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Putting together my equipment package - need some advice


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#21 Vol

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 11:10 AM

Mike,

 

You got me working more on my 'wish list' and my curiosity, what are the three types of cutters, that you are utilizing?

 

Larry

 

Moco, discmower, and haybine....which is seldom used....but is kept because it is not worth much and is strictly used in emergency only or when I need reminded of how extinct these plodding dinosaurs have become. 

 

Regards, Mike



#22 Edd in KY

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 12:27 PM

As Hayman1 said    "don't get greedy, never cut more than you know you can handle at one time.  Repeat after me...  This rule also saves you from loosing the whole enchilada to rain that was not forecast."

 

 

 

Be realistic...35 acres ain't all that much hay that you would need super duper equipment. I have done as much as 100 acres of grass horse hay for my own race horses every year for the last 20 with some decent, old, but well cared for equipment. Start with a good big tractor that is very reliable, and a smaller one to tedd and rake and move wagons. It sounds like you have that. I stack directly on the wagon behind the baler. Then pull the wagons into the barn and unload when it is convenient for me. I leave the last loads of the year on the wagons and use or sell directly off the wagons. My wagons never leave the farm and some cost as little as $400.

 

 

 


So if you do 5 acres at a time like in paragraph #1, You will need 5 good wagons (100 bales each)  and a place to drive them in under roof. After raking and baling all day, you will be glad to park the wagons for the night, and go have a beer. I am not a fan of throwers, because you still have to manhandle the bales at least once.

 

 

 

I use an old NH276 baler that is a workhorse. But I have a backup NH270 in a pinch. I have 2 of everything, one good one for use, but an older but serviceable piece if the good one has a flat tire or breaks down, just when I have 5 acres of choice hay on the ground. Try to be consistent in your purchases. If you start with New Holland balers, stay with them because every piece of equipment has its quirks and a unique parts supply chain, so you don't need to be in a constant learning curve for different stuff.

 

 

 

I am an old horse guy (I'm old, not the horses) , and I still do about 40 acres of hay a year. It is just me and a couple part time after work guys.  Due to a bad back, I never touch a bale. I race horses, so most of my hay goes to the track sometime during the year, and my surplus is sold to other race horse guys. 

 

 

 

My whole farm and equipment is designed to be cost efficient and relatively easy for a lazy old guy..


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#23 JD3430

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 06:14 PM

If you come to Stolzfus in Honeybrook, stop on by. I’m not too far from there.



#24 Hayman1

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 06:47 PM

If you come to Stolzfus in Honeybrook, stop on by. I’m not too far from there.

Too bad I didn’t know that on several trips I made there JD.  Would have planned to stop by.  I have bought all the wagons for my life


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#25 Edd in KY

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 09:05 PM

Incidentally. the 3 most important decisions in the hay business, are when to cut? (weather)

How much to  cut (equipment and manpower capacity), and when it  is ready to bale (expertise). Most  of these issues are not limited by machine output.


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#26 LsHay

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 06:45 PM

If you come to Stolzfus in Honeybrook, stop on by. I’m not too far from there.

I went to high school in Elverson and grew up in Green Hills.  Where are you?



#27 paoutdoorsman

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 07:47 PM

Welcome to HayTalk LsHay!  I'm a little late on this thread, but live nearby and was at that sale for the better part of the day.  Would have been happy to meet up and look over any equipment you might have been interested in.  Did you end up with anything?  The market was fairly strong on most equipment at that sale.  Too strong on a lot of it.



#28 LsHay

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 08:54 PM

Welcome to HayTalk LsHay!  I'm a little late on this thread, but live nearby and was at that sale for the better part of the day.  Would have been happy to meet up and look over any equipment you might have been interested in.  Did you end up with anything?  The market was fairly strong on most equipment at that sale.  Too strong on a lot of it.

Thanks!

 

Actually, I did.  I bought a JD 336 square baler with a thrower.  Very old, but nice and clean and looks like it's been well taken care of.  I read lots of reviews before I bought it and apparently it's a real workhorse.

 

My significant other, who has worked on a lot of farms and made and stacked a lot of hay, is joining me in this venture (or should I say adventure?).  He's a retired cow doctor and knows all the local farmers who have been very generous with their time and knowledge.

 

I've been keeping a close eye on the equipment sales coming up the rest of this year, mostly in Pennsylvania.  I grew up there and get a little homesick when I hear a Pennsylvania Dutch accent so I go as often as I can.

 

If you followed the auction trucks around, you probably saw me.  I'm pretty sure I was the only female among all those Amish and Mennonite LOL.  I've never seen so many tidy haircuts in one place!

 

There's a NH H7230 I'm considering in Orrstown, we'll probably drive up to look at it this weekend.  I've considered biting the bullet on the mower/conditioner and buying new since they can be expensive to repair.  I don't want to think I've found a bargain by buying used only to find I bought someone else's mistake.  And both JD and NH dealers are near me.

 

L

 

Edit:  it's a NH 1411 in Orrstown, not H7230, although I haven't been able to figure out the difference between the two other than model year.



#29 8350HiTech

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 10:55 PM

Orrstown? Geez, now you’re literally exactly in our neighborhood! (paoutdoors and I are neighbors) I assumethis mower is at Creekside Equipment?

#30 paoutdoorsman

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 11:19 PM

Yep the 336 was a good baler.  I made an awful many bales with a 336!  I recall seeing 3 of them at the sale.  I didn't look close, but of the 3, I remember thinking that one was noticeably nicer than the others.

 

I may have seen you.  There were quite a few people at that sale.

 

If that H7230 is in Orrstown, it's likely at Creekside Equipment like 8350 mentions.  If so, Justin is a pretty good discbine mechanic and he'll for certain have it in solid shape and ready for the field.  He's just a few miles down the road.


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#31 LsHay

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 04:44 AM

Yep the 336 was a good baler.  I made an awful many bales with a 336!  I recall seeing 3 of them at the sale.  I didn't look close, but of the 3, I remember thinking that one was noticeably nicer than the others.

 

I may have seen you.  There were quite a few people at that sale.

 

If that H7230 is in Orrstown, it's likely at Creekside Equipment like 8350 mentions.  If so, Justin is a pretty good discbine mechanic and he'll for certain have it in solid shape and ready for the field.  He's just a few miles down the road.

Yes, Creekside.  I talked to Justin yesterday.  His father-in-law worked the Martin sale and set up my Farm Credit loan.  He knew I was interested in a discbine but hadn't bought one at the sale, so he told me Justin had a couple.  Small world!  Did either of you guys happen to go to Penn State?

 

Creekside is closed Saturday and Sunday but we're hoping to go just walk around and take a look.  Is equipment accessible when they're closed?

 

My 336 is the nicer one.  There was also one with a thrower that sold for $!,600.  The whole thing was incredibly dirty, the pan had a LOT of welds and one arm of the thrower was completely broken in two, held back together with baler twine!  :D But other than that, the baler itself looked to be in decent shape and probably would have been a good buy too.  Oh well.  More auctions, more fun.



#32 LsHay

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 04:51 AM

Plenty of beginners have posted on this site, one just of recent. Might be worth reading down through multiple threads then ask questions.

 

https://www.haytalk....ing-baling-hay/

Yes, I read that one when it was first posted.  I've been scouring three or four different farming forums for a while now, been researching since spring when I decided to make the change.



#33 LsHay

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 04:55 AM

 

Now, If it is a passion of yours to do this, then by all means go for it, but leave the rose colored glasses behind.

I have never worn rose colored glasses.   ;)



#34 LsHay

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 05:17 AM

Ls Hay-welcome to HT.  Not sure where you are in MD and it is a really variable state.  However, if you are montgomery co west, your conditions are really similar to mine.  That said, here goes-

 

I started out small 25 years ago with equipment that someone else had worn out twice and would not do that again.  Hard to make horse quality hay when everything is breaking down on hay day and you are running to get parts, repairing or waiting for an emergency tech to come fix something.  I am not saying to forgo used equipment at all but think ahead.  I worked up from 15 or so ac to over a hundred while doing a very full time job but now in major retirement I am down to 25 ac so very similar to you.  My suggestions to you-

 

don't get greedy, never cut more than you know you can handle at one time.  Repeat after me...  This rule also saves you from loosing the whole enchilada to rain that was not forecast.  I would go with kicker wagons.  I am not saying the other things won't work but if you are relying on you, yourself and you, it is the best bet.  Never let a bale touch the ground other than flyers over the wagon and minimize those.  Get larger kicker wagons that will fit under the rooves you have-measure to top of rack and add 24-30 inches for bales that stick up (otherwise, you have to get up and toss off some bales on top before you back in.  

 

Stolzfus in Honeybrook PA makes good steel wagons-get the truck tires, not flotation tires.  they are reasonably priced.  I would get 8.5 x 22' wagons.  You will find that the 950 (I had one for a long time) even with larger rears just does not have the butt to back those wagons and you might want to consider an upgrade to 50-60 hp like a JD2440 or 2550.  both good tractors and could be used in a pinch to run the baler to finish or whatever.  you should be able to get 175 bales or so on the 22' wagons with a little skill with your thrower.

 

I would suggest you look at a Krone 2801CV disc mower conditioner.  Just moved up from a NH1409 roller machine and like the impellers-I do all grass-orchard with some timothy mixed in.

The Krone 4 basket tedder and the small rotary rake from Krone-38t are well matched to your size of operation.  Messicks in PA handles Krone, probably others as well and I think they have a shop in Gettysburg or Carlisle pa if you are in the west central part of MD.

 

For balers, a NH 570 with a 72 thrower and hydraulic tension is a nice set up-nice controls/hydraulics at your console for thrower speed/distance and direction of throw.  The number of wagons is really dependent on how many bales you want to make at one time.  I would suggest you start with 6 ac per batch of hay cut and see how that works for you.  that is 700+ bales in wagon capacity and don't plan to empty them the day you bale.  Your objective on baling day is to get them in wagons and under shed roof.  Anything more is a bonus.  I get 100-140 per acre depending on year moisture and temperature and i fertilize well per soil test data.  ISF makes a slick 5 gal tote preservative applicator that uses Hayguard that would work well for your operation.   

 

Lastly, as far as marketing-moving hay-line your customers up during the winter, like as in now.  Try to get customers that will take your wagon (or you tow it to them) and they unload in their barn.  That way you don't have the extra expense of handling and stacking.  you might have issues marketing that much hay in advance of any product to show with no track record so be prepared-even if you plan to make less the first year to get your feet wet.  It's a journey and an adventure.  Hang on and enjoy the ride.  HTH

 

Some other things you will need-10' pull type bushhog for trimming fields, 3pt hitch 600# fertilizer spreader, access to a NT drill for over seeding fields.  Contract your herbicide application, bulk fertilizer, and liming to the local coop.

 

Oh, and for what it's worth, you don't need a round baler.  You do need someone local that you can get to roll stuff if you loose it to rain etc.  You just don't make enough on round bales around here to make numbers work unless you are way bigger than you are.  I had a good JD457 RB as a back up and sold it after 5 years and about 250 bales through it.  Just could not justify something that expensive sitting in the shed taking up space and rusting for the privilege  of saving a few ac of hay every several years.  mostly I used it when I ran out of kicker wagon capacity.  much cheaper to buy another wagon

All excellent advice, thank you, especially since much of it is in line with what I've already been planning!  It's always good to have confirmation.  I am west of MoCo but not by much.  ;)

 

I'm still on the fence about rollers vs impellers even though I'm all in mixed grass with no plan to change that.  Parts of my fields can be very wet and I'm wondering if the action of the impellers might make the hay take longer to dry in those parts.  Why do you like the Krone mower/conditioner vs JD or NH?



#35 8350HiTech

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 07:53 AM

Yes, Creekside. I talked to Justin yesterday. His father-in-law worked the Martin sale and set up my Farm Credit loan. He knew I was interested in a discbine but hadn't bought one at the sale, so he told me Justin had a couple. Small world! Did either of you guys happen to go to Penn State?

Creekside is closed Saturday and Sunday but we're hoping to go just walk around and take a look. Is equipment accessible when they're closed?

n.


I thought he was open Saturday but even if not you could look around. Personally I wouldn’t go on Sunday out of extra cautious respect for their plain sect beliefs, even though as travel in his lane you come through the equipment lot before you get to his house and the house is hidden in the woods.

#36 LsHay

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 07:59 AM

I thought he was open Saturday but even if not you could look around. Personally I wouldn’t go on Sunday out of extra cautious respect for their plain sect beliefs, even though as travel in his lane you come through the equipment lot before you get to his house and the house is hidden in the woods.

I saw Justin Saturday, told him a guy on the haytalk knew of him.  He was amused, wants to know who you are. LOL

 

Orrstown is a nice little village.  I'd never been there before.



#37 JD3430

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Posted 09 November 2020 - 09:16 AM

All excellent advice, thank you, especially since much of it is in line with what I've already been planning!  It's always good to have confirmation.  I am west of MoCo but not by much.  ;)

 

I'm still on the fence about rollers vs impellers even though I'm all in mixed grass with no plan to change that.  Parts of my fields can be very wet and I'm wondering if the action of the impellers might make the hay take longer to dry in those parts.  Why do you like the Krone mower/conditioner vs JD or NH?

You are correct. If you have damp ground, wax stripping impellers are not as good as stem crushing rollers.

Im stuck for now with my impeller mower, it’s certainly not helping me on damp ground. Now where I have high ground, it works fine. 
I think impellers do crack the stems to some extent, but not like rollers
 






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