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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I generally make my alfalfa small squares 14"x18" 33" long and weighing in at 55lb, but having recently checked the weight of a few at different shops, feel I may be selling myself short, as my bales feel to be about 50% heavier than competitors in some cases! Am I selling myself short, or are my competitors just ripping people off? Some of the ones I've felt leaving me wonering how they even manage to stack...

I'd appreciate if y'all that put up alfalfa squares could post what length and weight you make, and if not 14"x18" the fixed dimensions? Grass guys, please feel free to comment also, may be useful reference for someone else later on.

BTW, a very useful tool I have permanently in the balers toolbox is one of these: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Electronic-Portable-Digital-Luggage-Scale-Travel-50-KG-/180735707712 just hook the two strings over the hook, when it has a weight it beeps and holds that weight on the display for a minute or so. Cheap as too.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Full of questionable knowledge.
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When I did alfalfa small squares I did 16X18X39. They weighed about 70 lbs. 50% heavier then other bales of hay? That's something and yeah I know they wouldn't stack well for me. Honestly I don't think I could make a 30 lb bale with my small square baler that would even stay together. Unless it was like 20 inches long. Do you charge the same $ for your heavier bales?
 
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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I did alfalfa small squares I did 16X18X39. They weighed about 70 lbs. 50% heavier then other bales of hay? That's something and yeah I know they wouldn't stack well for me. Honestly I don't think I could make a 30 lb bale with my small square baler that would even stay together. Unless it was like 20 inches long. Do you charge the same $ for your heavier bales?
I may be exagerating a little on the 50%, but there was a big difference. Yes, I do charge around the same, as everyone buys by the bale around here, they don't ask for weights, or even bale lengths.

Looking at your specs, I may be a bit on the heavy side - yours works out at 160 cubes to the lb, where I am 151 ci to the lb. Spose it depends a lot on the moisture too though, I think most of the ones at the pet shops etc were probably baled with preservatives wetter, and have dried out some, as the strings were quite loose.
 

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I may be exagerating a little on the 50%, but there was a big difference. Yes, I do charge around the same, as everyone buys by the bale around here, they don't ask for weights, or even bale lengths.

Looking at your specs, I may be a bit on the heavy side - yours works out at 160 cubes to the lb, where I am 151 ci to the lb. Spose it depends a lot on the moisture too though, I think most of the ones at the pet shops etc were probably baled with preservatives wetter, and have dried out some, as the strings were quite loose.
My small bales are larger then most around here being 16 inches wide and I can't get more money out of them then the bales that are only 14 inches wide. I sell by the bale also and people never notice my bales are larger even when they remark and wonder why they can't put as many in their trailer or back of their trucks. However last summer when I started selling one 3x3 bale for roughly the same price 15 small bales would be people thought they were getting a fantastic deal. I guess when looking at an 800 lb bale it seems more reasonable to pay $135 for it then to pay $9 per bale for a small one. When really it's the same amount of hay.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I only bale my rounds4'x4', as everyone is just after a "round bale", little do the realise there's a massive amount of difference between a 4x4 and a 4x6. I recently baled a heap of rounds, and forgot to turn the density back up, and they were real loose. I discounted the bales $20 due to this, and the customer thought they were getting an absolute bargain, they didn't seem to notice they were oval shaped because they were collapsing under their own weight :confused: They were that loose, I could stick my arm in the core!
 

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We get guys around here at auctions that think a 900 pound 5x6 bale is better to buy than a 900 pound 4x5 bale. Buying by the bale bigger has to be better right? :p ANd they will pay more.
 

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80% of mine goes to the horse market and we aim for a 36" bale and 50 to 55 pounds out of the baler. These are 14X18 bales. I would rather make heavier bales but I get complaints everytime I do even if the price is the same per ton.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
80% of mine goes to the horse market and we aim for a 36" bale and 50 to 55 pounds out of the baler. These are 14X18 bales. I would rather make heavier bales but I get complaints everytime I do even if the price is the same per ton.
Yes, most of my squares go to the horse market too, and I know what trying to stack 60lb bales in someones tack room littered with obstacles is like! I think if I shot for a 48lb 33" bale, they'd be just right.
 

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You guys get complaints when they weigh over 60 lbs. I get complaints when they weigh over 70lbs. I don't under stand how on the west coast the 3 string bales that weigh 100lbs remain so popular. Maybe those people are stronger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Most of my customers are finely built horse ladies, so maybe it's a good thing that they aren't as strong, less hay in a bale = more money in my pocket. I don't like to rip people off, but I generally find the equine market wants the finest quality for next to nothing, so it works out well really....
 

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Mine are usually in the 40lb range. But I bet mine are also shorter, we use kickers and that does limit bale lenght. My square baler came setup with a 1/4 turn chute and was pushing out real long bales. However mine are also pretty heavy for the area. And occasionally I have a customer ask for lighter bales. Keep in mind we only sell by bale not weight around here.
 

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I bale mine at 35" and 55 pounds....no one ever has complained about size or weight....they grapple and stack well at that size and weight....no shifting of stacks.

Regards, Mike
 

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I bale mine at 32" and 40 pounds. I sell tractor trailer loads by the ton and everything else by the bale.Most people around here advertise a 40 pound kicker bale but most average 35. I take time to educate my customers about buying hay based on weight and have found the ones that will listen and understand you have become good and long term hay customers.
 

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I like a 34" bale length & 55 lbs. Figure 35 bales to the ton. When I do sell by the ton the number of bales and the weight usually come out about equal.

I pick up with a NH 1003 bale wagon and 34 - 35 inches is about as short as it will work with. Bale at 15 strokes per bale, no fewer than 11 strokes per bale nor more than 18 strokds per bale.
 

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Boy, How times have changed! I can remember baling hay(grass) for farmers that would run you out of the field if you baled under 80#s. Paying by the bale they wanted all they could get in each one!
As far as big round bales go, we bale with a 605j Vermeer. It rolls a 6x6 bale and when rolled right they average 2100#s. First time we sold them people couldn't belive that they'd have trouble hauling them in a half-ton truck. One guy wanted two on his truck and after the first was loaded he changed his mind. Everyone complained on the price for the first time they bought but kept coming back for more! Seems they liked that they would last a lot longer!
Now we have regular customers who are happy to get them. Quality sells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I bale mine at 32" and 40 pounds. I sell tractor trailer loads by the ton and everything else by the bale.Most people around here advertise a 40 pound kicker bale but most average 35. I take time to educate my customers about buying hay based on weight and have found the ones that will listen and understand you have become good and long term hay customers.
How do you find the 40 lb bales for stack stability and the bales holding together?

A lot of people tend to forget that a freshly baled brick will be a few pounds heavier than one that's been in the barn a few weeks due to moisture losses, moreso when preservatives are used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not many scales around here. Nor is anyone used to pricing by the ton. Even tractor trailer loads aren't sold by weight.
Ditto, if I said to most of my customers I want $365/ton, they'd look at me silly. I've even sold semi loads of rounds to dairies without them even knowing what size bales they were until they got there.
 

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Stack stability for my 40 pound bales isn't a problem since we hand stack everything around here. A friend of mine who has a hay business also, bought some hay in New York state those bales were 36" and 60 pounds that guy uses a new holland stack wagon. He told us that was the ideal size and weight for him and his setup.If you just selling your own hay and you make a consistant bale weight and size selling by the bale is the way to go. For me i buy and resell hay so if have been bringing a customer my hay 40# bale for $5 then on the next load bring them a 35# bale to be fair and honest i would charge them $4.38 a bale.I prefer to just tell them that this year hay is $250 a ton then it doesn't mater if i show up with a 35#,a 40# or a 60# bale.
 
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