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Every year. . .


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#1 OneManShow

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 10:01 AM

Every year in the spring, we get calls from customers new and old to "reserve" hay. Our good customers are like clockwork, they know we'll call them a couple days before we start baling, and they show up cash in hand. This year a horse lady called several times to ensure that we set aside 18-20 tons of rye/orchard hay for her. Another horse gal reserved 30 tons to pick up out of the field. In both cases when we called the customers to tell them the hay would be ready in couple days, the customers told us they had bought hay from somebody else ( but I may need a ton later). I have gotten so I expect this kind of stuff-but it still annoys me-not as much as the customer who showed up with a bathroom scale to weigh each bale-but that is another story altogether.
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#2 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:40 AM

It can be interesting.
From time to time a customer will come and purchase a block of hay in the barn. They only have the capacity to haul a percentage of the hay, but the remainder of that hay is their hay. BUT they do not come back for THEIR hay until I need to cover Their hay with new hay. Eventually they return with their truck to get the rest but I do not allow them to pull from the newer hay, but make them wait until Their hay is uncovered. That was in the past. Now they get a deadline. If the hay is not picked up in 2 days I consider the sale complete and there is no longer any of Their hay.

I no longer hold hay or sell hay for later pickup. Because this is not a feed store with a clerk on hand at all times but a working farm with times that I am not available I have trusted customers who pull out some hay and leave a check on my desk.
When I say trusted customer, the money is important but leaving the remaining hay in the barn so I can continue to stack hay, using a NH pull type bale wagon or stack wagon. Nothing tries on my patience like someone taking the top two rows off a deep stack.

I charge $2 a bale extra to pick up in the field. There is a long list of reasons that have come to my attention over the years.
Finding broken bales is one reason.
Another is you pick up in the field using a different pattern than I do using the bale wagon. If they mess up my pattern it just makes more work for me.
Mostly I want the hay to have a few days to sweat. I have heard of hay picked up in the field and stacked in a chicken house, where it got hot.

A neighbor sold a field of hay and the customer was slow to pick up the hay. After a few days the customer wanted a discount for sun bleached bales!



The bathroom scales is a new one to me! I do have people who want to pick through the stack for the bales they want. When they do that the price changes to Feed Store Prices. The by the bale price is for the bale as they come off the stack. If I find one that is light I will set it aside or not include it in the bale count.

At one time buyers would take the advise of the Extension Service and want to buy by the pound. No problem I price my hay as weighing 55 lbs and if they want to pay the scale fee I will go to the public scale and they can pay me there. Usually they would have saved the cost of a hamburger if they had paid by the bale. Then they are out the scale fee.

So far I have not had anyone question the Hay Test results.

Here there is seldom enough humidity to bale much past 2 pm. With the bale wagon I can have all the hay in the barn before dark.
Here ( 97ยบ 20' W ) a sun dial will show high noon at 1:30 PM CDT
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#3 somedevildawg

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Good response, oh the joys of working with horsey peeps.

#4 carcajou

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:25 AM

Customers sure can be challenging. I like the ones that phone and ask one or two questions then place large orders. Seems to me the more questions they ask the smaller the order will be. Had a guy stop me in the field while i was baling one day, he said " i see your busy..won't hold you up. here's a check , call me when you wan't me to haul them off the field". Never asked the price etc. a round or two later i looked at the check, it was for nearly $ 30,000.00! He gets his 1st every year since! Bathroom scales? I would run them off the farm!! I guy horse guy was short of feed last year and as cheap as i have ever seen. Considering as the haul was 240 miles round trip i tried to get him to buy good hay as trucking is expensive. No way, he had to buy all my leftovers from years past then complain about the trucking bill. He never paid on the overage on the last load, not much but enough of a reason not to deal with him again thank God.

#5 steve in IN

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:03 PM

These problem customers are getting a lesson around here this year. Justy baled a field of 110 acres that averaged 7 bales an acre ( square not round). I am doing all I can to take care of my loyal regular customers, even holding price I committed to before drought. New ones are placed on a list and called if any extra,. On the other exetreme are hay growers who tell long term customers that they will have hay until the drought now they wont sell them anything till winter when price goes up. I have learned over the years to be very wary of customers for the first year then slowly tust them . My motto is f--k me once I f--k back even harder and make it hurt. My loyal customers arte bringing me more customers this year than I can handle but I think most will try to come back next year. My reputation is a liitle tough but once they get my hay and understand my system most come back and my customer list grows every year

#6 jturbo10

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:52 PM

Had a customer come pick up 130 bales last week. After seeing the quality of my hay, they placed an order for an additional 900 bales of which they were supposed to come get 300 today. They were worried I'd sell all my hay before they could pick up their order. I guaranteed 300 bales but not any more. No one showed up for the 300, no p hone call, nada. Cash talks. From now on, if you want to guarantee you will have to pay up front unless you are an established customer or I have enough to more than cover an order. Had an emergency call from a new customer who had just moved from Colorado and need only ten bales as they were in temporary quarters and were looking for a place with a barn. Said they would want to order a couple of hundred bales as soon as they closed on the new place. They lived about 30 miles away but I had to pick up some tractor parts nearby so I took them 15 bales and only charged them $10 for delivery. Lady tried to give me extra money for delivery but I refused as they seemed like a real nice couple. Turns out they had been stiffed by a local hay seller in the local area and did not want to buy from feed store due to poor quality of hay. You just never know about clients as they will tell you just about anything short of the truth. I don't let it bother me as I just try to provide the best quality product for a fair price. Work with me and I'll work with you but if you ever try to scam or conduct yourself in an unethical manner the jig is up....no soup (hay) for you.

#7 swmnhay

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:19 AM

Had a customer that reserved 1000 rd bales per yr.To be delivered as needed every 2 weeks.Delivered there for 4 yrs.Was told if I was to ever get out of hay they would like enough notice to seed down there own alfalfa.6 months or more notice??Any way their nutritionist talked them into feeding straw in ration instead of alfalfa.So I got a 2 week notice on a 100K account.OUCH :mad:

Silver lining was tore out some hay ground and went to corn and corn price took off ;)
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#8 somedevildawg

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:19 AM

No soup for you! That was a funny episode! The best thing I never found was my two little inside dogs, was cutting some wheat and couldn't find them when i got through....panicked.....went out to field fully expecting to see the evidence in blood stained hay, after two hours of roaming the woods, they came home...thank god, I Definately wasn't going to be having anymore soup....
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#9 OneManShow

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:03 AM

It is funny. The bathroom scale guy has not been back- he may have felt unwelcome. One thing we've been doing for the last few years is allowing customers to pre pay. We don't sell them any specific stack of hay. The customer pays forward, and then draws off their balance for whatever type of hay they choose-until that hay is gone-then they can choose something else. Haven't had any problems whatsoever. Much better than trying to manage the storage of customers' "personal" stacks of hay in my barns.

I could tell you about the horse gal who wouldn't buy our hay because it was "too pretty" . . .but I have got to go fix a baler.




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