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OK... so NOT Stolen hay... Just a misunderstanding!!

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  • OK... so NOT Stolen hay... Just a misunderstanding!!

    So the hay guy comes and cuts my field on Monday... tedders on Tuesday... rakes on Wednesday. Baled yesterday... I came home thinking I would see a wagon or 2 of hay... and nothing. He took it all. Didn't have an agreement to take it all... didn't leave any money... left not a trace of second cut hay. I had it sold with the exception of 100 bales and now it's just gone and I'm left with nothing. I am not sure what to do. I don't want to burn any bridges, but uhm, my hay is not FREE. I don't care if you baled it. You still have to pay for it.

    Has something like this ever happened to any one else? Any idea what the protocol should be now? I mean, I need to tell him he owes me some money. Do I charge him the "per bale" price that I had it sold for, or do I charge him just a field use flat rate? And if so, what would that be. I have no idea... I always pay him to bale my hay and I keep it. I'm so flabbergasted.
    Last edited by Liscar; Aug. 27, 2010, 10:37 AM. Reason: Change title
    Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3

  • #2
    Originally posted by Liscar View Post
    ... I always pay him to bale my hay and I keep it. I'm so flabbergasted.
    Sounds like you have a previous understanding with him. Why are you concerned about burning bridges? He.Stole.Your.Hay! Call him and tell him to bring it back and if he doesn't call the cops.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


    • #3
      That is very odd. I would approach it as a misunderstanding if you don't want to burn any bridges such as:
      "Hi, I came home and realized you had moved all the hay elsewhere. I was expecting to pay you to cut the feild, and as such I had plans for the hay. Did we get our wires crossed? Let me know when you can bring the hay back, and I will have a cheque ready for you."
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


      • #4
        Just wanted to add...make sure that if you do get the hay back, that it is YOUR hay, and not some garbage that got rained on and is a year old....
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Liscar View Post
          I had it sold with the exception of 100 bales and now it's just gone and I'm left with nothing. I am not sure what to do. I don't want to burn any bridges, but uhm, my hay is not FREE. I don't care if you baled it. You still have to pay for it.
          I have no idea... I always pay him to bale my hay and I keep it. I'm so flabbergasted.
          first call and make sure that he or his crew picked it up....stealing hay from a field in the middle of the night is not uncommon....even big round bales are known to just "poof" and be gone...one reason our hay NEVER EVER stays out even one night if we can help it.

          if his crew got it, make sure they knew to leave it to begin with, accidents do happen

          if he did take it and does not offer to return it then get the bale count and charge him per bale for it

          Tamara in TN
          Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
          I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


          • #6
            How do you know he didn't leave it neatly stacked in wagons, that someone else drove away with?

            Definitely don't accuse him of anything. Call him and ask where he put the hay, because i'ts not there. If he says he left it where he always does, call the police immediately. If he says he has it, then you can open a dialogue about why.


            • Original Poster

              Well, yes, this is why I'm not jumping on the bandwagon, freaking out, etc. My daughter told me they were in the field baling it yesterday. I expected he would leave it for me. When she left at 2pm, they were baling, when I got home at 6, no hay. His equipment is there, but no hay. I figure maybe it is a misunderstanding... which is why I said, "Stolen hay - maybe?". I just don't quite know how to deal with it. If I charge him per bale, I have NO idea how many bales he actually got. I just saw the cut/raked hay in my field when I left for work yesterday, so he could say he got 100 and I could say he got 400. Who really knows but him. It's a 7 acre field that produced 800+ bales of first cutting. So I just don't know what the best way to approach this is. I guess just start by calling and asking where my hay is. My hay is really nice... I can't really use my second cutting myself, it makes my mares balloon to extraordinary thickness, but my gelding can have some, which is why I planned on keeping 100 bales and selling the rest.

              Ugh. This sucks.
              Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3


              • #8
                Didn't you have some sort of agreement in place before he got there? What was it? Did someone just show up out of the blue and cut it? Do you have his phone number? Give him a call and ask what is up.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Liscar View Post
                  I always pay him to bale my hay and I keep it.
                  As you can see, our agreement is that I pay him a $ amount per bale and he bales it for me. He had asked my husband when he did the first cut if we wanted to sell any of the second cut, and my husband said no. I assumed (and I don't think it was without reason), that he would cut my hay and I would pay him per bale as I have always done. I will call him. But before I do, I want to work this out in my own head so I am prepared to deal with him. I am not sure how to approach this. Do I tell him that he owes me $X per bale (what I pay him to bale it, or what I was going to sell it for), or, do I tell him he owes me a flat fee for the field. I like Tamara's idea of the per bale thing, but I have NO IDEA how many bales he got... I wasn't home when he baled it. It is VERY POSSIBLE that his "helpers" did not know to leave the hay, but that doesn't help me. He does quite a few fields in my area and they go straight from the field to a couple different horse farms in the area. To my knowledge, the hay is not stored anywhere. So, my hay is most likely already in someone else's barn. Just want him to pay for it, and I'll be pretty sick if I lose hundreds of dollars in the difference.
                  Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3


                  • #10
                    Did the people you sold it to know that it was being baled? Perhaps they came and picked it up out of the field? Have you called the hay guy and talked to him about it? Seems like you would have done that before coming on here and asking about it...


                    • Original Poster

                      The person who was buying it is a family member.

                      I have explained why I came here asking for advice before I called him. I'm not sure how much more clear I can be. I have never had to deal with this before... I haven't owned my farm for long, this is only my second season of hay, I don't know how to charge him without ripping myself off or burning a bridge, because for all I know, it was a misunderstanding and/or miscommunication.

                      Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3


                      • #12
                        Dying to know what happened...did you talk to him?


                        • #13
                          First, I'd ask for it to be returned.

                          If he can't / won't do that and you're okay taking $$ for the hay, I'd charge him your full per-bale price less what you pay him to bale for you. If he doesn't like that, he can return the hay... assuming of course he's the one who has it.

                          Just call him and ask nicely where the hay is, as you were expecting to find it in wagons for you... And go from there.

                          Good luck!


                          • #14
                            Pretty wild - maybe the guys that work for him weren't clear that you pay him cash to bale. I'd just call and ask. And it could have been stolen - how rotten would that be


                            • #15
                              This is crazy. I can't believe that you didn't go straight to the telephone, call him and say "hey, where is my hay?"
                              I sure wouldn't be worried about the "best" way to approach it I would approach it directly.
                              As to burning bridges..IF he stole the hay (and in this situation that would take a LOT of nerve) then why would you even consider having him back to do hay again.
                              Please keep us updated. We want to know.
                              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                              • #16
                                Yes around here, the lowlifes will drive around with an empty pickup and see who is baling, and if no one is in the field after the bales are made, they just go in and grab it. It only takes about 10 minutes to pick up a load and abscond. Our hay guy calls us when he starts baling and we generally arrive an hour later, in time to pick up the first load just as he is starting to bale the second. We never leave it unattended.

                                I hope it is just that he decided to take it home because he didn't want someone else to steal it from your field. 8 acres is a lot of hay. Even in a bad year it would be 400 bales here.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                • #17
                                  An out of town landowner with 300 acres let some of the local farmers use his property for some planting and hay with the understanding that if he needs something from them they will give. So far all he has asked for is enough hay to feed our 2 mini donks...what thats like 4 to 5 round bales a year. OMG I thought the hay guy was gonna have a coronary...started in this year with its his fuel, his euipment, his time yadda yadda....I then told him that he could either pay landowner for the hay he has baled, pay the taxes or make a property payment...shut him up quick. Ohhh and he gets about 75-80 round bales. The other farmer keeps trying to push oats ad corn at me. We take some corn and put out for the wildlife but fat donkeys dont need the feedstuff.

                                  Anyone want about 100 acres of hay to cut. this guy has pissed us off for the lat time....yeah landowner agrees. Find someone else who will appreciate his property and generosity.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by tazz001 View Post
                                    OMG I thought the hay guy was gonna have a coronary...started in this year with its his fuel, his equipment, his time yadda yadda....I then told him that he could either pay landowner for the hay he has baled, pay the taxes or make a property payment...shut him up quick. Ohhh and he gets about 75-80 round bales.
                                    80 round bales off 100 acres would not be worth the money or effort to bale it...not even for free

                                    we as a farm would not even consider working land that poor
                                    ETA: the average national cost to produce hay commercially is $100 an
                                    per year unless you are cutting native patches of something like brome or some such or just strip mining it. If this farmer has done this, he has spent $10,000 on this land this year to buy 80 round bales from this cutting.

                                    Farmers who enter into verbal or yearly agreements with land owners are idiots anyway and normally just strip mine it as (has been shown) the agreement is about to be ended but the landowner with less than one season notice.

                                    If this were one of our landowners, he'd now owe us for the entire next years crop loss as we do not even consider talking to anyone w/o a 10 year written contract. He would have effectively stolen our upcoming hay from us and can pay up,unless we have damaged or shown to be neglectful in the care of the property. We also have in every contract the right of first refusal should the land be offered for sale w/o the contract time frame.

                                    Tamara in TN
                                    Last edited by Tamara in TN; Aug. 22, 2010, 01:02 PM.
                                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                                    • #19
                                      Did you talk to your hay guy, Liscar?



                                      • Original Poster

                                        I have not yet gotten a hold of him. I'm not panicking though. His equipment (or some of it) is still at my place. My husband thinks that there was miscommunication because he did talk to my husband about buying our second cutting, but there was never any firm plans for that. He is assuming (I know, bad thing to do), that he'll bring a check when he comes for his equipment (and why the equipment is still there). Not sure why folks in these parts are so dang hard to get a hold of. Takes days for me to get in touch with my farrier, too! It's frustrating.

                                        SO, that's where we're at right now. I will update as soon as I find out just what the heck is going on!
                                        Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - My Horse, My Heart <3