same quality hay & easier to do, also is great pasture. We grow Tift-85 & Russell now. Both are far better here for us than t-44.

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#3 Tim/South



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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:58 AM

scrapiron, thanks for sharing you thoughts.
The 44 is not as in as good of shape as the 85. The guy baling it now got into hay for the money. It shows.
The 85 has had more attention and is sold for horse hay.

The owner mentioned $5 a roll, his part. I do not believe I can do that.
I would like to get it for $25 and acre/year. I will be feeding this to my cows. I like them as much as my horses and they pasture together.

Off topic, but I am going to try and have 17 acres of my own ready to plant this spring. Sold the timber and am digging stumps, was cultivated for years and allowed to grow up in pines.
I considered Tiff/Bahia 9. I am concerned that it will spread and take over an adjoining Alicia Bermuda field/pasture.
I am hearing great things about the Russell. Seems to make a better pasture than Tiff 85.
I rotate my pastures and hay fields every three years.

#4 hay rake

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:01 AM

if you are going to pay for the lime and fert you need a price per acre. if you pay per roll the more YOU bring back the field the more YOU will be paying for rent. does not give a lot of incentive to bring the field back to high production. as to the price per acre what do you feel the value to you is. that should be your gauge the highest you want to pay and the lowest he will take. he is getting nothing now so anything is a step up. if it is the taxes he wants to cover see if the tax bill on the land is in your price range.

#5 CockrellHillFarms



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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:31 AM

Only do it per acres. No per bale. Ur only ripping urself off when u fertilize it than its gonna cost you more. I would tell him that he needs to cover the lime cost the first year. I usually try to make Lime the land owners responsibility but it doesnt always work. Lime will last a long time so why pay for it if you can push that back on him. Or offer to pay 1/2 of the cost of lime. Depending on how productive or unproductive the ground is currently after you put rent, lime, fertilizer, and production cost into it. It may not be worth doing. Thats math you would have to do. Especially when doing round bales, its a lot easier to get up side down in ur hay. With sq. bales its much easier to justify cost because there are more units of hay to eat up cost.
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#6 Blue Duck

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:07 PM

I would explain to him that pricing by the acre is the only way you can make your good management of his land profitable and offer him a fair price.

I would tell him that he needs to cover the lime cost the first year.

I would offer to pay for the lime if he would agree to a 5+ year lease. Keep in mind he has seen no income off of this property for 8 years and starting your relationship with him getting a bill might not go over so well with him.

#7 scrapiron


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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:07 PM

It will take that long to get the Tift-85 back into full production, lime,fert & letting it fill in the bare spots. The tift-44 may never get back to full production without a growing green top no-till resprigging. This will keep you from cutting ANY hay,on those acres, for about a year if you do it. It might be better to plant something else in the t-44 acres.

If he won't go for $25.00 per acre, then offer him a bonus to go with it, anything over 20 rolls per acre per year on tift-85 acres or 18 rolls per acre per year on the t-44 offer him $5.00 per roll on the bonus rolls. Here $5.00 roll on tift-85 would be $100.00 per acre. YOU CAN'T DO THAT !!!! This is based on 4x5 rolls. I would only do a lease on this field for at least 5yrs minimum, with a grower only choice 5yr release. That is if you want it for the total 10 yrs you can have it. That might be the only way to make it pencil out. It takes me 3yrs to get a field into full production, sprigging year = no hay, second year 50/70 % production , third year good to go. Just about what you have to do.

As for the tift-9, it is a MUCH improved cousin of pensacola bahia. More cold tolerance,about double the forage production,better utilization of fertlizer. Yes it is very agressive grass, get it in your bermuda and in a few years you won't have any bernuda, just like pensacola just happens faster. You can spray pensacola and tift-9 with cimaron plus in the spring useing less than 1/2 oz per acre and control it great in bermuda with NO effect on the bermuda. Don't spend your money on tiftquick it is not worth it .

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