Posted 11/28/2012 13:27 (#2721572) Subject: Small Square Baling: What is most efficient?
My friend and I are attending Iowa State University for Agriculture and as of last summer we started our own hay business to help us fund college. For now we only bale small square bales from waterways, headlands, and alfalfa fields that we lease for a price per bale. Being two college kids, were very busy even over the summer. We run a New Holland 5070 small baler that was upgraded from a John Deere 328, a Vermeer 10' or MacDon 13' mower conditioners, and two Ogden Hay Runner rakes. We rent this equipment from our fathers, and we own about eight 16' hay-racks.
The question I have is what have people found to be the most efficient/economical method of stacking the hay. The hay business is something we'd like to continue even after college so investing in equipment may be a possibility too. As of now our options of stacking the hay are one man running the tractor and the other stacking on the rack. Then loading and unloading by hand. This has worked well, but it takes a lot of time. Luckily, we don't have labor costs since we stack them ourselves. The other option we've tried is using our three EZ Trail Bale Baskets, but they only work good if we know were going to be storing the bales. I've also baled for a guy who had a skid-loader bale grapple, but I'm not sure that'd work the best with waterways etc. This past year we sold half the crop right out of the field, we either delivered or the customer picked it up, and the rest we stored for winter in an old cattle barn.
What methods have worked for you, or what ideas do you have that might help us out?