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Market Research - Hay Drying Machine

alfalfa horse small square equipment hay

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#21 8350HiTech

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:20 PM

No. I wouldn't. I would rather use preservative. Or get aftermarket conditions rolls for the mower. Seems much easier.

A drying machine is invaluable if you know there's no other way to get hay dry. As long as there are cheaper ways (like the sun), that means that the cost of the machine will only be spread over the tons on which it's actually used instead over one's entire crop.
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#22 Northeast PA hay and beef

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:59 PM

If your machine could taker a large windrow and dry 30% moisture to 14% moisture, you might have a winner. There are to many variables when it comes to bale size, density, and qaulity. But if out could dry a windrow at raking speed, you would have a huge market. I would be afraid to run 30% moisture hay thru my sqaure baler. Also a lot of the northeast US, which is where a lot of sqaure bales are made, use kicker wagons. Dropping bales on the ground isn't a option, fields to damp/steep. I would be afraid to take a stacker wagon on some of my fields.
If it could take freshly cut hay from full mosture to 60% in a pass, you would have all the dairy guys buying for chopping and round bale and wrapping.

Drying already made bales, i don't think it would work for me, but a machine that could dry a windrow, at 7 mph, I'd be all in. Priced in the 20 to 30 grand range. If it truly meant turning 3 day drying to 2 day drying.
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#23 Trillium Farm

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:01 PM

I would be willing to purchase this machine, however, price is a difficult thing to assess. Dependability, reliability, simplicity, and 'high moisture' max input would all be determining factors.

 

But, I would say, if I could guarantee that all my hay would be out of the field in 2-3

days via this machine, it would be worth $1/bale if it allowed me to sell that bale for $1 more given consistently better quality. So, $5-6K/yr with a minimum of 7yr essentially breakdown 'free or minimal' lifespan. I'd pay $20-30K with a 5yr bumper to bumper warranty.

You won't be able to charge more. It's a question of good hay vs bad hay, if you charge more they'll go elsewhere.


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#24 Trillium Farm

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:07 PM

I guess it is not a case of "If you built it they will buy! " :cool: 


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#25 slowzuki

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:17 PM

Oh I finally recalled the last drying option I know of, I'm not aware of any working ultrasonic driers that have ever been built for hay.  I know there are some for fabric drying but not even sure the concept works for water bound into plant structure.


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#26 KyHay111

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:27 PM

Yeah it seems like the big issue is the variability in the types of bales people are making.  I do think that the hay would be of a higher quality because it could be baled at higher moisture with more leaves intact.  So if you raised the quality of hay from Excellent to Supreme, you would see a decent return on investment because of the higher prices that Supreme hay commands.  

 

The biggest competitor would certainly be preservatives, which provide many of the same advantages with a significantly lower upfront cost, but there are recurring costs with that.  I also think that just drying the hay would be better than using preservatives.  If I recall correctly, I think preservatives (at least proprionic acid) only hold it off for a few months - and by that time your hay needs to be dry, or else it will mold.  Although usually the hay is dry by this time, but it's not good to place it in large stacks for this reason.  


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#27 slowzuki

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 03:43 PM

There are dehumidification dryers marketed in the US as well that can handle various formats of bales.  The trouble they have is the throughput as they are of the batch nature.



#28 hillside hay

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 05:20 PM

Nope, can't sell it for any more. I've been all over the place with the price. I've found my local ceiling. I have to deliver it to boot. The upside is they'll pay that price regardless of quality. Weird thing about horse owners. They buy a couple show bales to travel with but at home they'll feed them mushroom hay. All about price here.
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#29 Northeast PA hay and beef

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:18 PM

Nope, can't sell it for any more. I've been all over the place with the price. I've found my local ceiling. I have to deliver it to boot. The upside is they'll pay that price regardless of quality. Weird thing about horse owners. They buy a couple show bales to travel with but at home they'll feed them mushroom hay. All about price here.


I wish that was the case here. We have one customer that took 2000 bales and had 4 with a streak of mud through them and they brought the 4 back for replacement bales. And said "my qaulity of hay has gone down this year". I said well 1 bad out of every 500 off the wagon was pretty darn good. They are looking for a new supplier.
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#30 NewBerlinBaler

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:31 PM

About that prototype dryer in the video - it uses a 580 HP engine to spin a generator big enough to power all those microwaves.  A unit like that would probably sell for north of $100,000.  And it only processes 15 acres/day.   I can see why the concept was never pursued any further.


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#31 slowzuki

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:54 PM

That and I believe he died.

#32 Westernstar

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 07:58 PM

Interesting. Definitely something I've thought of while compiling seat time. If I'm correct the big hay steamers run $250,000 plus. Can't imagine you could build a drier for much less so definitely looking at big producers. Would need to run big tonnage.
Would buy one in a heartbeat for $30-40k if it worked as advertised and probably think about it up to $80-100k
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#33 Westernstar

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:01 PM

Also why isn't there steam/water vapor rolling off that microwave machine? I'd say it wasn't even running maybe not a functional machine

#34 rjmoses

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:10 PM

Yes, I would be interested---depending.....

 

300 bales/hour--great!   Need a cost break of $,50/bale over 20-40,000 bales to be effective.

 

I did a cursory look at microwave a few years ago and, as I remember, it took something like a 100KW unit to dry from 30 down to 15%.  I was looking at a fixed installation and would have needed to put in a 480V drop and build a shed of about 60x100.  Cost at that time was just too much for me. 

 

I also looked into vacuum drying and inert gas drying--can be done--just expensive.

 

Small bale handling is also a big issue that really needs to be addressed.

 

Tell us more.

 

Ralph


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#35 IH 1586

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:21 PM

I wish that was the case here. We have one customer that took 2000 bales and had 4 with a streak of mud through them and they brought the 4 back for replacement bales. And said "my qaulity of hay has gone down this year". I said well 1 bad out of every 500 off the wagon was pretty darn good. They are looking for a new supplier.

 

 

If only they knew what it takes to make hay. You are better off without them but hope you find someone to fill that void. That is a batch of bales. Not every year is going to be the same quality wise otherwise I would not be still putting 1st in the barn when last year I was done before the 4th of July.


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#36 somedevildawg

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:32 PM

I think the product has serious merit, if it works as good as imagined.....price? .....somewhere around 75-100k

#37 mlappin

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

Research has been done on something similar, the amount of energy required to replace the sun can be astronomical. Thats why the one place hauled the hay wet to the building, ran it thru the dryer and baled on the premises. I imagine this was done to take advantage of three phase power and natural gas. 

If your customers are against preservatives then they need educated. I had an article awhile back some university or another recommended feeding preservative treated hay to horses as to eliminate any chances of dust in the bales. Wish I could find it again.


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#38 mlappin

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:58 PM


Drying already made bales, i don't think it would work for me, but a machine that could dry a windrow, at 7 mph, I'd be all in. Priced in the 20 to 30 grand range. If it truly meant turning 3 day drying to 2 day drying.

That can already be done most of the time with a much smaller investment. Aftermarket conditioning rolls, possibly a better tedder and rake then the use of preservative if required. 


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#39 SVFHAY

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:43 PM

Assuming you have a workable machine you must convince the marketplace that the end product is of greater value than hay produced conveniently. If your selling point is only salvaging value from hay that would otherwise lose some value to inclement weather it will be a challenge.

I did 1,100 ton of small bales last year and would have had little use for such a thing. Ran out of moisture. This year is a different story. If total operating costs could be held to $25 a ton it would have been a great choice for me to use on every acre. Faster harvest, more cuttings. Spread that over 5 years, it's a deal.

Now, if you make this thing cheap enough that it makes sense for guys as small as me, well the market will soon be flooded with perfect product.

My guess is it will cost twice the price of the steamer, seems like the process is twice as difficult, and have half the capacity. In which case, I'm out.
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#40 hillside hay

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 02:36 AM

I wish that was the case here. We have one customer that took 2000 bales and had 4 with a streak of mud through them and they brought the 4 back for replacement bales. And said "my qaulity of hay has gone down this year". I said well 1 bad out of every 500 off the wagon was pretty darn good. They are looking for a new supplier.







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