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Whats a fair asking price for a 900lb bale of grass hay


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#1 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

I wanted to do this as a poll, but cant figure out how to enable the poll function.
So anyhow, what is a fair price in your area for a 900 lb roll of typical average grass hay? (no delivery)
Lets say you pay $200/ton for hay, then a 900lb roll would be 10c. /lb or $90/roll.

What would you pay? $90, $80, $70, $60, $50????
Thanks.

#2 somedevildawg

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

Down here you might get 50 for that roll, exactly why I don't roll that way.....pun intended

#3 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

So you would pay $120/ton for typical grass hay? (.06/lb)
When you say you don't roll that way, how do you do it?

#4 mlappin

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

Right now in our area just about any round bale is worth $100. Can't even buy junk hay reasonable, I've been looking for some for a few other people. Even some rank CRP went for 180/ton a few weeks ago.

#5 Teslan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

A fair price here right now is about $130 a large 900 lb square bale. Or $11 for 14 small squares which should be about 900 lbs. People are bringing in rounds from out of state asking crazy high prices. I'm not sure they are selling them though. If I had rounds though I don't think I could get much more then $100 bales. Around here the price differs depending on the type of bale. Even the 3 sizes of large squares bring different prices. 3x3 and 3x4 bring more per pound then a 4x4 bale. Mostly because more people can handle a 3x3 then a 4x4. 2-3 guys can push a 3x3 off a truck and wrestle it where they want it.

#6 FarmerCline

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

I guess it depends on where you live. Around here you are doing good to get $35 for a 4 by 5 roll of fescue regardless of what the bale weighs. Anything other than fescue well good luck selling it.

#7 somedevildawg

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

Here's the way it works for me here, if I bale let's say a 10ac field, the most I'm going to get is 4-5 rolls per acre, bringing 40-50 bucks around 200.00 per acre. Now I only do squares, 70 avg bales per acre x 6.25 about 400 per acre. Same input costs, that's why I don't roll that way, could never profit, just spun wheels, down here, everyone that has a tractor has a roller.....sometimes ya can't give em away...

#8 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

I'm getting about $70/roll.
I thought that was pretty decent, but it turns out after reading and crunching the true costs, that needs to increase. Have one customer that pays $80, which is really where I'd like to be.
Hard to believe your input costs are the same. I would think the storage, time & labor components to sm squares would be a lot higher. I agree sm squares bring more money, but the labor, storage and time costs to deal with them cuts all of the extra profit out for ME.

I find the best thing I can do for sales beyond growing food hay, is show traditional sm square buyers that round bales are not such a big problem to feed their animals.

#9 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

You should receive $115 for that bale, IF it is 12% CP & IF it is 100 RFV. That should cover your harvesting cost, plus the value of the fertility in the bale, plus something for the land.

I doubt if anyone HERE would pay $50 for that bale. Much of the reason for that is most people with livestock allow their animals to waste close to half of what is offered to them. For a Cow Calf operator to make any money feeding hay they could not pay more than $30 for that bale.

So for the casual cowman you might as well bale up the bar ditch and road side, cans and plastic and all.

Unless you are hurting for cash flow and do not mind loosing assets at a slow rate.

#10 Tim/South

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

I sold a few rolls to a friend of a friend for $40. The price of $30 non fertilized pasture grass sets the tone around here. This has caused those with good hay to cut down on the size and density. That is the only way they can get $120/ton.

Alabama and Mississippi made a lot of hay last year. Some nice Bermuda 5x5 rolls, stored inside, sold for $25 per roll. I was temped to buy it because I can not grow and bale it for that.

#11 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:33 PM

So what I can assume is that
Hay is a regional, possibly even local commodity and shipping plays a big role in price

In my area and MLappin's area, hay sells for double what some of the prices are I have read in this thread.
I'm getting calls for hay, but I'm sold out. I bet I could get 70+ for a 900lb roll, but it would depend on the buyer.
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#12 swmnhay

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:55 PM

So what I can assume is that
Hay is a regional, possibly even local commodity and shipping plays a big role in price

In my area and MLappin's area, hay sells for double what some of the prices are I have read in this thread.
I'm getting calls for hay, but I'm sold out. I bet I could get 70+ for a 900lb roll, but it would depend on the buyer.

It's definatly a regional market.Supply and demand causing price swings.Trucking adds cost to hay in a hurry.

Grass hay in rds here is around 180 ton for avg grass hay =$81 for 900 lb bale
$125 for junk hay to $225 for nice grass hay.
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#13 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:10 PM

So far we have prices ranging from $25 to $81 per 900lb bale.
That's freakin crazy.....

Only seemingly common theme is the further north, the higher the price???

#14 Nitram

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

Not really directional its supply and demand. The biggest factor is moisture received in how it affected the growing season

#15 somedevildawg

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

I sold a few rolls to a friend of a friend for $40. The price of $30 non fertilized pasture grass sets the tone around here. This has caused those with good hay to cut down on the size and density. That is the only way they can get $120/ton.

Alabama and Mississippi made a lot of hay last year. Some nice Bermuda 5x5 rolls, stored inside, sold for $25 per roll. I was temped to buy it because I can not grow and bale it for that.

Same here, we baled peanut hay this year, shoulda left it and bought from others at 20 a bale.......it's worth more than that left in the ground!
In so far as the input costs on hay, I was referring to the reoccurring input costs, labor is basically the same for me, with bale bandit it's a two man operation, I did have to spend a good bit of capital on bandit, barns, flatbeds, tarps, misc. stuff...
The one thing that was problematic for me was, the people who produce crappy hay can sell to the round buyer and get away with it, set the market price, those people don't set the market price for squares because they don't produce squares.....at least in any quantity or quality...
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#16 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

Man that's unreal. I get $110 a ton selling below average hay to the mushroom guys.
My goal would be like $150/ton to livestock owners.....
Sounds like I may have my sights set too high.
All I have is natural field grasses, orchard grass, fescues, reed canary. I keep the weeds sprayed and fertilize. That's about all I have. No real super high octane stuff of alfalfa.
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#17 somedevildawg

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:26 PM

I like that "super high octane" may borrow that one from you....next time one of my horsey folks starts asking for some T/A....I'll tell em I ain't got no "super high octane" just the raglar.....
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#18 Tim/South

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:41 PM

Same here, we baled peanut hay this year, shoulda left it and bought from others at 20 a bale.......it's worth more than that left in the ground!
In so far as the input costs on hay, I was referring to the reoccurring input costs, labor is basically the same for me, with bale bandit it's a two man operation, I did have to spend a good bit of capital on bandit, barns, flatbeds, tarps, misc. stuff...
The one thing that was problematic for me was, the people who produce crappy hay can sell to the round buyer and get away with it, set the market price, those people don't set the market price for squares because they don't produce squares.....at least in any quantity or quality...

Same here with the square bales. People are not going to the trouble to square something they can not get premium money for.
The exception being the few who square bale reclamation hay. The good part for them is the reclamation guys is paid buy the bale he blows or steaks out. They want a 32 inch bale that weighs 25 lbs.

You can hide a lot of junk in a round bale, especially with net wrap.
Not so with squares. The customer knows the density and pretty much the quality.

#19 JD3430

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:08 PM

I don't mean to imply I only grow below average hay. I do hay plots of nice hay, too. Being new in the business has forced me to take all the fields I can get to build up a base. Some of those fields have less than spectacular hay when you first take them on. Therefore they go to mushroom hay until I can get the quality up.
I would like to sell my better hay for $150 or more per ton. That would be a good goal for my costs. I pay no land rent. Just equip payments, fuel, fert, insurance, etc. and a little sumptin-sumptin for me
The square bale buyers in my area are, for the most part, some of the dumbest people I have ever met. Girls with big ford diesel trucks, but hats, and lots of daddy money. Round bale buyers are usually true cattlemen or dairy farmers and they will look inside a bale, probe it, etc to get an idea of the quality.
I realize all our areas have different people, situations and supply/demand.

#20 mlappin

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:26 PM

I don't mean to imply I only grow below average hay. I do hay plots of nice hay, too. Being new in the business has forced me to take all the fields I can get to build up a base. Some of those fields have less than spectacular hay when you first take them on. Therefore they go to mushroom hay until I can get the quality up.
I would like to sell my better hay for $150 or more per ton. That would be a good goal for my costs. I pay no land rent. Just equip payments, fuel, fert, insurance, etc. and a little sumptin-sumptin for me
The square bale buyers in my area are, for the most part, some of the dumbest people I have ever met. Girls with big ford diesel trucks, but hats, and lots of daddy money. Round bale buyers are usually true cattlemen or dairy farmers and they will look inside a bale, probe it, etc to get an idea of the quality.
I realize all our areas have different people, situations and supply/demand.


Right now I'm getting roughly $200/ton for my cheapest hay which is good enough for horses. 1st cutting made on time.

Rest of my hay has all been in the $250-$300 a ton for round bales at the auctions or roughly starting at $120/bale since they are just a tad under thousand pounders if you get them yourself. I haven't delivered a bale yet privately. Averaging so far this year $271/ton.

In a normal year I won't sell a 800lb round bale for less than $45/bale, more on the earlier cut first cutting. If I can't get $40/bale for it I'll hold it back and feed it to the walking steaks. Again for that $45/bale YOU come and get it. Price goes up if I have to deliver and I also charge mileage. Since the messiah took office the price for delivery has gone up to $3 a loaded mile from the time I leave the driveway. Used to charge around $2.50 a mile and the first ten miles was free, but road fuel was cheaper back in the day.
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