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    A beginner’s guide to hay

    round bale of hay

    A picture of a round bale of hay from first cut 2013

    For the last couple of weeks I’ve been at my in-laws’ farm. They needed some help on their farm, and I was more than happy to oblige. Because it was hay season, I got to learn a lot about hay.

    So here’s what I learned about hay.

    Bonus Video

    In this bonus video, I show you500彩票手机软件下载 the process of making hay in Farming Simulator 2013.

    Let me know what you500彩票手机软件下载 think.

    What type of hay seeds work?

    When you500彩票手机软件下载 grow hay it can be a combination of seeds. Many farmers prefer a combination of different seeds.

    A great combination is alfalfa, fescu grass and clover.

    Depending on what type of livestock a farmer has will change what combination of hay they want. Some horse farmers prefer one combination where sheep farmers may want another.

    Keep that in mind when you500彩票手机软件下载’re selling hay. Take note of what’s in you500彩票手机软件下载r hay because some farmers are very particular.

    How to know when to cut hay?

    It’s funny when I was helping out, I didn’t cut any hay, so I had no idea when to do it. So I asked when you500彩票手机软件下载 should cut hay.

    The best time to cut hay is when you500彩票手机软件下载r hay-field is just about to flower. That’s the answer I got for first cut.

    OMAFRA suggests cutting hay in the morning just after the morning dew is off for better drying. However, if you500彩票手机软件下载 want more sugar in you500彩票手机软件下载r hay OMAFRA suggests cutting hat later in the day.

    Try to cut a swath that is as large as possible. This helps hay dry faster.

    How to know when hay is dry?

    Now that you500彩票手机软件下载’ve cut the hay you500彩票手机软件下载 need to know when it’s dry. The way I learned to see if it is dry is to reach under the windrow and feel the bottom of the hay.

    If the hay feels moist, then it’s not ready to bale. An easy test to do to see if hay is ready and bend it in half. If the hay is still wet, it won’t make any crunching sounds. If the hay is ready, it will make a crunching sound and snap almost. Do this test with the hay at the bottom of you500彩票手机软件下载r windrow.

    If the hay it still moist, you500彩票手机软件下载 have two options:

    1. You can use a tedder to turn over hay and to help it dry faster.
    2. You can wait a bit longer to let it dry.

    The advantage of using a tedder is that you500彩票手机软件下载r hay will dry faster. The disadvantage is by tedding you500彩票手机软件下载 will lose material in turning over you500彩票手机软件下载r hay.

    If you500彩票手机软件下载 wait longer, then time and the weather will be you500彩票手机软件下载r problem.

    How to bale hay?

    small square baler

    This is a picture of me using the small square baler attempting to get all the hay in the baler.

    I didn’t do much baling because I was very slow at it, but I did do some when I was at the in-laws.

    I noticed that you500彩票手机软件下载 have to bale very slow in most cases. I was using a small square baler and the windrows were pretty big, so I had a hard time to keep the baler where I wanted it.

    One choice you500彩票手机软件下载 need to make if you500彩票手机软件下载’re baling rounds is, whether you500彩票手机软件下载 want net wrap or twine.

    This choice is largely dependant on you500彩票手机软件下载r baler. Some balers can use both others only twine.

    Advantages of using twine

    • Twine is very cheap. It runs around 30$ for 28,000 feet.

    Disadvantages of using twine

    • Twine takes a while to wrap bales up. If you500彩票手机软件下载’re using a round baler, you500彩票手机软件下载 will have to wait longer using twine.

    Advantages of net wrap

    • Net wrap is faster than using twine. Even if you500彩票手机软件下载 do two wraps, it’s quicker than twine.
    • Because you500彩票手机软件下载’re not spinning the bale as much, there is less loss when spinning.
    • Also, net wrap bales come out very neat and tidy, which can help if you500彩票手机软件下载’re selling hay.
    • Some suggest that net wrap can shed water better than twine.

    Disadvantages of net wrap

    • Net wrap is more expensive than twine. It can be one dollar per bale whereas twine is cents.
    • Some farmers say that net wrap bales stick to frozen ground more than twine.

    Storing hay

    Bale autostacker

    My father in law picking up the small squares in the field.

    Once you500彩票手机软件下载’ve baled you500彩票手机软件下载r hay you500彩票手机软件下载 need to store it somewhere.

    The best place to store hay is inside. Cover alls, or storage sheds work well.

    If you500彩票手机软件下载 don’t have storage space inside, you500彩票手机软件下载 can use a tarp to protect you500彩票手机软件下载r hay outside.

    A big concern when you500彩票手机软件下载’re storing hay is heat. You need to be very careful how you500彩票手机软件下载 store you500彩票手机软件下载 hay. If you500彩票手机软件下载 bunch hay bales together too much, you500彩票手机软件下载r hay will heat up. So, provide space for the heat to escape.

    Final thoughts

    Hay is a lot of work but the rewards are well worth it. I mean without it, many animals wouldn’t have anything to eat.

    Do you500彩票手机软件下载 have an insight on hay? Leave a comment below.



    1. hi,
      my name is Justin and I am looking to start a hay farm I need to know how to write the business plan If you500彩票手机软件下载 have any pointers that would be great

    2. Cedric says:

      I have a farm with my brothers. We usually arguing about how to cut hay. I have a field of 40 acres I like cutting in a circular motion. My bothers like cutting a straight then turn around and come by down in a straight line again. Which is best?

    3. Dan Clark says:

      I have 2 acres. I live in Pacific Northwest. There is a huge demand for hay for horse and beef. Can I grow top quality hay and make a profit.

      • It depends on whether you500彩票手机软件下载 have the set up or not

        • Anonymous says:

          You will get about 2 rolls of hay per acre. They are about 1000 lbs per roll at $50.00 per roll, that’s $200.00

      • Two acres can yield about 5 tons of hay per cut if you500彩票手机软件下载 maintain soil quality. In you500彩票手机软件下载r local you500彩票手机软件下载 should get 2 cuts of hay per season. I’m not sure how much money you500彩票手机软件下载 will make after expenses and effort on 20 tons of hay. We have a 16 horse farm in Tennessee and use about 80 tons of hay per year. The rest, about 60-70 tons we sell to neighboring farms to help reduce our cost of production. Remember, you500彩票手机软件下载 should reseed when necessary, fertilize every year, spray for weeds and then cut, ted, rake and roll the hay. All of this costs money.

    4. Anonymous says:

      You all are wrong on this matter. Rethink what you500彩票手机软件下载 think you500彩票手机软件下载 may know.

    5. Rweyemamu Edrick says:

      I want to start a farm. Want to know all 500彩票手机软件下载 required to make a hay from planted grass

      • Minimum 60 hp tractor, cutting attachment, tedding attachment, rake and bailer. Sprayer will be helpful for keeping weeds under control.

    6. I use a older equipment it’s a lot simpler and does just as good a job I use a Massey ferguson 165 tractor, a Zweegers drum mower, ferguson rake, and a Massey ferguson baler 124 small square baler I sell to people with horses

      • what simple 500彩票手机软件下载 are needed for harvesting and baling hay.Also,how can the challenge of making hay during the raining season be over come?How can new seeds be obtained if hay is harvested before flowering as this writer said?

    7. If starting out, do NOT do just haying as you500彩票手机软件下载r sole enterprise. You will grossly fail.
      Hay removes 1/3 the soil carbon and needs to be replaced or rested or cover cropped for green manure. Without replenishing you500彩票手机软件下载r fields you500彩票手机软件下载 will lose carbon and humus matter over a few years and face great expenses to re-store you500彩票手机软件下载r hayfield. If you500彩票手机软件下载 get a few beef steers, you500彩票手机软件下载 can rotate them through you500彩票手机软件下载r fields to help re-store some nutrient loss. The haying equipment is expensive and if you500彩票手机软件下载 buy new, you500彩票手机软件下载 better have about 1,000 acres to hay or you500彩票手机软件下载 will not even pay the interest. Or you500彩票手机软件下载 could get a BCS walk behind tractor with sickle bar mower, Tedder and mini-round baler for about thirty grand. That would work for small acres like less than a hundred.
      Doing just hay as you500彩票手机软件下载r Ag endevour is extremely foolish. I am dead serious about nutrient loss over time and it will happen quickly. Watch a Gabe Brown video on YouTube to understand soil performance, cover cropping, grazing livestock, making profit and using hay as last option.

    8. We own and operate a 16 stall horse boarding farm and grow all the hay for our horses. The bedding and manure from the daily stall cleaning is used to fertilize our hay fields in the off season. The wood chips seem to replace the carbon in the soil and aid in retaining moisture while the manure and urine soaked bedding replaces the nitrogen and other nutrients the hay removes from the soil. We use an ABI PTO manure spreader that gives an even distribution of manure to the fields. We began harvesting hay in this fashion mid 2015 and each cut we have made has yielded more hay from each field. We plan to test the soil after this year’s first cut but so far, so good. Our biggest problem is getting 5 dry days to cut and bale our hay.

      • Don, how many acres do you500彩票手机软件下载 own/work, and in what part of the country do you500彩票手机软件下载 live?

    9. Justin T says:

      Goodmorning, The tractor is sitting in the yard with a Kuhn mower attached to the back. I’ve never made a bale. Today we will start the process. Looks like four good days of weather ahead. Wish me luck!

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