NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Hay making novice- equipment questions  (Read 7133 times)

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Hay making novice- equipment questions
« on: June 06, 2012, 04:32:34 pm »
Hi all- I have 7 acres that I want to cut for hay and bale it into coventional, small bales and am looking to buy second hand equipment to do it. Could do with a few brand/model names of suitable kit to help me start my tentative search.
1) Tractor (needs to be 4WD as it is a little hilly). Was looking at a 17hp Kubota- too small too pull a baler? (something tells me I should be doubling this?). Also how easy is it to increase width of tractors to increase stability?
2) Finger bar mower?
3) Hay maker/tedder/woofler/windrow?
4) Conventional baler?
Was thinking of going to a dealer for the whole package- has anyone got any idea of how much I should be looking to pay?- or any ideas of decent dealers who may be able to help?
Thanks  :farmer:
 
Voss Electric Fence

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2012, 04:54:18 pm »
if it is as hilly that you will need 4wd  you will need 45-60 hp  and definitely 17 hp is to small for a baler
finger bar mower you will be lucky to get a good one  and spares might be a problem  and a turbo mower is just as problematic even dog rough ones make good money
tedder  pz haybob or lely haymax or hayzip again spares might be a problem  somebody posted about doing one up but they have not come back on as a finished machine  most farmers are going for bigger width machines so these 5ft- 6 ft machines are no longer wanted
balers the more modern high output balers need a high horsepower tractor so if you can get a good working Jones newholland or Massey 15 or 20 baler  john Deere need big tractors to work them
how much of a budget do you have  :farmer:

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2012, 07:11:13 pm »
1) Tractor (needs to be 4WD as it is a little hilly). Was looking at a 17hp Kubota- too small too pull a baler? (something tells me I should be doubling this?). Also how easy is it to increase width of tractors to increase stability?
17hp kubota wont be very stable on a hill, as you suspect, too narrow, and too light, and also wont pull a baler (nor the hay cart once you have baled and need to get it in)
You could look for a non vintage (overpriced) but old machine, nice and simple to repair. eg we got a 1974 John Deere 2030 75hp which does smal bale haymaking very nicely (NB this is not 4WD altho there are similar aged tractors which are). Ours came from eBay, restored, with a haybob, and a couple of carts. If the ground is really steep, look for an 'alpine' tractor which are 4x4 but also low slung. Not cheap tho!

2) Finger bar mower?
 For 7 acres I would go for a conventional mower, they arent expensive second hand (nb you want a grass/hay mower not a topper, flail mower or mower conditioner (the last injects the grass back into the ground to fertilise it which isnt quite the idea when you want to make hay :-) and the first two wont cut low down enough and will mash up the structure of the grass)
3) Hay maker/tedder/woofler/windrow?
Agree look for a PZ haybob or similar. We got one, and altho parts arent readily available off the shelf, we later got another and the first one provides spares. Usually just the odd tine.
4) Conventional baler?
The New Holland 276 superhayliner is what we use. All of the ancient small balers (they are hard to get new as most farmers do big bales now) are temperamental but they all work with a bit of love and a degree in string tensioning :-))
Dont discount eBay, if you pay when  you collect the item not on purchase then you do get to inspect the machine and we have got nearly all our equipment that route.
Re: the hay, it might look quite green and meadow-y but the sheep absolutely go mad for it and will refuse to eat any bought in stuff in preference.......we make about 150 bales just cos thats all that will fit in our barn....

Here are a couple of piccies to whet your appetite for all things hay :-)))


« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 07:13:17 pm by lachlanandmarcus »

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 08:16:53 pm »
Good luck.  We've given up on this quest before, though getting a contractor is a nightmare round here.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 09:50:06 pm »
We have the same baler as llm, plus another, newer New Holland - but the 276 is more consistent so gets used the most.

We have a PZ haybob.

We can mow, woofle and row up with the 35hp Massey no problem but use the 62hp MF 262 to pull the baler.  We don't use a more powerful tractor to pull the baler as BH says any such would 'shake the baler to bits'.

None of the tractors we use for haymaking is 4WD, slopes not a problem either as long as you are careful, which BH is, very.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 11:07:20 pm »
Hi folks- thanks for the replies- gives me some more food for thought and a few links  :farmer:

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2012, 05:24:10 pm »
I usually cut about 16 acres and used a contractor. Every years was a bloody nightmare waiting around on a perfect day and he was somewhere else. It would get cut and I would ted and turn it and the weather would break and no contractor.

2 years ago I bought more sheep and the extra lambs will pay for the hay bought in. I changed over to more easily available big bale and get them off field.

For a big big bale (about 15 small bales in it) costs me £22 off field and I don't buy it if it's rubbish. I get to keep my grass and no worries about contractors not showing up.

I know they can be difficult to handle, but it's supprizing what you can do if you put your mind to it.


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Farmerjames86

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Hay making novice- equipment questions
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 08:49:21 am »
When looking for a rake have a look at an acrobat, very old design but can be pulled behind any tractor, as light and not drawn off the pto. We bale 200acres mixed small and round bales, using a 90horse ford 6640 4x4 your go g to want at least 50horse to work a baler and don't worry about shaking things to bits you just slow down your speed. You can pull the smallest of kit with the biggest tractors within reason. You have to use the right pto speed for the machine not the tractor, if you think you shaking the baler slow down on wheel speed, you'll get a lot tighter bales on the thiner rows that way to.








James.

 

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