How much do hay farmers make per acre?
The average pay for a Hay Farmer is $54,106 a year and $26 an hour in the United States. The average salary range for a Hay Farmer is between $39,631 and $66,217. One may also ask, is growing hay profitable? “You are going to get more than three years out of that, but if we use three years, that’s about $100 per acre per year,” Brown says.
How to start a hay farming business?
How to Start a Hay Farming Business. If you own land well-suited for hay production, consider one main obstacle removed. However, purchasing hay-growing equipment — at a minimum you’ll need a tractor, mower, hay rake and baler — is costly and will likely prevent you from earning a profit your first year or two in business.
What is the best way to plant Hay?
Assess the condition of the field,your goals and your finances and equipment.Get a soil test.Complete the pasture soil assessment sheet in the ATTRA technical note Assessing the Pasture Soil Resource. …Lime and fertilizeFor hay or pasture,fence the area to be renovated and put animals on the field.More items…
How to make hay profitable?
The approach must be both integrative and holistic.We must strive for continuous improvement of the key resources—land,livestock and people.We must assemble and use good analysis and decision-making tools.We must wage war on cost. …More items…
What is the best hay to grow?
There are many different types of hay that you can grow, and which you choose will vary depending on where you live. Some of the most common include: 1 Grass: Hay can be made from many types of grass, with timothy, bermudagrass and orchardgrass being common choices. 2 Legume: Alfalfa is the dominant member of the legume family when it comes to making hay, with clover another to consider and bird’s-foot trefoil a popular choice for hayfields containing more moisture. 3 Grass/Legume Combinations: Growing a combination of grass and legumes can yield quality hay, and the legumes add nitrogen to the soil, which is necessary for the grasses to grow to their potential.
What is the best hay to use for hayfields?
Legume: Alfalfa is the dominant member of the legume family when it comes to making hay, with clover another to consider and bird’s-foot trefoil a popular choice for hayfields containing more moisture.
How to increase hay yield?
The amount of hay your fields can produce will depend in great part on the number of important nutrients available in the soil, so supplying fertilizers every few years can help you to greatly improve yield. Rotating the crops you grow in your fields can also be helpful, especially with alfalfa, which doesn’t perform as well when grown in the same fields for too many years. Alfalfa does better growing in fields that have previously been used for crops in different plant families, such as corn.
What is hay made of?
Some of the most common include: Grass: Hay can be made from many types of grass, with timothy, bermudagrass and orchardgrass being common choices.
How to measure the quality of hay?
In some respects, the quality of the hay you produce can be measured by its appearance and smell. Does it have rich color, or is it dull and gray? Does it smell fresh? Is it dusty? Does the hay have a high amount of leaf material (which has higher nutritional value), or have the leaves mostly shattered during cutting and baling?
How to grow hay?
To grow quality hay, you’ll need to sample your soil to determine if any fertilizers or soil amendments should be applied. As mentioned above, ample nitrogen is important for grass hay, while for legumes, phosphorus and potassium are key soil nutrients. To ensure that the soil pH level is appropriate for growing hay, limestone may need to be added several months in advance of planting. Having an expert test your soil and recommend fertilizer amounts can help ensure that your soil is well-prepared for growing hay.
How much does a square bale weigh?
Small square bales require more handling than larger bales, but offer the benefit of being more manageable. Weighing between 40 to 60 pounds, they can easily be moved around by a single person, whereas machinery is required for moving large square and round bales.
How to remove bale from hay spear?
To remove your bale from the spear, simply place it where it needs to be and drive your tractor backward. The spear should slide right out!
How to lift hay with tines?
Here’s a little tip that might make all the difference for you when lifting your hay bales: once you have the tines or spear inserted into the bale, TILT IT UPWARDS. This will allow gravity to help you keep the bale on the spear, and give you a little more security when moving your hay.
How big is a bale spear?
Your bale spear is likely going to be quite large — about 49″. Once you have it attached to your tractor, you’ll need to slowly and carefully use it to penetrate the bale. If you have a spear attachment with stabilizers, make sure you use them; they will be invaluable in helping you hold that bale steady as you lift it.
What is hay made of?
Hay is made from dried stems of grasses and other plants, so the first step in hay farming is to cut them. This may seem like a simple task, but you actually need to time it just right to make the rest of your hay farming process easier.
How much profit can you expect per bale of hay?
How much profit you can expect per bale is dependent on several factors, from where you operate, to the weather in a given year. Before going into business, survey growers in your area to gauge their wholesale prices to retail or individual customers. This price may also vary depending on whether the hay is delivered. For example, in 2015 in Central Texas, hay growers may sell square bales to individual customers for $6.50 per bale if the customers pick it out of the field, $7.50 after the hay producer has loaded it and stored it in a barn, and $8.50 or more if delivered. So, using an example of 50 acres with two cuttings per year, yielding 50 bales per acre equals 5,000 bales total. Your fertilizer and fuel are $300 per acre, or $15,000, which is $3.00 per bale. Not including any of your capital equipment purchases or other upfront costs, such as seed that year, anything above $3.00 per bale is your profit, and you can set your sales price above that according to what your particular market will bear.
What is hay baled in?
Hay can be baled in small, rectangular bales, or large round rolls. Each type requires different baling equipment.
How is hay yield calculated?
According to Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmer’s Union and a third-generation North Dakota farmer, hay yield is calculated in tons, as individual bale weights can vary. Your yield depends on the type of grass used, as well as soil and weather conditions.
How much does a bale of hay weigh?
Typically, though, expect between one and two tons per acre per cutting. Typical square bales weigh from 50 to 100 pounds, while round bales easily weigh in at 1,000 pounds and up; you’re not likely to get more than 50 smaller square bales per acre, and only one to two round bales. Tip.
How much does it cost to grow hay?
One advantage to hay farming is that you may only need to seed your land every two to five years, so consider seed an occasional cost of at least $100 per acre. What you do need to do to ensure consistent quality, is fertilize your hay crop. You also need to factor in the minimal fuel costs for cutting and baling. While all of these costs are affected by external factors and geographical regions, make preliminary estimates of at least $200 to $300 per acre for fuel and fertilizer.
How many states grow hay?
Tip. Hay is grown in all 50 states, although the type of grass varies by geographical region.
How to determine how much land to buy?
Assess your available customer base to determine how much land to buy. If you know demand is high, and you’re a reasonable distance from farm feed stores, horse owners or horse boarding facilities, you have plenty of selling options. Query a feed store owner or horse boarding operator about monthly usage, then calculate the required minimum acreage to meet that based on average yields in your area.
How many bales of corn per acre?
Here was the thought, on 50 acres you would get 100 square bales per acre, which is a conservative number.
How much does it cost to store hay?
That means that you would have to charge more for the hay. Something like $4.75 a small square could work. The added $0.25 would be for storing the hay. You could charge more depending on your cost of storage.
How much does it cost to farm 100 acres in New Brunswick?
You can into a 100 acre farm for $250,000 in New Brunswick. The reason not everyone farms is because when you’re farming, it’s bloody hard work. Grain farmers work 8 months a year. Mixed farmers work all year round and dairy farmers (bless them) work shift work 24/7 with no days off or even a slow down.
What is the basic idea of a farm?
The idea. The basic idea is to have a small farm that only does hay. You would only have a few select pieces of equipment and not a whole bunch. This would be instead of doing cash crops, at least at the start. This would be somewhere to start for a new farmer because the initial capital you need is lower than what you need for a cash crop farm.
Where can I sell hay?
You could use places like Kijiji to sell your hay.
Where to store a sandbox?
Store it on the farm you own or rent.
Do you have to plant hay every year?
One of the really nice things about hay is that you don’t have to plant it every year. This means that you can get away with not having either of those pieces of equipment. You can contract out seeding.
How does a mini round baler work?
The mini round baler works on the same principle as its bigger cousin, rolling the hay inside a chamber until it reaches a certain size, and then wrapping the bale with either twine or net and ejecting it out the rear of the machine. Mini round balers are a great choice for small-farm forage production.
Why won’t my hay mower work?
There are a few reasons why this will not work. First, in most climates, hay will not dry well unless fluffed, flipped, or turned by a tedder and/or rake. Secondly, the path left by the hay mower will generally not be conducive to being picked up by a baler, resulting in a lot of missed hay.
How to choose a sickle bar mower?
In order to choose the mower that will work best for your situation, first fit the mower to the size of your tractor and then determine how you will be using it. Since sickle bar mowers are light weight and require little horsepower, they are a great match for many subcompact and compact tractors.
What is a tedder machine?
The Tedder. A tedder is a machine that spreads and turns over cut, loose hay in the field. This action exposes the hay on the underside of a pile to air and sunlight, speeding up the drying process. Tedders use a rotary motion to grab the hay with spinning tines and cast it out the back of the machine.
What is the least expensive hay mower?
Drum mowers are easily the most rugged of the hay mower types and tend to be the least expensive. They can be run without hydraulics and can be run at high speeds. They also have fewer moving parts and are easier for the farmer to work on. We recommend shaft-driven machines rather than beltdriven, keeping maintenance costs down.
What is the first step in baling hay?
The first step to the baling process is pretty obvious–cutting the hay. You will need to choose a mower that both fits your tractor and is right for the geography of your small farm as well as the type of forage you are intending to bale.
What is a rotary rake?
Rotary rakes are gentle on the crop and produce a fluffy windrow to cut drying time. They also handle wet crops well, adding to their versatility. They come in sizes for just about any tractor and are easy to maneuver. Belt rakes are the most versatile of all the rake types.
How to keep hay from getting a swarm of bugs?
Spray the grass or alfalfa with a non-toxic pest repellent. Hay crops are prone to weevil, blister beetle, and other insect infestations. To keep insects from damaging your crop, spray your crop with a non-toxic insect repellent once a month or as you notice infestations.
How to grow hay?
Hay grows best if it has plenty of nitrogen and organic matter. Purchase a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer and spray the plant and the soil, reapplying the fertilizer monthly to encourage growth. Spray the grass or alfalfa with a non-toxic pest repellent .
How to grow alfalfa?
2. Plant your grass or alfalfa in a nitrogen-rich soil. Hay grows best in soil with plenty of organic matter. Test the soil’s nitrogen content with a home soil test kit and, if low, mix it with a nitrogen-rich compost. You can buy home soil test kits from some plant nurseries or agricultural supply stores.
How to spread grass seed in a tilled area?
Spread grass or alfalfa around the tilled dirt. Grab a handful of grass, alfalfa, or mixture seeds and spread them evenly along the tilled dirt. Rake the entire tilled area to work the seeds into the soil using light strokes. If you’re growing grass, you can also plant grass plugs or [ [lay sod instead.
How long does it take for alfalfa to dry?
3. Dry the grass or alfalfa for 2-3 weeks. Lay the grass or alfalfa out on a dry, warm spot with plenty of sunlight. Leave the harvest to dry for at least 2 weeks or until it is completely dry to the touch. If you live in a windy location, dry your crops in a greenhouse or a shed with windows.
How long does it take for hay to flower?
If you notice your crop beginning to flower, harvest the crop within several days if possible. Alfalfa usually flowers 7-8 months after planting. Plan on harvesting your hay within this time frame. …
What is the best way to grow hay?
1. Use grass or al falfa to grow hay. Typically, hay is made from either grass or alfalfa. Depending on your needs, plant grass, alfalfa, or a mixture of the 2 for use as hay after growing. Grass hay is generally more nutritious than alfalfa hay for livestock, but alfalfa has more fiber. If you choose grass hay, …
How do hay bales get pushed out of a baler?
The hay bales get pushed out the back of the baler to a basket (like the video) or a person on the flat bed wagon, attached to the back of the baler, who stacks the bales. Some balers have a kicker, which means you pull a wagon with cage like sides and the baler kicks/throws the small square bales into the wagon.
Why do round bales pop out of the baler?
The round bales are left in the field, they pop out the back of the baler when the bale is big enough and the baler has wrapped the hay in twine or netting so it stays together and can be moved.
How does a baler work on a tractor?
The baler is pulled behind the tractor. The baler has a PTO (power take off) shaft that you hook up to the back of the tractor. The PTO shaft spins to power the baler so it can take in the hay and compress it into bales.
What do we use to cut hay?
We use a mower conditioner to cut our hay.
What is a disc mower?
A more modern mower is called a disc mower. It has short knife bars on wheels that spin sideways, all under a shield of course. The advantage to a disc mower is speed and volume. You can drive through the hay much faster and cut thicker growth with a disc mower than other types of mowers.
Why do farmers plant annuals?
Some farmers plant an annual specifically to produce a quick, high tonnage hay cutting. Annuals are plants that will not regrow next year, they must be replanted.
How is hay made?
Hay is made by cutting high quality grass or other forages, letting it dry in the sun, then baling the dried forage for transportation and storage.
How much hay does Missouri produce?
According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the state ranks sixth in hay production at 5.4 million tons annually. Unfortunately, Cole says, the hay production is “not always the greatest quality.”
What is the greatest expense cattle producers face each year?
The greatest expense cattle producers face each year is forage cost, whether it is pasture, hay or haylage. “Use a sharp pencil to evaluate whether to raise your own hay or to buy it,” Cole adds. “You may be surprised at what you find.”
What grades of hay are used in the price of hay?
However, he notes that hay prices are more organized for alfalfa. “They use grades such as premium, supreme, good and fair, ” he explains. “In some states, it’s rated as dairy, grinding, horse and goat quality.”
Will hay sheds be wet in 2020?
ABUNDANT FORAGE: Wet weather in 2020 has many hay sheds bursting at the seams. Farmers need to know the quality of hay they are selling to gain the best price on the market.