Starting a hay farm? Viability of a hay farm

What do you think about starting a hay farm?

Crazy right?

Last time I was at the in-law’s farm I learned about hay. This time we got a chance to sit and chat about the viability of a hay farm.

The idea

The basic idea is to have a small farm that only does hay. You would only have a few select pieces of equipment and not a whole bunch.

This would be instead of doing cash crops, at least at the start.

This would be somewhere to start for a new farmer because the initial capital you need is lower than what you need for a cash crop farm.


There are a couple of things that are assumed here, so I am going to outline them here to give you an idea.

  • You are in an area where there are farmers that need extra hay. Think about horse farmers, or large cow operations.
  • You are able to produce high quality hay.
  • You are able to get a decent price for hay.
  • You have a farm to grow hay.

Financial investment

starting a hay farm

Look at all those bales of hay.

As I mentioned, the amount of initial capital isn’t as much to start a hay farm.

Here is the breakdown

  • Baler: $7,500
  • Tractors: $15,000
  • Mower: $10,000
  • Bale wagon : $5,000

In total that would come to $52,500.

Now you’re probably thinking, “what about a seeder and a cultivator?”

One of the really nice things about hay is that you don’t have to plant it every year. This means that you can get away with not having either of those pieces of equipment. You can contract out seeding.

I actually went out and looked for each piece of equipment to make sure that I could find them at the price that I indicated.

Ideally, you would want two used tractors if one breaks down. In that situation you can use the other. Also, it would allow you to pick up bales as they are dropped.


You would also need to buy the seeds.

We gauged it to be about $5,000 worth of seed for 50 acres.


The idea would be to sell the hay at around $4.50 per small square bale of hay. For good hay, this in’t unreasonable. Horse farmers are looking for good hay, and they’re willing to pay for it.

Here was the thought, on 50 acres you would get 100 square bales per acre, which is a conservative number.

If we do the math, that works out to be.

100 bales x 50 acres = 5000 bales of hay for 50 acres of land.

At a price of $4.50 that would be:

5000 bales x $4.50 = $22,500

That isn’t a huge amount of money, but remember that is a conservative number on the number of bales you would get per acre. Therefore, there is a definite possibility you could make more based on yield. Also, there is the possibility you could make less.

The fluctuation in prices and yield are just part of the game.

Deliver vs pick up at barn

Your price will have to vary depending on whether you sell from the barn or deliver. Each will have their own price because you will incur more costs if you deliver.

Take those points into consideration.

If you deliver, a good way to factor costs is by a per kilometre cost. Using that type of system you can price accordingly.


One thing to think about is where you are going to store the hay.

Here you have a couple of options.

  • Store it on the farm you own or rent.
  • Deliver hay as soon as it comes off the field.

Obviously, it would be best if you could deliver the hay as soon as you took it off the field. That would allow you to get paid right away, and you wouldn’t have to worry about storing the hay at all.

On the other hand, if you store the hay on your farm there is a cost involved. That means that you would have to charge more for the hay. Something like $4.75 a small square could work. The added $0.25 would be for storing the hay. You could charge more depending on your cost of storage.


With all that hay you’re going to need buyers.

There are a few options available to you.

  • You could use places like Kijiji to sell your hay.
  • You can check your local hay listings.
  • You can sell hay on your website.
  • You can connect with people on social media through Twitter and Facebook.
  • You can get to know people in your area and sell your hay through word of mouth.

Finding buyers is going to be your one of your primary goals, otherwise, all your hay would be for naught.

If I were to do this, I would probably go through my father in-law, assuming I were in the area.

However If I were not in the area, I would use a website and social media as well as word of mouth to help people find out about my product.

Additionally, I would learn who the local horse farmers were and talk to them directly and determine their needs.

Final thoughts

This is speculation but there are farms out there that do this. I asked on Twitter to see what people said

That gives you an idea from a farmer what the market is like.

What do you think about a hay farm? Leave a comment below.


  1. Hi Iain!

    Me and my husband are burned out on the “tech-world” and are considering buying a farm. Macabre jokes aside, a hay farm sounds pretty ideal to us. We were wondering, how frequently can you harvest hay? I’ve heard that the growing season is spring and summer, but does that mean harvest is only once per year?

    Thank you for posting this information! 🙂

  2. Joe Smith says:

    You can get into the Hay business for a lot less than 52K…

  3. you think your being conservative, but I disagree

    hay cost is a big variable off the wagon in upstate NY is $2.50 to $4.00 realistically

    I am doing my first year this year. Fortunatly I had some money and I bought a new haybine and tractor to the tune of $98,000 (NH T5 115 and 7230 NH discbine)

    used baler and tandem axle kick wagon (borrowed rake & tedder)

    First cut on 23 acres was 1150 bales first but im assuming hald that for 2nd cut

    i am not sure how your getting 4 or 5 cuts per season

    to get GOOD hay as you mentioned it must be seeded and furtilezed

    seed will last 5-7 years (1 time cost to see it $140 per acre just for seed, fertilizer after soil test is $20 to $100 per acre

    I myself did not seed or fertilize and got 1150 bales sold it between 3 to $3.50 per bale

    I looked into fertilizer because finding land is not been easy and I want to increase the yield. I had to give the landowner 20% of the take from that hay harvest for use of their land. I found an 100 acre piece which was nice, I took $5000 cash in hand and he turned me down. Said he is getting $70 per acre or $7000 per year to rent that land

    So my 2 cents
    *remember we cannot count on weather and in the long run it will even itself out
    *equipment is the easy part land is the hard part to find
    *worst case you will have to spend $20 to $120 per acre for land depending
    *best case you know someone or will have to have some profit share (of course not if you own your own land)
    * good seed will cost you $100 to $140 per acre (25-30lbs per acre) good for 5-7 years
    * fertilizer $20 to $100 per acre EVERY year (soil test will tell you what you need they cheap only $15 take 2 weeks for results in many cases)
    *fertilizer is big because it can increase your yield 50 to 100% (imagine having 50 acres and not being able to find more land, this kinda turns your yield into that of 75 to 100 acres )
    * dont forget fuel costs and ~$4 per gallon, I spent atleast $200 to mow, rake, bale and transport hay.
    *dont forget when something breaks. I had pretty good equipment, and first weekend I broke a chain on baler, broke tie rod on hay wagon to the tune of $900

    ** with all that said, I loved it and enjoyed it, I am an IT guy and I grew up doing this stuff and its suh a great change of pace even though BESIDES my $100,000 toy purchase (tractor mower) I about broke even!

    BEST OF LUCK!!!!

    • JWS thanks for your insight. I love hearing about real life experience on things like this.

      I think when I wrote this I was thinking about hay for dairy cows(alfalfa) which is why I mentioned four to five cuts, at least that’s as far as I can remember.

      I completely agree hay prices and fuel prices fluctuate drastically depending on the time of year and where you’re located.

      Thanks for your insight.

    • Thanks so much for sharing – great info! where UpstateNY are you ? I am in Schoharie county and I want to start my hay farm . I own 25 acres of land

  4. I went to a John Deere dealership today and priced out equipment, and was a tad more than you stated…$95,000 to $100,000 is start up with tractor 5100E series at $40,000, round bailer was around $25,000, rake $14,000, and mower conditioner $15,000. Land prices range from as low as $40,000 up to $500,000. Now the prices you indicated, are those for used equipment? Also which is better, round or square bails?

    • If you are getting into the hay business shopping brand new equipment, you’d better have a rock solid business plan and plenty of cash. I do 10-14k bales per year on the side and run used equipment. Some ground i get for free. Good ground that I dairy on goes for over $300 per acre for rent. As far as price per bale… I won’t sell hay for $3 a bale… thats to cheap, or its junk… I’m getting $2.50 per bale for custom cut, rake and baling. Selling hay from 5 to $10 per bale depending on quality.

    • SQuare if you want to make more money. Round if you are going to wholesale to a big user. Different equipment involved.

  5. Toby Stevenson says:

    Let me start by saying, good luck. I started a hay business 2 yrs. ago in oct. of 2012. I owned a f150 and a 16ft car trailer. I bought all my farm equipment off craigs list. 50 hp tractor $3000, mower $450, rake $450, and baler $800. I had a total of $4700 invested in equipment. I had spent my childhood baling hay with my grandfather and I remember that making hay was the easy part, but selling hay was his downfall. I aquired all my hay ground off craigs list, all on shares. I’ve lost some and been offered more every yr. I have no help from my family, they all think I’m crazy. I average 120 bales an acre on 2 cuts a yr. and I don’t fertilize. I baled 1200 bales in 2012, baled 4500 bales in 2013 and 4200 bales this yr. I done all the work by myself and sold all the hay out of the field using craigs list. I sold the first cut for $2 a bale and second cut for $3 a bale. I’ve been lucky to have a few minor breakdowns and I spend most of the off season on maintenance. I started with 20acres in 2012 and added a lot of small 2 to 5 acre fields in the spring on 2013, it cost to much to load and unload equipment. This yr. I gave up all the small fields and kept 2, a 15acre and a 30acre. For the 2015 hay season i decided to drop the 15 acre and farm only the 30 acre field. I still have all the equipment I started with and have 12 buyers. After two full seasons of haying I can tell you now, I would do it all over again. You have to be dedicated to what you are doing. I have stood in the field waiting for the hay to dry and watch a storm kick up out of nowhere. I looked up and prayed to god, “not today just let me finish this!” And all of a sudden the storm seperates and rains north and south of me. Sometimes I feel my grandfather is watching me and may be on my side, seems that way sometimes. Oh yah, I live in town and own no farm or no barn. I hope this story helps someone make a decision and like I said GOOD LUCK! Thanks, Toby

    • Thanks for sharing Toby. Much appreciated.

    • Anonymous says:

      I started the same way 3 years ago to feed some calves. Bi started with round bales and had about 10000 in all the equipment. I sold enough hay to cover my maintenance cost and fuel. This was year I picked more ground and have gone from doing 200 rounds a good a year to 300 rounds and 1500 squares. I have sold enough that I am needing to bale more rounds to get my ten cows through winter. I also do not bale on any of my ground. I share crop most all of my fields or they just give it to me so they don’t have to mow it. Next year I will be baling about 120 acres all by myself. I am also a full time engineer and travel all over the world so time is a challenge. The best advice I can give any one wanting to do this is to obtain mechanical skills. You also need to be able to fix something with nothing. It is hot sweaty work and would not give it up for anything

    • Justin Green says:

      great stories. keep them coming

  6. Would appreciate hearing about available quality alfalfa or heavy T&A from growers , and if your readership extends to the deep South and Florida-about growing peanut hay . Same things/costs,per-acre yields.
    Many thanks and good luck to everyone,

  7. One other thing you forgot to add in to the investment side was LAND. You will either need to purchase or rent those 50 acres which is not cheap. My husband and I have a horse ranch and put up 200 round bales and 500 squares a year for ourselves but since we have updated our equipment we would love to increase our acreage and put up more hay for resale.

  8. Michael says:

    I am a large hay producer who is looking to call it quits. I am going to sell my hay business. I supply feed stores and Tractor Supply with small squares and round roll coastal Bermuda hay. All equipment is for sale along with the lease of all hay fields and all customers. Have proven sales data. Serious inquiries only. Email doubleahay@graceba. net

  9. Anonymous says: for free subscription and newsletter. I recommend it. I’m in far west Texas we have 8 cuts a year and sell 8 bucks for 2 string bale. Good profits.

  10. Ok so buying a business without the property is downfall number one… You’re going to screw yourself on the cost of owning the land excuse me leasing the land and by the time you harvest your crops you won’t make a dollar. Farming and agricultural businesses are extremely hard and they are an everyday, day in and day out, sunrise to sunset, all in business… Don’t think you can just come out and start a farm! To speak to some of the speakers that were on this post, the data is a little out of date because hay bales are going upwards of 11.50 per bale Plus shipping included and I’ve seen buyers by anywhere from 50 to 500 pounds of bales in an average week. Most farmers who are serious supplement their income through chickens ducks pigs excetra excetra and truly is their cash crop. Most of us work with the community and other people who have livestock and other needs that can supplement our farm as we can supplement their needs. Farming is just as it was years ago, is everybody working together to make it happen… We run 500 head of cattle, 50 acres of alfalfa, chickens, ducks, pigs, and everything else in between… We make good money, it is a s*** ton of work 80 to 90 hour work weeks nonstop, don’t fool yourself into thinking this is an easier life but with that said it is a better life!

    • Yeah these numbers were from a while ago and it was based in Ontario. Thanks for the feedback

    • Farmers4life says:

      $11.50 a bale? For squares? I’d laugh my head off at whoever was selling that!! Where is that being sold? They say there is a sucker born every minute, and just in front of him, the greedy s.o.b that sells to him. ($11.50 a bale for squares is PURE GREED ) In 2016 Tennessee USA, heavy 60-80 lb square bales are selling for $3.50-$4.00, usually $2.50-$3.00 a bale if you agree to pick up and buy 100+ bales. And this is Timothy grass/clover mix. (Alfalfa is generally $8 a bale all the time) This is Good hay that is fed to very picky Goats and some other live stock. (beef/dairy cattle with calves, few steers, hogs, bunnies, chicken nest boxes changed daily, etc) We require 7,789 square bales a year, and for $4 a bale I’m looking at $31,156. a year. But if I can get them for $2.50-$3 we do better. There is NO WAY in H that I would pay $11.50 a bale!! We are going to buy more land and cut our own for square bales because of cost. ($4. a bale is more than we want to pay) Equipment prices in this post are good for used equipment in great condition. The man buying his equipment off craigslist, good prices, and I have seen them a little more and a little less, depending on when you are looking. But yes, completely doable. Land in the quantity needed to produce your ideal number of bales, near your residence, is the hard part. Seems more and more land is being chopped into 1-5 acre blocks. Good luck to everyone, and just a note, if you are paying $11.50 a bale, buy some land. Because honestly, it will pay for itself in what, a year at those prices? Lol jk. But seriously, at $11.50 a bale, a land purchase would easily pay for itself in a very short time.

      • I live in southern ky ,alfalfa mix with o grass and some fescue sell here for 3.50 if u pick it up in field . If I could get 11.00 a bale I would quit my day job , . I think this person must have been talking about the large bales , not the 60ld or so bales we have down here . I have this type of hay for sale if anyone is interested , can deliver in central ky northern Tennessee . For mileage .

        • Yeah you may be right on that one

        • if you cant get 11 bucks a bail bad luck i geuss other people are better then you

        • In WA state it is common to see hay go for $10 per square bale in the winter for alfalfa. So it’s not laughable. Expensive, but not laughable. Up here it costs $3 per bale to raise, cut it, and bale it. $1 per bale profit would do no one any good on smaller lands.
          We get a lot of Seattle buyers for their horses that have no problem paying $7-$10 per bale.
          In the early 90’s we paid $3 for 2nd cutting. When I heard what they are paying now, I about fell out of my chair, but that’s what it goes for. My brother cut it for a guy a couple years ago. And he said they’re getting $10 plus depending on the time of year. So, it depends on your market. But, the guy laughing and saying it’s PURE GREED doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      • nice work with the bails

  11. SIKELELWA says:


  12. Just wondering if you could give an update a couple years in now

    Market for hay

    Expectations, realities… I’m in the same boat getting tired of the rat race

    Looking to head back to my farming roots

    • The market for hay is still there that’s for sure. You just need to find the people to market it to.

      In reality I have not been able to get a job back in the hometown that would allow me to start doing the farming thing, so it has been put on the back burner for the time being. I still help out my in laws whenever I can, so that is how I get my farming in at the moment

  13. I started a hay farm in Ontario. The numbers given are very conservative for production but this all depends on your soil. I did in the first cut this year about 170 bales per acre. That being said we have moist soil and I’m not afraid to fertilize. Fert application is done heavy in spring and a maintenance dose after that first cut. On 33 acres we did 9000 bales.

    Break your costs down to a per bale cost. That’s what I do. Labour, fert, equipment and profit then you can set a goal of how many bales you need to make. Make hay!

    • Yeah the numbers are conservative. IT’s one of things where I wanted to be conservative and not have huge expectations in the scenario. Therefore, if I ended up with more, I would be pleasantly surprised.

    • I wish people would say what kind of hay when they post……I would love to be able to compare how many bales per acre I am getting of Alfalfa, Timothy, etc…..with others. But just saying “Hay” in general is too vague. Thamks!

  14. I have an 80 acre farm. 50 acres is hay. A local rancher fertilizes and cuts hay twice a year. I get 250 square bales for horses, and my 50 acres maintained. I pay him 0 he pays me 0 is this a fair deal? He uses all of his equipment, fuel, labor, etc.

  15. also, since I don’t make any money, I can’t use the cost of improvements as a tax deduction

  16. FYI, I am an alfalfa farmer in Iran straight out of my IT position into agriculture field.
    We run about 10 acre of hay west of Iran and with climate permission, we are always looking at 6-8 cut per year round.
    Just wanted to say you figures for expenditures are way too much, since it doesn’t cost to cultivate and maintain a farm on good standing at least bit where I am from. It’s a fraction of total sales, for say, 1/6 , however you spin this.
    Anyway, it was nice to meet you and your website.
    (I used to watch so many american movies only to move to US for Masters, but ended up in my dad’s farm!)

  17. Gerry Brownson says:

    I am in this business. The hay business is a gamble. You can have all the hay in the world but that does not mean you are going to make money. If you do not have good quality hay, you will not get return buyers. One thing not mentioned is weather, it can be your achilles heal with hay quality. There is so many costs you might get a big eye opener when getting started. The best of luck.

  18. Bill Krostek says:

    So much of this is going to be local. I too do this as a business, but where I live you have to be lucky to get two cuttings a year because of weather and drying problems. Also I can’t imagine how people can get the numbers of bales they are saying here. I think I’m doing good to get 50 50lb bales / acre /cutting. If the grass was any thicker I’d never get it dry.. To many variables depending where you are so do your home work. If I look at all the costs I figure I have over $5 a bale just in total costs. You have to figure in replacement costs too. Think of it like the cost of running your car. The Government gives you 57 cents a mile. Do you think the IRS is giving you to much? Most people think only of the gas they put in it but there is a lot more to it. I’d like to hear what you all think you have in a bale of hay.

  19. The project is viable. Under which conditions/seasons in Ruiru, Kenya. Currently the acreage is under coffee. Kindly advise.

    • I have no idea what you would need in Kenya. I only know what it would be like in Canada Sorry I can’t help.

      • Muhammad Yaqub says:

        Hi sir I am new on this agricultural field I am interested please help me and suggest me how much land required and how much money required with kind of land testing thanks
        Muhammad Yaqub sheikh

        • A hay farm you would need maybe 100 acres to give you a good start. And you would probably need something like $750,000 although it really depends on where you plan on buying.

  20. Mohammad says:

    Thanks for this interesting article. I have 230 acre land in Northern Florida (Bostwick, Palataka). Currently around 220 acres has pine which the forester told me are ready to be harvested. This property has great commercial and residential potential, in 10-15 years. I do not want to replant pines after harvest, since it will take another 20 years to harvest. I am hoping to convert it into hay form once we harvest the pines. Only problem is due to my job I can not be at form. I will need a farm overseer. Do you think if I run this hay form throgh an overseer then it can be profitable? Any feedback? Thanks

    • It depends on the profit margin

    • Sometimes pine trees can sort of “foul” your soil. After the trees are harvested they always leave stumps. removing that many stumps is going to be costly. Next, the issue will be the soil, which may have problems after the pines are gone. You would need to do soil testing at different depths and different portions of the proposed area. Sometimes nothing will grow after pines are removed for years.

      The easy part, if you get through all of that, removing the trees, removing the stumps, and if you have good soil, will be getting someone to lease the land from you in exchange for giving you a cut of what they make. That way you have zero maintenance. But* if they don’t do well, you don’t do well. You may find someone who just pays you outright to use the land, but this is less common I think than the other option.

  21. Michael says:

    After reading all the comments I still have one question. Understanding that. Quality is foremost I hear of 100/acre to 200/acre are numbers per cutting, from 2 to 3 cuttings or is this number per growing season?

  22. Well I’m a farm hand for a farmer in north Dakota and on a 100 acres we get around 200 bales per cutting and we get 4 cutting per season that’s 800 bales a field but our bales are close to 800 lbs a piece it cost around $200 per acre to plant the $200 buys 50lbs of seed plus $2.50 per gallon on fuel to run conditioners to cut or run disc bones to cut.the tractors for raking then bale then front end loaders to get hay off of field trucks and trailers or tractors and trailers to haul it to storage.and then labor cost for help to do the work…don’t for get tractor and fertilizer wagon plus fertilizer. .can be expensive if you don’t do it right and have a good clientele for selling…Oh and if you don’t get good rain in your location you have to set up irrigation systems..and where I’m at we do organic so we don’t use chemicals for pesticides. .and still expensive

  23. its to much money to put in against the outcome money, that’s why i’m d’not starting a hay farm!!

  24. I have a 100 acre hay farm in lower michigan close to the Indiana state line. My hay is mostly alfalfa with a small amount of grass. This year I averaged 90 bales @ 60 lbs each (per acre) for 1st cutting, 86 bales @ 62 lbs each (per acre) for 2nd cutting. This is August 4th and 3rd cutting is ready and will start mowing down most likely this week if the weather forecast stays good. I have regular customers that buy out of the field and barn. There are local hay auctions that I sell some hay at which gives me a good benchmark on hay prices. I have sold some alfalfa hay at the auction in June and July this year with the going price being around $7.50 to $8.00 per bale. There is some hay at the auctions that will only bring around $2.00 per bale due to the quality and having a large amount of grass. I usually sell small truck loads of around 50 bales at the auction due to the buyers preferences. Most of the buyers at the auction are the local Amish community however there is also a mix of other horse owners at the auctions. When I have a benchmark price like selling at the auction I will price the hay at the farm slightly lower than what I received at the auction since I don’t need to haul and help unload at the buyers location. With the prices I received from the auction this year I have priced the comparable hay at my farm at $7.00 per bale and if the buyers ask about my pricing I explain to them how I came up with the price and have given them a discount for pickup at the farm.
    Hay quality will make the difference in your hay farm being a success or failure. It costs me no more to make a quality $7.00 bale of hay as compared to a low quality $2.00 bale of hay. Your farm reputation is important and will be influenced by the quality of hay you produce. If you are farming enough acres eventually you will have hay that gets rained on which leads to the next suggestion. Another option to consider is a couple of cows or some other livestock that does not require high quality hay. The livestock could be a benefit if you live in an area that has weather that is challenging to bale hay so instead of giving your bad hay away for $1 or $2 per bale you can feed it to your livestock and eventually you will have steaks and roasts to put a smile on your face. The livestock idea only works if you are willing to take care of them and you have the resources like water, shelter and acreage for a small pasture along with the hay.

  25. Florence says:

    My question….I have all equipment no are there those who require hay to be cut for them and of course to sell? I have market for hay too

  26. I live in South Central Iowa and grew pure Alfalfa hay on 35 acres. I kept pretty good records of my hay sales on a per sale spreadsheet. Here is my six year averages: 90.281 bales per acre, price/bale = 2.43

    For good quality alfalfa, the minimum price I ever got was 1.25 and the max was 9.00 per bale.

    Best sales:
    126 bales to Texas for 9.00 per bale, Iowa price was about 1.25 per bale. I hauled it.
    350 bales to Texas for 7.50 per bale. Iowa price was about 1.75 per bale. I hauled it.

    Worse year:
    760 bales for the year. I guess I knew how to made it rain that year.

    Early on, I learned that if alfalfa gets rained on more than twice it is best just to rake it up and then run the brush cutter over it a couple of times to grind it into mulch on the field. Remember, it has your potassium and phosphate still in it; don’t give away your fertilizer.

    Around here the most I could get for a round bale was 35 bucks and most years 20. Can’t pay for anything with that so I switched over to small squares. Most buyers are elderly or of the weaker gender so they all wanted the lightest bales that my New Holland would produce without the bales falling apart.

    For the best alfalfa, raking is the most important part, rake it early when the dew is on so that the wet leaves stay on the stem and don’t get shattered by the rake. Bale so that one bale come out the baler every 12 seconds; IVT or hydro transmissions work great. (I have a IVT on my JD)

    Try to avoid hauling it to the auction. When you have lots of hay so does everyone else and when you don’t, nobody else has it either.

  27. Trevor Stewart says:

    I am a Canadian, living in the heart of Canada Bread Basket, Alberta, trying to make my way farming amidst giants. My extremely small (10 acre) Farm is situated between massive croplands. It is not uncommon for a family to own 2-5 sections of land and to have upwards of 1 million dollars invested in seed and fertilizer. This is big country. Despite the wealth, land and equipment is extremely expensive. Where are you getting your numbers? Where can you buy a tractor for $15000 that will plow, harrow, disk and seed 50 acres? Let alone the cost of each implement and $7500 for a baler?? Even here at one of the worlds largest auction, Ritchie Brothers, you cant get a decent baler for less than $20000. Furthermore, land is at a premium with 160 acres of good cropland going for as high as $450,000 haying will barely cover mortgage let alone operating costs. Renting land is a reasoanble option, however finding land to rent is like being on a 5 year waiting list for a parking spot. That fact that everyone and their dog sells hay here makes a large 1000lb bale run at $60 delivered. These numbers just dont add up. My question to you is; farming so sounds cheap and easy in Ontario, does the Government subsidies? Why isnt everyone doing this? $50000 start up is less than a flyby night landscaping business spends on lawn mowers. If this information is accurate, how and why is there this disparity between central and western Canadian provinces?

  28. I live on a 128 acre farm, My grandfather owns it and he just has a few beef since he’s getting on in age. I want to turn it into a hay farm we have all the equipment, the only problem is convincing my family that the farm can make decent money, especially since they’re a lot of people around us that bored horses or cattle farmers that need extra hay.

  29. Unless you inherited 100 acres or more of pasture or have deep pockets, its a business guaranteed to bankrupt newbies. Prices rise and fall with the economy, what is going on with agriculture, the weather, and legal regulations.
    Buying new equipment is a fool’s errand. Better to start finding markets before even committing to raising hay for profit. Most commercial farms(not mom and pop) can raise huge excesses of hay if the markets go up. A lot of buyers are committed to their regular suppliers, Its a generation thing.
    You need to find a stable market for your hay that does not have a lot of competition.
    Best way to find such is check out the local granges, farmers coops, stables, and county hardware stores. Do the footwork first before you lose a ton of money.

    Remember over 2/3 of all farmlands are fallow or no longer being used. That is a lot of land. There are good reasons they are not growing hay.

  30. Just wondering if you could give an update of market for grass silage for several years at now.

    Looking to head back to my farming roots

  31. Calin Vlad says:

    I’m about to buy my farm beginning of June and, yes it is a hay farm, I was wondering what size the tractor should be (HP) and what equipment I do really need. The farm is in Quebec, La Pocatiere, and the summer can be sometime really tricky: cold, rainy and, as of the last couple of years, it seems that the seasons are delayed by two months in the sense that what the weather should be in May-June is more like in July-August and the peak of summer shifted to September-October. This implies some land work such as: draining, leveling the parcels and maybe even plowing, isn’t it?
    On the other hand, for how long a field can hold the same crop before start loosing yield?
    However, at the beginning it will cover only the need for my two horses as I’m not planning yet to venture in full business, but is good to know what one can do with his land. As I’m writing this I just scrolled up through the comments and I stumbled upon the comment of Dudley, which just confirmed my thinking.

    • hey Calin, if its not to late id like to comment on your post, i live on a hay farm in ontario, now i’m running approximately 100 acres and so we have a john deere 5055D open cab with the loader. we constantly say we want to purchase a tractor with the cab on it but we never have got around to it. so i would suggest something with a cab definitely for the summer days out in the fields. ours is 50 HP and 55 PTO it works great for us we do small squares, couple thousand a year. hope this helps and great luck on your farming adventures its a wonderful industry to be a part of.

  32. Seems storing /curing hay is tricky. So many barn fires. The risk of fire from spontaneous combustion if the hay is not cured properly would be too high a risk for me to take in this business. The hay or silage must not be too dry or too wet. Takes a lot of skill, caution, temperature monitoring etc.

  33. great video i live on a hay farm, when i heard you say 180 bales between the two cuts on that many acres my jaw dropped i was like how do i get a couple thousand and he only gets 180 but then when u corrected yourself it made more sense lol

  34. it depends how big farm is 30acs 40-50HP, 50acs 60-70HP 100acs 100-130HP 200acs 150-220HP and it always helps to have a front end loader at the moment i have 30 acres a mower it was free but needed repairs 440 bailer small and i want to do lucurne but ya have to do it really well so i am using a contractor who does big squares i get 52 bails off 20 acs until i have enough money to lazer it out and do it my self with lucurne in needs alot of water but you get 4 decent cuts a year i worked out a year 1600 bails at ten buck each 16,000 a year pay for the farm macherney all ineed is somthing to pick it up with but its only 5,000
    11.50 for a bail is able you just have to think sell and make good hay GOOD LUCK 🙂

  35. I am in Kenya & I have enjoyed reading all that kind of stuff.Quite good, interesting & educative. I am at a point of preparing hay farming.Here we do Rhodes ,there it is alfalfa,what’s the difference?

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