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Help me figure out my hay problem!

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  • Help me figure out my hay problem!

    Ok, So I'm not always the most diplomatic with things and I need some advice about my hay situation.... heres the background its long, sorry.

    Bought a nice farm over the winter, with 10 acres of hay ready to go, just needed to be cut/baled. last year, the across the street neighbor had a farmer bale the hay and split it with him. that worked out great for them as the previous owners didn't have horses or need the hay.

    This year, the same neighbor approached me about again baling the hay. I figured there's no way I'd need all of it, since I have only 3 horses, and they're out on nice pasture most of the time. We made a deal that he would again have the farmer from last year bale the hay and would leave me whatever portion of the hay I wanted, and take the rest. Great fine, no problem. last year first cut was used for cows and was in round bales, I made it very clear to mr. neighbor that I could only do small squares, and it would be horse hay so no rain was a HUGE deal. reminded neighbor of this again this weekend when he said they'd be cutting Saturday and there was supposed to be a huge storm over the weekend.

    So they didn't cut Saturday as we did in fact get tons of bad weather. Fast forward to today. Forcast is for thunderstorms the next 2-3 days. and there is in fact a severe weather watch right now! I get up to go to work (I work nights) and OH LOOK THEY CAME AND CUT ABOUT 3/4 OF THE FIELD WHILE I WAS SLEEPING.


    So obviously, the hay is probably going to get rained on multiple times. Sadly, I walked out to the fields and it looks like it would be really nice hay that my horses would looooooove.

    Any suggestions that I can present to both farmer, who I'm obviously going to talk to and find out who decided that today was the day to cut, and to neighbor who I'm beyond mad at for either not making it clear to farmer or ignoring me about the rain issue?

    I was thinking I would ask them to leave whats standing alone, and find someone else to come bale that plus whatever I get for second cutting. But what about whats already cut, do I ask them to buy it from me? chalk it up to experience and just let them have it? try and sell it on my own?

    Any ideas are appreciated!

  • #2
    Never do these things via middle man.

    I ma not sure ho bad the stuff got rained on, I would just put it down as tuition to the school of hard knocks and reconsider the arrangement for the next cut.

    That way you won't pi$$ off the neighbor...

    Comment


    • #3
      About the only way to assure that your hay is cut right is to buy the equipment and bale it yourself. (Bare minimum cost $10,000, and you better know how to fix stuff at that price). Otherwise, your hay comes last. We cut and bale 30 acres across the road from us that isn't ours. Depending on the owner's wishes that particular year, sometimes we split it (they get 1/3), other years we've been able to keep it all. In any case, we bale the stuff on our own farm first, and since we're just 2 people we can only knock down so much hay at one time. The first year they hired a couple of old guys that custom bale hay on shares. Those old guys couldn't care less if it got rained on, and it did.

      You're best to deal with the farmer directly and hope for the best, but don't expect much. It can also be very hard to find "somebody else" to cut the hay your way. Everybody with equipment has their own hay to cut, and squares are a lot of work. Every year we turn down several requests to custom bale hay.

      Oh, and don't discount round bales if you have a tractor with which to move them. That 30 acres we pay someone to roll the hay (we cut and rake). We have a sweet deal- only pay $8/roll. That's what we feed the outside herd all winter. Yeah, the outsides get yucky 'cuz we don't store inside, but my horses aren't hungry so they won't eat the bad stuff. Or you can tarp 'em and there's very little waste.

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE]
        Originally posted by twomany View Post
        O
        well a couple of things which follow below that experience on this board has taught me will not go over well with the readership but I'll say it anyway

        Bought a nice farm over the winter, with 10 acres of hay ready to go, just needed to be cut/baled. last year, the across the street neighbor had a farmer bale the hay and split it with him. that worked out great for them as the previous owners didn't have horses or need the hay.
        never ever bale your hay on shares...someone always gets screwed...


        I made it very clear to mr. neighbor that I could only do small squares, and it would be horse hay so no rain was a HUGE deal. reminded neighbor of this again this weekend when he said they'd be cutting Saturday and there was supposed to be a huge storm over the weekend.
        you can remind and preach and slobber and spit and cry all you like but in the end that field of hay will be cut when the cutter gets to it and not before....and the smaller, piddlier tracts of land like yours go (inevitably) to smaller, piddlier part time farmers who have nothing invested and therefore nothing to lose...especially if they have already gotten "paid" from the first cutting in round bales....

        So they didn't cut Saturday as we did in fact get tons of bad weather. Fast forward to today. Forecast is for thunderstorms the next 2-3 days. and there is in fact a severe weather watch right now! I get up to go to work (I work nights) and OH LOOK THEY CAME AND CUT ABOUT 3/4 OF THE FIELD WHILE I WAS SLEEPING.
        see above



        Any suggestions that I can present to both farmer, who I'm obviously going to talk to and find out who decided that today was the day to cut, and to neighbor who I'm beyond mad at for either not making it clear to farmer or ignoring me about the rain issue?
        nope...again...you put yourself in the position to being with...

        I was thinking I would ask them to leave whats standing alone, and find someone else to come bale that plus whatever I get for second cutting.
        unless your area is brimming over in farmers who wanna come and cut 3-4 acres of hay you are gonna be stuck with what is left...AND the gossip machine is as active with farmers as it is old church ladies...they will all know about how (in their minds) idiotic yet another horse person is and no one will fool with you and your 10 acres...



        But what about whats already cut, do I ask them to buy it from me? chalk it up to experience and just let them have it? try and sell it on my own?
        what you should have done is leased the field for cash rent outright and used those funds to buy hay from a reliable source...I have answered this question many times in pm's here and the public reply is no different....

        this majikal notion about growing your own hay never ceases to amaze me...it's a terrible risky business to those who do it correctly and every year this same drama as yours plays out everywhere...

        the farmer has no $$ input in your field...so it means nothing to him...he has no need of paying the taxes or weeding or fertilizing...the cutting and baling is the CHEAPEST part of making hay and you have given them the freebies at first already, which they can then dump on the market under "normal cost'

        Tamara in TN
        Last edited by Tamara in TN; Jun. 22, 2010, 06:38 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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ummm, just my 2 cents worth as a hay grower (we grow, cut, bale, etc ourselves) The hay may be fine...it just needs enough good weather to dry, and may need to be raked another time or two. The bigger problem is when the bales themselves get wet. It is difficult to juggle timing around rain, and perhaps they hedged their bets by not cutting all of it, so at least part of it would have another chance to dry and be perfect.
          And fyi, the equipment to cut and bale and stack hay is incredibly expensive. Even used, which is what we can afford, you are looking at at least $50K in old but running equipment.

          Comment


          • #6
            I tend to agree with whoever said chalk it up to tuition at the school of hard knocks.

            My hay is baled by a local farmer, but he also has an interest in the field as he leases part of it... so, it works out. I'm grateful for him as he does a great job and the field is timely taken care of, but I think I'm lucky. I know others who are still waiting for their hay to be cut and will probably be waiting for a while.

            It's a hit or miss thing, I think, unless you want to buy your own equipment, but for such a small field, the better way to go may be as Tamara suggested, lease it out and use those funds to purchase hay from a reputable supplier.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Getting rained on doesn't necessarily "ruin" hay. In fact it can help lower the sugar and actually make it better horse hay. It depends on how much rain and how many times it gets rained on and how many times it gets raked.

              For instance, I blew a chain on the round baler yesterday with about 6 acres of very nice hay left to bale . It got rained on last night, a short intense thunderstorm, less than 1/4 inch of rain. I'm not at all worried about that hay. It will be just fine, IF I make sure it is dry before I bale it. If it is damp on the bottom, I will rake it.

              What others say is true. Machinery is expensive and if you can't buy new, be prepared to become a mechanic .

              But having said all that, I like making hay. The weather is always a gamble and no matter how hard you try, something will always go wrong.
              Patty
              www.rivervalefarm.com
              Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

              Comment


              • #8
                Chalk it up and let them have it. Get it baled for cows and out of there. Lesson learned.

                And glue Tamara's post to your refrigerator.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Listen to Tamara.

                  The best way to get good hay is to buy it already baled, and stored for a month. Sure you'll pay a little more, but there will be absolutely no doubt as to what you are getting.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You might want to talk to your farmer. So many things may have come into play to prompt him to cut it. You know, if you get heavy rain, it can knock down the grass which will then not stand up enough to then come back and cut it...Most people who grow and bale hay are doing it because they enjoy it (in some perverse way) it certainly is not that profitable. And they try to bale the best hay that they can.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks for all the advice everyone!

                      I talked to the farmer about cutting, and he claimed neighbor man never said anything about it being for horses. He was very nice and accomodating and we've agreed that he will take the hay from my field, in exchange for my choice of hay from one of his other fields. I think i'm getting a decent deal on my end since its now raining again (3rd time total) he'll end up with a greater number of bales, and i'll hopefully end up with the quality of hay I want.

                      I haven't seen any bales from the other fields, but I'm sure one of them will be acceptable.

                      I'm thinking that next year I may just let the farmer bale my field if he wants it, take whatever money he'd offer for it and go buy hay from the farmer i've always used, it would cost me more, but I know I'd be happy with it, and I can always get any additional bales I want from him now, he's just farther away than he used to be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        While you really don't want prolonged rain on hay, or hay rained on after it has dried, rain on freshly mowed hay won't bother it...if I am having a hard time finding a good window of weather to get hay in, and I know that I will need three days, but only have two, and it is going to rain a little today, but be good for the next two, I will cut the hay right before it rains, knowing that if it is just cut and gets a little rain on it, and then dries thoroughly over the next two days, it will be fine.

                        Comment

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