I recently took on a 9 acre field about 3 km from my farm.
The owner has some cattle and is looking for 600 small square bales / year out of the field.
My plan to sow is based on what I did last year, Put oatsdown in with a drill (1/4 deep only) then packing it all down with the brillion.
- Disc up the field a few times , then use a harrow to get the seed bed nice and smooth. I've got an old harrow of my Dads, do I need to harrow or can I just disc it up more? I ask because I'll probably park my tractor there and it'd save me a trip. I want to do it right though so am pretty sure I'll harrow it unless maybe you guys tell me no.
- Use a Case IH 5300 Drill to put in Common Oats as cover at 3 Bushels/Acre. I will mix in about 25% of grass seed (5lbs/acre) with it (Alfalfa, Timothy Mix). I like to do this to hedge my bets with machinery problems.
- Follow up with the Brillion and put remainder of seed in.
This is only my 2nd year in Hay, so I am interested in how to make this custom arrangement work. Some questions:
- What type of Hay mix should I put under the Oats? I am wanting something that the customer can feed to his cows/goats, but also that keeps the horse market open. I am looking at 20lbs /acre of the folllowing:
>FS Cut and Graze mix, which is 63% Alfalfa, 30% Timothy and 7% white clover mix.
- He is going to cover all seed costs, fertilizer will be done custom from my seed vendor, so the field will be his.
- I quoted him $1,600 for Custom work for tilling the field and sowing.
- I''ve got a soil test coming, but standard application from the agronomist would be 18-18-14 5S 1Mg @ 300lbs/ac
- I will custom bale it for 2.50/bale. Plan is that I will take whichever ones he doesn't want to keep at that time, and will not charge for these, but will get the bale. Essentially once he gets his 600 he should be happy and the field is largely mine to manage.. I have a barn 3km away to store, but I would love to ship it direct off the field to someone.
Any thoughts on the arrangement? Also I estimated 200 bales/acre year 1, it should be good land, is this estimate solid? Am I gonna make any money?