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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fairly new to this, been around farming/ranching and familiar with it most my life, but never worked it myself, so, I bought some property and I've decided (dementia?) to farm a piece of it...
A little info on the property, etc...
I have approx 50 acres I have worked up, and this being the first year tossed some triticale on it basically for a cover crop, I got it in a little (okay really) late like Memorial Day Weekend, but my excuse is that I am at the whim of my neighbors that have the equipment that I have been using, mostly because the tractor I bought is too small and one of the things I will ask about...
I really have no equipment at this time besides a 45hp 4x4 Yanmar/Cub Cadet which would be fine if my ground was flat from what I gather... the problem is none of is really flat, and some a little on the steep side (I was running a 110 hp JD (2WD) pulling a JD Drill and couldn't get up it, mind you it was soft soil...
Okay, now my questions...
I can still borrow some stuff as needed from my neighbor but I prefer to not to if I can get away from that... SO I will be soon in need of a swather, and a baler, I want to stay with a small square bale as it will be easier to transport from the field (let's not go there)... so I am wondering, what are some good types, and models of balers, and what should I pay for each?
I will also need a swather, and as I am going to be switching possibly totally if not mostly to Alfalfa in another year, I will also need a conditioner? Thoughts, ideas, price?
Last but not least, a 4WD tractor, I am assuming at LEAST 90HP, but because I have the skid steer front end on my Yanmar, I would love to have a skid steer front end on the tractor.
Mind you, I am new this, and my budget isn't crazy either, so I am looking at good stuff that would be reasonable in price, and last a while..
Thanks up front for the help... and anything is appreciated (well outside of the "you're crazy" stuff)...

Jim
 

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I don't have any suggestions for you, but want to welcome you to HayTalk, and to give you the advise of "embrace the crazy" :rolleyes: I think you'll fit right in.

73, Mark
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
8350Hitech, Storage building for what? The equipment? Nothing yet, I am going to build it to fit what I get....
Budget as little as possible? I would like to stay under $50k but not more than $70k
If I make money off this (hobby) upgrade?
 

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I can't help with the specifics, but I can tell you what I thought about when I started.

Get the largest tractor you can afford. This will be your biggest investment and everything else you can upgrade later if you need to. I would get a 4wd w/front end loader if doing square bales. You may want to add an accumulator/grapple later.

For me, a smaller disc mower was ok (I got a GMD500). I could cut more hay in 4 hours than I could get up in a day if I had to do everything myself (and I usually did).

I also got a tedder for those Alabama thundershowers.

I would also get a large rake to cover as much ground as quick as possible. I would rake, bale and pick up all of my hay in the same day, so I wanted to rake as fast as possible then change to the baler since I only had one tractor.

Then I would get a dependable baler. There's nothing more frustrating than cutting, raking, start baling and then have a breakdown and the hay get wet. Also, for me, the rake and tedder are pretty simple machines, so if something happens to them I could usually fix it. The baler is a little more complicated (although after 16 years I feel pretty comfortable around it now).

If you have two tractors and/or help you may not have all of the concerns I had.
 

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Welcome to haytalk Jabwocky.......

So tell me this riddle......have you ever seen a momrath gire and gimble in the wabe? Just curious about the name......had to learn the Lewis Carroll poem back in the fourth grade, will never forget it (although I certainly didn't do justice on spelling)
 

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NH 489 MoCo - $6,000

NH 258 or JD 670 5 bar rake - $3,000

JD 336 or NH 273 baler - $6,000

60 HP Tractor - $25,000

couple of wagons - $5,000

That's about $50K with no enough left to buy a 12 pack of adult beverages, I believe.

Primary thought is forget the color, which local dealer has the BEST service manager / part person? That is where I would lean towards on equipment.

Wish list tedder, another tractor, rotary rake, laborers (for handling the hay).

I put up a fair amount of hay without a tedder, but............................ not anymore.

Larry

PS, if a 'rich uncle' dies, let me know for a real small portion (this is one area where SIZE does matter), I will update the list, using what ever color equipment you wish. :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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I hope to have it gone as fast as I bale it...
I am in Eastern WA and I am currently trying to line up buyers in Western WA... (cute girls with horses)...
If not I will probably tarp it...
Is selling hay out of the field typical for your area? If not, it may require a steep discount to sell it that way. I'd usually suggest against tarps, especially if you're seeking horse customers, though I'm assuming you are in a low rainfall area.
 

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Is selling hay out of the field typical for your area? If not, it may require a steep discount to sell it that way. I'd usually suggest against tarps, especially if you're seeking horse customers, though I'm assuming you are in a low rainfall area.
HiTech, maybe the cute girls with horses aren't like the ones in MY area, that stand you up, just before a rain storm. Not that I have had it happen once, bales on the ground and a no show buyer, picking up bales via firefly light. Nope not once, BUT...................., oh I have lost count, man was I stupid to believe they were going to show up AGAIN!!!! My wife would say again, 'who is the dummy'? :huh: Larry
 

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HiTech, maybe the cute girls with horses aren't like the ones in MY area, that stand you up, just before a rain storm. Not that I have had it happen once, bales on the ground and a no show buyer, picking up bales via firefly light. Nope not once, BUT...................., oh I have lost count, man was I stupid to believe they were going to show up AGAIN!!!! My wife would say again, 'who is the dummy'? :huh: Larry
Must be the jodhpurs talking... or tight jeans...

"But she SAID she'd be here!" LOL:)

Later! OL J R :)
 

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I mostly agree with R82230's list except the square baler... you can find a John Deere 347 wire tie for pretty reasonable too. My dad made over 300,000 square bales with his, now I make square bales with it... ours is twine tie but you said alfalfa so I'm guessing you'd prefer wire.
 

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I didn't have a clue what you were talking about until I Googled it. We were never taught that stuff here in Minnesota
Lol, required reading here.....not only that, we had to memorize the entire poem :eek: and it is a real tongue twisting senseless bunch of words......took me months and months to memorize it, likely to take that one to the grave.....thanks Ms. Greene, 4th grade English
 

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Have you concidered Leasing a tractor, and baler, with the option, to buy,then set out, to see if there is much demand, for the service, you are offering. If there isn't that much work, you will be only out the money, you agreed upon, instead of having the equipment sitting, with No Work, to make the payments on. Just a suggestion.
 

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Us folks in Western WA sure enjoy the hay from the other side of the mountains. The trick is you need either a contract with a distributer, or lots of hay storage, and a tractor trailer. Some people do make the treck over there one their own, but it's not as common as most think. Feed stores over here sell lots of orchard grass and alfalfa from Eeastern WA, and for a good premium, but there are lots of logistics involved. I would do lots of research and networking before going for the gusto. If you have a trick up your sleeve, go for it, but don't expect a bunch of hot horsey chicks from over here banging your door down unless you sell it CHEAP. (I've been wrong in the past, and will be in the future)

Just for a frame of reference, a bale of alfalfa sells for about $18 at a local feed store. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The closer to Seattle the more it goes for. If you could deliver on a contract, you could make some huge cash!

Chris
 

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Something you may consider, if you can find somebody to custom bale on your schedule would be to pay somebody to bale. The big if is trying to find somebody that will bale when it should be, not when they get to it. Yes it would cut into your profit but it would allow you to get into this without the cash out lay. A baler doesn't cost that much, but without it you could run a smaller tractor to mow and rake. Without baling on your to do list you would have more time for the rest of it.If somebody told me they wanted to get into making hay, where should they start my answer would probably be an MRI and a therapist.
 
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