December 07, 2023

From the Pastures: The rest of the story

Last month’s article was “shortened for space constraints.” They cut out the important facts, so here they are. The hay man supplied the haybine, rake, baler, 110 horsepower tractor, line wrapping machine, skid steer, dually pickup and gooseneck trailer. I supplied my 75 horsepower tractor for raking and loading the bales onto the trailer. They drove my tractor to rake the hay, but I drove my tractor to load the bales onto the goose neck trailer.

The two men stayed busy from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and I helped them from 6 to 11:30 p.m. by loading the bales. He was as quick with the bill as he was with the hay, so I can tell you exactly what it costs. Fifteen gallons of diesel fuel for my tractor, $20 per hour for five hours of my labor plus $100 wear and tear on my tractor plus his bill equals $47.91 per bale.

They were heavy bales, so I estimate their weight at 2,000 pounds. I got him to probe the last load of bales for moisture and they ranged from 40% to 55% moisture. So, that’s all the facts so you can decide if making baleage in one day is for you.

I love it because it makes great feed in the spring when I can’t get enough drying days in a row to make dry hay. But I was sure tired.

I processed the two steers and my customers say they are juicy, tender and very flavorful. All off of grass and cover crops. Go and enjoy a county fair this summer.

Elton Mau

Elton Mau

Arrowsmith, Ill.