Making Hay with Old Iron

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If you are new to farming, chances are you are
probably on a tight budget. I know this, because I have experienced this in my
own life. After you pay for the land, perhaps a house, barns, fencing,
equipment, etc., you are most likely not going to have a large sum of money
left over to "play with". This can be
frustrating when it comes to having to purchase a tractor (or two, in many
cases), and the implements farm the land.

Haying is a necessary part of farm life especially if
you have any livestock. It can also be an avenue of income you can generate for
your farm. If hay making is going to be a large part of your operation, you
don't have to break the bank with equipment procurement. Honestly, quality
older equipment is often the only option for a new farmer on a strict budget.

Most hay baling can be completed with a single
tractor, although two makes things much smoother. The main tractor pulling the
baler and a possible wagon should have at least 35 horsepower, preferably 40-50
horsepower for pulling heavier wagons. A second tractor with around 20
horsepower is perfect for cutting, and tedding.
Personally, I have seen a few old timers use an old Farmall Super A or
Ford 8N for this task, and they work superbly. Used Farmall Super As can sell
for anywhere between $1500-$5000 depending on condition. You can buy a decent
40-50 horsepower used for between $5000-$10000.

Square balers are most likely going to be the most
affordable for a new farmer. I have used John Deere, New Holland and Massey
Ferguson balers for many years, and have never had any issue with one. You will
most likely pay at least $5,000 for a decent baler. If you are a first time
buyer of a used hay baler, I strongly suggest bringing someone with you who is
familiar with balers, to check out any machinery before you purchase.

A word of caution on the purchase and use of older
farm machinery, it does require more upkeep. This partially offset by the much
lower upfront cost, but it is inevitable that older equipment will break down,
and when it does it can cost a good amount of cash. Thoroughly examining any
equipment before you purchase can make a huge difference between adding quality
equipment to your farm and adding more stress to your checking account.

In closing, for the new farmer older equipment is
often the only choice when outfitting your farm for a haying operation. Be wise
and choose equipment carefully, there are good deals out there. Be safe and
happy farming!

Making Hay with Old Iron - TractorAdmin - 22134721-e2336c627a-o-251.jpg
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July 31, 2015  •  09:01 AM
looks like my tractor...1970 JD 2020....great old tractor....
October 3, 2016  •  08:31 AM
I wish I had done more research about my small homestead before just buying suggestions. Due to the slope of hill in orchard and some clearing; I get no-one to employ for the job. I was told to get a BCS diesel with sickle bar and tiller. While it is a great machine, when it comes to my small pastures and orchard bailing my coastal and fescue I am pretty well down. Too small for the big boys and after buying a 86 Ford 1910 4x4 with woods loader and bushog budget about shot. Got rain harvesting in partially for the garden. A fella in my church said I need a good 4020 JD but even if I could sell my little Ford I would have nowhere enough for a 4020, decent rake. and baler. So know I have grass just laying all over my pasture and orchard. I guess I will get some chickens because my large coup is renovated and hope some money falls out of the air. Those minature implements costs more than the old good stuff. Probably need to do more praying and less thinking. At 63 margainal health manual ways, I am not much left as a real man. Worst day on the homestead is better than best day in the city. I should have come earlier and listened more. Good looking machines on this site.
May 5, 2017  •  08:27 AM
Have used a mixture of equipment this last 15 years or so....focused on making older things work. Right now have a John Deere 330 baler and a couple of NH haybines. Tractors in service are a 1066 & JD 2750. Also a JD 3010 because power equals burning Fuel/Air and since it doesn't make much power it doesn't burn a lot of fuel!
May 10, 2017  •  01:22 AM
On older balers when done haying clean all the hay out completely
and use a air hose blower to clear all debris out. Clean the knotters and apply a coat of oil, also check the cutter for sharpness and keep it sharp, oil all chains and keep it housed inside. It will last a lifetime if you keep up with the maintenance.
Remember moisture kills these old balers so always keep it inside and dry.