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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hay, I've got a question for you

I always wonder - when I hear people talking about hay prices, what do they mean?  Whether hay is at $3 a bale, $10 or $16 (or more), what size bale is that?  What kind of hay is that?

So I'd like to hear from you guys.  Tell me about your hay.  Even if you usually lurk, speak up! 
Where do you get it?  What kind is it?  How big is your bale?  About how long does it last you?

I'll start off with my hay.  When we bought our place we were very fortunate that about 30 acres of our land is hay field.  Where we're not so fortunate is we don't have the equipment to hay it ourselves so we have to find someone to do it (its just not financially feasible, at least for now, to buy the equipment ourselves)
Last year (our first year here) we had more than enough hay for the year.  It was baled in squares and rounds.  The rounds are soft core and small (about 800lbs).   
I sold about 20-30 round bales to a neighbour friend.  We went into this winter with some squares & rounds left.  Our hay last year cost me about what I paid for 3 months board for 3 horses when we were boarding.
This past year we had to get someone else to hay for us (the neighbour that did it before had medical issues)  He wanted hay in trade, about 2/3 of it  - which is the going rate.  Well we need our hay!  We ended up settling for some hay & some cash for payment.  There are a few squares from this year's crop and the rounds which are still soft core but slightly larger (about 1000-1100lbs)
Our hayfield is mostly prairie wool, with some brome & a bit of alfalfa.
When we got the Dexter babies this winter we bought some hay for them.  Rounds, about 800lbs, that are grass/alfalfa mix.  We paid $25 a bale for them, delivered and unloaded.
(for our rounds I could probably have got about $30-40 a bale for them last year and this year)

Okay guys, your turn... go comment! :)

7 comments:

  1. Okay. Here in Colorado, we were paying $5-$8 for "Horse quality" small bales (about 40-50 pounds dry).

    With the Texas/Oklahoma drought, right now it's $8-$14 per small bale.

    Can you mail us a round or two?

    Bill

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  2. Also in Colorado, but a bit south and east of Bill - used to pay $5-$9 for 45 - 60 pound bales. This year we got some for $7.50 and the rest for $10. The less expensive bales were a grass mixture baled from some fields in town. They have a bunch of weeds and some other interesting stuff... found a smushed juice box this morning! The more expensive bales are about 60 pounds and are a prairie grass mix - nice quality! We bought our hay in August and September and hate to think what the prices are going to go to because of the drought.

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  3. I live in New Mexico. I would love to get some of your hay! lol. During the summer, small bales, 40-60 pounds have been going for $7 - 8.50 delivered, for several years now. However, with the shortage this year, I didn't purchase enough and am having to supplement with alfalfa pellets at $10 - 11 for a 50 lb bag. The good thing about pellets is that there is no wastage and spoilage like the bales. However, my horses miss the munching.

    There is hay available for delivery at $11 - 12.50 a bale (probably 50-60 pound bales), if you buy bulk (250 bales), but I still have too much snow and mud so I can't even get it delivered right now. Looks like round bales are going for about $130. Most of our hay is coming in from other states right now.

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  4. I'm in the Panhandle of Nebraska. I am buying alfalfa for $7.50 a bale and they weigh about 50 pounds. My grass hay is luckily produced off the ranch, I figured the production cost per 800lb bale was about $40 this year, but it's like green gold and I'll be keeping hold of the hay I have.

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  5. We wish we had your hay. I was just thinking, where could I lease land and grow some alfalfa, lol.

    I love to talk hay. At the beginning of this year it was $9 a bale for alfalfa or alfalfa mix. 100# 3 strand bales. In the past year cost has risen to $16 for those bales. $15.75 for bermuda hay, 100#bales also, give or take.

    I really need to be farming hay. Like, yesterday.

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  6. In Northern Nevada, a 3-strand 80 to 100-pound bale is between $12 and $20 a bale depending where you go. Feed stores are the most expensive. Part-time farmers are the least expensive. I buy 50/50 grass/alfalfa mix.

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  7. What I wouldn't give to be paying ya'll highest prices! I am in West Texas and a roll of hay grazer is $175 for #800. We won't even talk about alfalfa rolls. Grass is over $200.
    Alfalfa square 2 strand bales are $15.oo. Grass is almost the same.

    Finding hay here is no fun and when you do you have to get all that your bank account will let you.

    Anyone want to ship some to me? LOL

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