Originally posted by admin
…………How much can you make with this? I assume square baling...just feel that 6-10 acres may be too small...……
I know squat about alfalfa other than buying the hay is like buying gold. There has to be a reason for that and I suspect that it has to do with the expense of producing hay of desirable quality.
I have to wonder if the advice you were given above didn’t neglect (with all due respect to the mighty fine feller who offered it) the very important question you ask “how much can I make [dollar wise]?” I don’t think 10 acres will justify owning and maintaining the hay baling equipment required, much less make a profit. Even if you own a 5000 Ford that is just setting around doing nothing. (Warning: you might get by with one tractor, but most folks that I know who bale hay use at least two.)
The only way I see you making a profit on your ten acres growing alfalfa is, if alfalfa does in fact grow well in you area and is a common crop there, that you rent your land to someone who is already in the business of growing and baling alfalfa.
You might ask about sowing alfalfa and growing a crop yourself then “hiring out” the hay baling. This is something that I can not recommend. I’ll reemphasize the fact that I know nothing about alfalfa, but suspect that the time to cut it once it reaches maturity and most assuredly the time it has to be baled after cutting is critical. Remember, you must have hay of desirable quality to even be marketable. With only 10 acres, guess who’s hay field is going have low priority, if you depend on someone else to bale it for you?
Since you seem to be in the information gathering stage here and new to making hay, maybe, I should include one more warning. Molded alfalfa hay is poisonous, even fatal, to horses even though they will eat it. I have read of horse owners suing hay merchants over the death of some expensive horses. If you decide to go into the hay business you might want to do a little research on what it takes to make horse quality hay.