Bale Hay Right With Equipment, Safety & Storage Advice

Are you interested in tackling small-scale hay production on your farm? We’ve rounded up 20 of our past articles on the topic, sorting them into categories.

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by J. Keeler JohnsonJuly 12, 2022
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

It’s summer, and it’s time to bale hay. While any large-scale field cultivation has its challenges, growing hay is relatively straightforward for hobby farmers to tackle. Since grass grows back year after year, you save the time and effort of planting each spring.

Whether you grow hay to sell or to feed your own livestock, the benefits are obvious. Are you interested in tackling small-scale hay production on your farm? Through the years, HobbyFarms.com has covered the topic from a multitude of angles.

For your convenience, we’ve rounded up 20 of our past articles on hay production, sorting them into four categories: equipment, storage, safety and miscellaneous. If you want to learn about growing and baling hay, we’ve got you covered!

Equipment

What You Need to Grow & Produce Hay

From mowers to balers, we provide a quick overview of the primary equipment needed to bale hay.

20 Machines, Tools & Items Used for Baling Hay

Want to dive deeper into the machines, tools and items needed for baling hay? We have a list of 20 that covers a lot of territory.

Square or Round Hay Baler: Which is Best for You?

Square bales and round bales offer contrasting advantages and disadvantages. Here, we break down the differences and help you decide which to produce.

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Still in Use: A Hay Rake So Old It Can Be Horse-Drawn

The latest and greatest equipment isn’t always necessary for baling hay, as a decades-old John Deere 594 hay rake demonstrates.

Upgrade Your Hay Wagon for Ease of Use & Other Benefits

If you have some carpentry skills, a wooden hay wagon can be ripe for helpful upgrades. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Calculate Baling Twine Needs for Hay Season

You definitely don’t want to run out of baling twine when there’s hay on the ground and rain is coming. Whether you’re making square bales or round bales, a little high-school algebra can help you calculate how much twine you need for hay season.

Get Ready for Hay Season with a Mid-Summer Checklist

Baling hay involves a lot of steps, which is why we’ve assembled a six-step checklist to help you cover all the bases and prepare your equipment, supplies, and more for the big day(s).

Storage

Livestock Farmers: Stack Hay More Easily with a Hay Elevator

Hay bales can be heavy, and getting them into the loft of a barn (or to the top of a stack) can be difficult. A motorized hay elevator carries square bales up a track and saves you lots of effort.

Making Square Hay Bales? Careful They’re Not Too Loose

Loose square bales are challenging to handle and a headache to stack. Here’s why getting the tension right is so important.

How to Effectively Stack Your Square Hay Bales

Wondering how to build a sturdy and effective hay stack? Here are some tips on how best to proceed.

Should You Measure Hay By the Bale or By Volume?

Square hay bales come in different sizes, so in making sure you have enough set aside for winter, measuring by volume can be more accurate than counting bales.

How to Mark Hay Bales from Different Fields & Cuttings

The hay produced from one field or cutting can be different in content from the hay produced by a different field or cutting. From creating separate stacks to color-coding baling twine, here are some ideas to help you distinguish between different crops of hay.

How to Store Hay to Make It Last

Properly storing hay is important to increasing its longevity. Whether you’re storing hay indoors or outdoors, we’ve got you covered with tips and ideas for best results.

Safety

4 Tips for Safe & Efficient Hay Baling

From staying cool to keeping spare parts on hand, these four tips will help your hay operation proceed smoothly and safely.

A Hay Moisture Tester Helps in Baling & Storage

This could also fall under equipment, but we’ll file our story on hay moisture (and temperature) testers under safety since they provide an easy means to measure the moisture content of hay bales and confirm they’re dry enough to safely store.

Choose the Right Gloves for Hay Season

Handling a hay bale can be rough on your hands, so choosing the right pair of gloves can save you some wear and tear.

Miscellaneous

How to Grow Quality Hay

Need a primer into the entire process of growing and baling hay? Are you wondering about the differences between grass and legume hay? You can learn a lot from this broad overview.

How to Restore a Hayfield to Full Production

Does your farm feature old hayfields that need to be restored to peak productivity? Our in-depth guide to restoring hayfields steers you through the process.

4 Ways to Feed Hay & Reduce Waste

Feeding hay in a manner that reduces waste is always a good idea. Wondering how to go about it? We’ve got you covered with four approaches.

All Hay Is Not Equal: Choose Your Livestock’s Carefully

Some types of hay are perfect for horses. Others are more suitable for cattle or goats. Wondering which type you need, and what you should look for in quality hay? This article dives into the details.

May all your hay-baling weather be sunny and dry!

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