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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in putting up my own hay so I need to purchase the equipment to do so. I have an International Harvester 574 tractor, pto is 52 hp. with a hydraulic pump output of 11.9 gpm. I have looked at some of Vermeer products as well as Massy Ferguson balers, but am open to other options. I would like to do round bales . Also since I am just beginning/learning I would like to purchase used equipment to keep the cost down. Any advice on balers and mowers would be greatly appreciated.
 

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BLC, welcome to Haytalk. My recommendations are very basic and I am in my third year and about third year of haytalk which has been major helpful to me even with great friend who does my cutting and baling. Even with his experience with the support of haytalk have been able to bring improvements to the operation.

On buying used equipment: do not get emotional in the process. There is no great deal you can live without. I have bought small excavator without seeing it based upon third party professional's inspection report. Have looked at used equipment and miss things myself. If buying used find dealer who is a hay equipment person (many around here will admit they are not) and will review with you your needs and their equipment. Auctions are where trash often gets dumped. Not all sold at all auctions are junk. First dealer I worked with years ago was professional and one thing he warned me about was local auctions. Funny seeing people way over paying even above new price as they get caught up in the bidding. You need someone who can lay out each piece you need so you don't end up with rake that is way too big or small for example with the mower and or baler.

I can not say enough about how great haytalk has been and continues to for me.
 

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Balers are going to be 4x4 and probably a haybine or small pull type discbine (under 9 ft.)for your size tractor you have listed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Budget wise I was looking at about 10k for mower, rake and baler. But that’s flexible
 

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How many acres and what kind of hay? Native grass hay require different equipment than alfalfa or other grasses.

Don't get in a hurry, I have acquired my equipment over the course of a few years from different sources. Bought my round baler at an auction for $1000 and did some repairs myself. There are bargains out there if you are mechanically inclined.

Also you may be able to get by with one or two bar rakes instead of a V rake in your situation, which should save you some money.

Also don't get in a hurry and buy the first thing you see. If it is meant to be it will happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Starting with about 50 acres of native grasses and then see where we go from there
 

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52 HP will run a 9' sickle bar (haybine) OK, but will be short on a discbine.IMHO. I got 115 (98 PTO) HP in front of a 9' didcbine and with heavy (2+ ton) hay it's a little short with a small hill.

Larry
 

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Do you really need the discbine for native grass? In my part of Kansas, just east of the flint hills, we have bluestem which will dry in a day or so in the summer just laying it down with a mower. Just my thoughts.. 52 should pull a 8-9 foot disc mower okay, but you would want it on a cradle.
 

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I wouldn't even want to imagine mowing 50 acres with a sickle bar machine. Sure, that's how it used to be done. Used to. It's hard enough for me to do half that with a haybine.
 

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If my fields looked like my neighbors fields after hay I would be tarred and feathered! Holy smokes what a horrible looking mess.. he has a disc mower and it is either very very dull or he is going 20 mph mowing! A good 9' sickle conditioner is a great machine for a beginner especially something like a newholland 488. You can down 4-5 acres an hour easy with one and not kill your self.
On the east side of the big river we need to tedd most of the time to get hay to dry, you may not have to.
With only 52 hp I would stick with a tow type rake either pinwheel or roller bar, rotary rakes are super sweet but expensive and suck up hp quick on hills.
As for a baler? Never made a round bale so I'm no help there! Small squares yes.
If your a 1 man show then rounds for sure are easier as long as you have the trailers and tractor/with loader to handle them.
 

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That brings back memories from over 25 yrs ago. A few yrs after I began custom hay baling I decided a V rake would decrease my baling time. A long time custom baler that I had know from being employed at an equipment dealer made it a point to tell me how dumb I was wasting time raking. Fast forward to today & very few people in my area bale hay that hasn't had 2 or more swathes raked together..
 

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You'd still need a rake to gather up the windrows.
There was a time, I didn't need a rake. I would cut into narrow swathes and directly RB bale that 'hay'. The so called hay was mainly grass (OG) and it was early/mid July. Which in my neck of the woods, OG is dead ripe and almost as dry as straw, plus I would cut one day and bale 3 days later, so it almost looked like straw :eek:. The RFV/RFQ might not have even registered on a scale, but it was better than feeding 'snowballs' to the cows in the winter.. That was also back in the day, where we seemed didn't get rain every 3 days or less.

Larry
 

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The weather has changed in the last 20 or so years and now is more unpredictable than ever.

It may vary from area to area but the aim in cutting is to do that as quickly as possible for dry down, next is raking and here it depends, if you want the hay to keep curing while raked get a rotary, if not a roll bar or ground driven rake will do, a Tedder is advisable. but not always necessary, depending on your area and finally a baler; here again speed is a plus as you always run ahead of the weather.

The proper machinery allows you do this as quickly as possible and it doesn't have to be new, but you must have a realistic budget to meet needs.
 

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I got 2 50 hp. tractors that will pull an 8 ft. disc mower, and a vermeer 504 rebel hay roller.I use an 8 wheel

V drag rake. I would love to hay a cutter caddy but I'll just bend over and hook up and wait for better times.

Just poke along till you figure out what works for you. If you got 50 acres get a 3 pt. hay fork and piss ant your hay to the stack till you can do better. Don't buy a roller you can't pull. Good luck
 
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