The “hayday” (excuse the pun) of small square hay bales seems to be in the past. Most smaller farmers buy hay from another supplier, rather than creating their own bales for their livestock.
The most common reason for this is the cost of creating your own hay bales – there seems to be a misconception that you need to buy expensive equipment to bale your own hay. And while this may be true for multi-ton round bales, it’s not the case for small, square hay bales.
In this article, we’ll explore 5 reasons that small square bales are perfect for small farms who are interested in baling their own hay. Let’s get started!
- Small Square Balers Can Be Run On Almost Any Tractor
Unlike their larger cousins, small square balers can usually be run on just about any tractor platform. You don’t need to invest in a new tractor, or an “all-in-one” baling unit. Small square balers can be found for between $2,000-$10,000 for most used models, so they are quite affordable.
If you run a minimally-mechanized farm, a small square baler is a great way to expand your capabilities, without requiring the outlay of a ton of extra capital.
- Square Bales Are Easy To Handle
Small square bales usually weigh in at about 40-50lbs, though some larger bales can reach 100lbs in weight, depending on their density. This makes them much easier to handle than multi-ton round bales, which usually need a specialized hauler.
With just a truck and a few farmhands, you can easily move around your square bales – whether you’re preparing them for sale, storing them, or even using them to build temporary structures. While this is not cost-effective for larger farms, due to high transportation costs per-bale, it’s great for smaller hobby or specialized farms that do not produce as much hay.
- You Only Need To Buy A Baler
The more large and complex your baling operation gets, the more equipment you’ll need. Specialized mowers, transportation machinery, hydraulic presses – the list could go on and on.
All you really need to make small bales is a baler, and a mower – and you probably already have a mower that you use to mow down your crops at the end of harvest. No bale wagon required!
- High Return On Investment
Because you do not have to spend a lot of money on baling equipment, the return-on-investment of a small square baler is quite high.
You can easily get $4.50 or more per small square bale of hay, because very few farms make small square bales, and they are highly desired for feeding horses and other livestock.
On a 50 acre farm, if you get 100 bales per acre, you would get 5000 bales – for a total net gain of $22,500. This assuming a very conservative estimate of 100 bales per acre. You can easily make back the money you spend on a baler within a single growing season!
- Cost-Effective Way To Feed Animals
You don’t have to sell all of your square bales, either. If you run a farm that also has livestock like sheep, cows, and horses, you can keep some of your hay bales and feed your animals with them.
This reduces your environmental impact – no more shipping large hay bales to your farm for your animals – and helps you save money. You get to repurpose hay from the last growing season into feed for your livestock!
Invest In A Small Square Baler Now – And Start Profiting!
If you run a smaller farm, investing in mechanization tools like balers may be intimidating. But for these 5 reasons – and many more – starting to bale your own hay is a great idea! Think about the benefits that square bales can have for you, and start shopping for a baler today.