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Internet Hay Exchanges: Buying and Selling Hay Online

In an ideal world, hay sales would always play out on the local level. Buyers would be able to inspect the bales before purchase, and transport costs would be minimal. Unfortunately, Mother Nature occasionally ruins the hay crop in whole states, so consumers must wander far afield to find a supplier. Conversely, ideal weather can read more…

Baling Hay for Big, Beefy Cattle

The temperature may be tropical and the summer hayfield may be a picture of abundance. But it’s time to think about winter — and the nutrition needs of your beef cattle. That means baling the right kind of hay, in the right amount, to ensure your herd keeps weight on during the lean months to read more…

Broken Baler Belts: Repairing or Replacing?

There’s nothing quite so frustrating for a farmer than belt failure in the midst of baling. At very least, the problem means down-time. Losing an opportunity to take advantage of sunny weather can also mean lost hay. At worst, belt problems can cause costly damage to other baler parts or pose a safety hazard. Problems read more…

Necessary Tools for Your Tractor Toolbox

Ask five farmers what tools are in their tractor toolboxes and you’re likely to get five different responses. The answers will vary according to the time of year, personal preferences and the job that tractor is tackling. At minimum, however, certain multi-purpose tools can come in handy in a broad range of farming scenarios. A read more…

Are You Ready? Prepping Hay Equipment for the Season

Once the warm weather kicks in, forage grasses and legumes have a way of reaching prime cutting height a lot faster than even veteran haymakers can predict. Make sure your hay equipment is ready for deployment sooner rather than later. Clean Up Tasks Ideally, everything underwent a thorough cleaning before winter storage. If not, you’ll read more…

A Guide to Hay Storage and Hay Spoilage

With even the best hay, a lot can go wrong between baling and feeding. Common-sense hay storage practices, however, will minimize spoilage. Hay Enemy Number One: Moisture UV rays often bleach nourishment from hay bales, and rodents destroy a certain percentage of stored hay by chowing down on the more delectable varieties or simply nesting read more…

How to Reduce Hay and Silage Drying Time in the Field

Farmers, the ultimate high-stakes gamblers, walk a fine line — between too much and too little sun, too much and too little moisture. Nowhere is that fine line more evident than in the hayfield. Mother Nature gives no guarantees she will provide the optimum window of time for harvesting forage vegetation, whether for baling or read more…

Haymaking Mistakes Newbies and Hobby Farmers Should Avoid

Farming is hardly a precise science. Mother Nature can throw curves that even veteran haymakers can’t handle. But learning from the mistakes of others can go a long way to ensuring a successful first-year hay harvest, even for the hobby farmer. Hay Making Mistake: Choosing the Wrong Kind of Hay Inexperienced farmers are often tempted read more…

Pros and Cons of Using Renewable Solar or Wind Energy on Your Farm

Having the space for large wind turbines and solar panel assemblies, farms can be ideal sites for renewable energy systems. As a major electricity consumer — to pump water through irrigation systems, dry grain, run barn fans, cool dairy produce, etc. — the farmer has considerable interest in reducing steep monthly utility payments. Increasingly, American read more…

The Economics of Small Squares vs. Round Hay Bales

For hay producers, is the large round bale more economical than the small square? Because of all the variables involved, there’s no easy answer. Round Hay Bales Certainly, the big ton bales are increasingly popular among American hay farmers. The total equipment investment for producing round bales is typically less than for small bale production. read more…