The Round Baler
|Posted on August 23, 2018 at 6:00 PM|
Many people find that square bales are easier to sell in their area, as they are the preferred choice by many horse owners. They often think about how if they could make round bales they could cut down on their labor costs considerably. In many areas it’s hard to find help to unload and stack small squares and the cost of equipment for stacker systems or large square balers can not be justified by most small farmers. Round balers can often be run by tractors already on the farm and good used round balers can be found for around $15k. Round balers are also good if you’re trying to beat the rain, as you don’t have to worry about getting them under cover, like small squares that will be ruined if it rains much at all. But in order for any of this to be any good for you, you must be able to sell the finished product, the round bales.
If you’re currently selling small squares then you should check with your current customers if they’d like round bales instead, many that are equipped for them may consider it when they figure in how much time and money they can save. You may take a profit cut but after you figure in the reduction in labor costs you may come out ahead with round bales. Also branch out, if there are many dairy farms and/or Amish farms in the area they tend to require a lot of hay to get through the winter.
One option to consider is individually wrapping the bales to make balage bales. If you don’t have a bale wrapper often times you can hire it done or rent one locally for the time being. Balage bales can bring as much as double dry bales, depending on your area. If you can get connected with a local dairy farmer you may even be able to line wrap the bales at their farm. This is a good option for those that don’t want to have to deal with handling the bales all winter, and can save everybody a lot of hassle.
Another option to look at is to get certified organic. Organic dairy and beef operations are getting more popular and are required to buy certified organic hay. Certified hay brings a premium and generally has less competition in the market. All grass-fed farms require a lot of good quality hay to raise their livestock. This option is also a great combination with balage, and can be a lucrative option. The biggest hurdle in getting certified is the pile of paperwork, many farms already qualify for immediate certification, and others that don’t have to wait a year after all the paperwork is finished.
As with any business the first step to selling round bales, is to make connections with potential customers and those that communicate with potential customers (hardware store owners, dealerships, cattle haulers, e.t.c). If you start with some round bales, you can start building a customer base while still making money off of your squares. Much of this is area dependent and the best thing to do is to talk with the local farmers in your area and get feel for the market. If you purchase a round baler you may also find yourself busy doing custom work. If you’re a custom baler or looking for a custom baler, please visit Custom Baler page.