For the last four years, Renaissance Farms has partnered with other area farmers to get our hay made. There are approximately 30 acres of hay here on the farm consisting of orchard grass, timothy, vetch, and clover. Annually, we produce 1500-2500 bales of hay, depending upon the weather. Each year, half of that hay goes to our haymaking partner, which has been great. But as our herd of goats and flock of sheep expand, we have more need for winter hay. And buying in hay at retail if we experience a shortage is far too costly for our small farm.
So the time has come to purchase our own tractor and implements and make our own hay!
We have been shopping around for a solid used tractor, and have found several that would fill the bill. Ultimately, it will cost us about $15000 to get ourselves outfitted to make hay ourselves. This includes a used tractor, mower, rake, tedder, and baler. It probably will not cover a hay wagon, unless we get really lucky. But we can struck it back with the old farm truck, our van, and a couple of trailers we own.
Essentially, the haymaking equipment will have paid for itself within two seasons. Additionally, we will be able to make hay when we are ready and the weather is optimal for making the small square bales we need for our small livestock, rather than having to wait until our partner can get to us, and risk having hay that may be damaged or less than ideal for our animals.
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