How Much Does a Bale of Hay Cost?
For those that have a farm, a bale of hay is more than likely necessary. A bale of hay is also used for many other purposes such as keeping grass seed in tact, food for animals and so much more. There are going to be so many various factors when it comes down to a bail of hay such as the weight, the type of hay, where you purchase it and more.
How much does a bale of hay cost?
- The average square hay bale is going to range anywhere from $3 to $10 per bale. The most common bails include round and square.
- Keep in mind that many farmers claim that they sell the bale by the “pound” rather than by the bale. On average, the typical bale that ranges anywhere from $3 to $10 will weigh around 50 pounds.
- For a larger, round bale of hay, the average hay price is going to vary anywhere from $60 to $200. Generally, the more that is purchased in bulk, the more you’re going to be able to save with your purchase. Larger bales can weight more than 1,000 pounds.
- UWEX keeps up with the weekly hay market demand, as well as what the price report is for the upper Midwest area. In March of 2011, a small square of prime hay was $179 on average, a small grade 1 hay bale is $90 per ton, and a small grade 2 hay bale averaged $62 per ton.
- A classified website such as HayForSale.net lists classified ads across the country in states such as Florida and Montana. For example, there are listings up that include $35 to $60 for a large bale located in Florida.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location: The location is going to play a heavy influence in the price of hay. A rural location is going to be a lot cheaper compared to a professional hay-producing companies. Many farmers and customers find luck with farmers that are just looking to get rid of additional bales that they don’t need anymore.
- Season: The time of season is going to play a rather big role with purchasing hay bales. It’s best to shop right before the season start since there will be more of an inventory. Seasons such as the Winter and the Fall can lead to a lower demand.
- Quantity: The more you purchase, the more you’re going to be able to save. For those that plan on purchasing these bales on an annual or even a monthly basis, many companies are more than willing to offer a frequent “buyer” discount.
- Quality: There are all sorts of bales that can have different mixes. Common mixes may include orchard and alfalfa grass. Grass such as alfalfa is a big ticket to farmers and this can greatly influence the price when purchasing.
What is going to be included?
- Most farmer will wrap the hay, as well as prep it for the order that is placed.
- Most hay will be cleaned of any residue that shouldn’t be there.
- A legitimate sell will also test it’s hay to ensure that it meets the state’s standards, as well as complies with local laws.
What are the extra costs?
- Most farmers will request that you pick up the hay in person. For delivery, a delivery fee may apply to your purchase.
Tips to know:
- If you plan on feeding this hay to your animals, you will want to remember that most animals don’t eat dry hay. For that reason, it’s important to note the moisture content. Some farmers may know about this while others won’t. It’s also important to note the amount of weeds within the bale. Again, since animals won’t munch on weeds, you will want to make sure that you’re getting your money worth.
How can I save money?
- Check the HayExchange.com to find a farmer in your area. Check your state, compare what’s available and call to see what the prices are. This is the best way to get the lowest price.
- Don’t always think that you have to purchase hay. Instead, consider other cost efficient options such as straw. Straw can last longer, and it doesn’t tend to smell over time when it gets wet or old.
- If you only need one bale, consider asking a farmer if they have any spares available. Since they often sell the bales in bulk, they may be more than happy to give you some for next to nothing.