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9 Acre Hay Field - Custom Job

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#1 BisonMan

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 12:43 AM

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? 

 

Thanks Boys! 



#2 Tx Jim

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 06:47 AM

IMHO landowner is going to have some very expensive hay.    $1600($177 per acre) charge for custom work plus $2.50 each bale for baling plus seed costs/fertilizer = high $$$$ sq bales


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#3 Ox76

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 09:16 AM

That's true, Tx Jim.  But if the landowner FEELS like he's winning, then he is and no logic will sway him.  You know how it is........lol    People are funny like that. 


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#4 Tx Jim

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 09:29 AM

I guess I missed the part that landowner already has agreed to the proposed charges.

 

I'm out of the loop on custom farming rates because I stopped custom tillage several yrs back but I'd be interesting in learning what basis Bisonman utilized to come up with $177 per acre for tillage/planting


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#5 BisonMan

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 11:19 AM

Thanks Guys, it's good to know that I didn't make a bad deal.  The guy is running a business so for him it is more of a labour of love and to have hay direct for his hobby animals. Also, he is paying for sowing because we thought  it is better for him to own the field.  

 

His objective is to have 600 bales off his field, which at retail level works out to $5/Bale x 600 = $3,000. He could rent it out the 9 acres @ $300/acre for 2,700. So it's kind of his approach to break even and get his bales straight off the field.

 

From my side it's a small field and I'll have to lug equipment around and manage the whole thing. 

 

I could split the fertilizer with him. 

 

Also I should mention these are DOLLARETTES, CAD not USD. Multiply all numbers by 75% 



#6 BisonMan

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 11:23 AM

I guess I missed the part that landowner already has agreed to the proposed charges.

 

I'm out of the loop on custom farming rates because I stopped custom tillage several yrs back but I'd be interesting in learning what basis Bisonman utilized to come up with $177 per acre for tillage/planting

 

I basically just looked at my time and equipment on heading over there with my tractor.  I come from a business background so sent him a pretty clean proposal by email. I'm new to farming, and lost money putting in hay on my own farm so I proposed fix rates by job. Excerpts as follows:

 

Field Prep: $600   
I'll come up with a disc from Cornell and work it up probably 2-3 times between now and spring. I might have to use a harrow to even the seed bed, but this depends on how clay like the soil is, how it breaks up with the disc. I had to use a harrow do this down on my farm, but I'm on a really hard clay down there.
 
Sowing: $600  (hay with Brillion)
I have a 10 foot brillion custom seeder. These are popular for putting down pastures, and are also used for lawns/golf courses.  It drops the grass seed in and then packs it. I went out and bought it last year after reading lots of articles. The custom guy I worked with on my farm last year, recently commented it did a very good job.
 
Sowing: $400 (Oats with Drill)
I'll use an Internation 5100 to drill the oats. Then I will go over with the brillion and put down the seed. Oats are too big to mix into the Brillion and need to be drilled.  If I am baling or splittling bales, then I would pay 1/2 the oats seed.
 


#7 Hay diddle diddle

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Posted 21 March 2021 - 01:58 PM

Does your 5100 not have a small seed box?  50 year old MF 55 drill we used to use did.  Drilled plenty of oats in with it and dropped clover out with small seed box and covered with harrows hooked onto back. One pass. Simples.

Down here in Aus. I work on $21/ac + gst. 



#8 BisonMan

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Posted 22 March 2021 - 08:36 AM

I like to use my brillion because it packs it down really well and the grass seed doesn't fall into the row but across the width of the row if you know what I mean. It's gained some popularity locally as a method.

 

In the end I'm just following the same approach that was used on my own 60 acre plot last year. I'm new to this, we were tobacco farmers and the only time we pulled the IH 5100 out was to sow our winter cover.

 

Our 5100  hasn't been used in 10 years and has some issues. I use a brillion and oats are too large for it. A custom guy I work with will actually come up and drill the oats down for me.  

 

One pass would indeed be nice though.



#9 slowzuki

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Posted 22 March 2021 - 12:53 PM

I'd double check your fertilizer numbers.  That's a lot of phosphorous.  If you're only doing the deal for a year, you will want to be careful with fertilizer prices being high this year.



#10 Hayman1

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Posted 22 March 2021 - 12:57 PM

I'd double check your fertilizer numbers.  That's a lot of phosphorous.  If you're only doing the deal for a year, you will want to be careful with fertilizer prices being high this year.

Maybe there and where you are, not here.  Routinely put 60+ units of P2O5 on here.  Did this morning.  65-60-150


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#11 Markpnw

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 11:03 AM

200 small bales of hay per acre? How many cuttings are you planning to make? Up in my area you’ll get about 100 Squares from 2 cuttings dry land.

#12 BisonMan

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 01:09 AM

Well maybe I'm a little optimistic about the 200 bales / acre. I'm counting on the oats to deliver some hay as a cover crop. I'll let you all know numbers, apparently, according to the owner, this is the best farmland in the county, even though its 9 acres. I'd agree with his assessment so far, when it rains, it was dry and workable the next day, he told me when it's dry, it retains it's moisture. 

 

It went alright I'd say so far. We got the field in the first week of April, which hopefully is a big win, as my own 60 acres I just got in last year 1st week of may in SW ontario.  

 

The brillion I found was going a little light in terms of putting 15-20lbs / acre of Alfalfa out of the small box. The farmer seemed keen to have a little more of a grassy mix. My custom farmer wanted some brome in the mix who came with his drill to put down the oats.  I put a mix with my custom guy into his drill to hedge our bets, it worked pretty well last year.

 

So we ended up going with a 90-10 alfalfa timothy mix (2.5 bags) and then I added 3/4 bag of brome. The brome worked through the large box of the brillion which kind of hedges my bets in terms of seeding as I throw some alfalfa in with the larger box too.

 

Overall, my "old farmer" would have prefferred a heavy alfalfa field, but we have a little more grass in there which I think will be just fine for small bales.

 

Pics below

April2 Disced & Planted
Album: 9_acres
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photo 2021 04 17 01 48 52
photo 2021 03 26 19 46 17
photo 2021 03 26 19 46 17
April2 Disced & Planted
April2 Field After Gibbons
April2 Planting
April2 Planted

 







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