Custom Hay Baling from Rick`s Custom Baling


Rick's Custom Baling, LLC.
East Berlin, PA

Contact Person:

Rick Jones


(717) 309-6582


Hay For Sale FAQ`S

Q: What types of hay and straw do you have available?
A: During a year, we will carry Alfalfa, Alfalfa/Orchardgrass, Timothy, Mixed Grass, and Wheat Straw. However, some of these varieties are in higher demand and are not always available for sale year-round.

Q: Do you have horse-quality hay?
A: Yes. Of the hay we produce and sell, 90%-95% of it is sold as horse-hay. Our hay has been fed to all walks of farm animals such as horses, dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

Q: What is the difference between 1st cutting, 2nd cutting, 3rd cutting, etc.?
A: First cutting is taken early in the summer typically after heading on grasses or bloom on Alfalfa. First cutting provides the greatest yield but typically is slightly lower in nutritional quality, slightly lower palatability but is also cheaper because of this. Later cuttings are harvested in vegetative stages for grasses, and 1/10th bloom for Alfalfa. This leads to the hay being softer and more palatable, with a higher TDN (total digestible nutrients). As yield on later cuttings decline, the price for the forage slightly increases.

Q: Do you deliver? If so, how much can you bring?
A: Yes, we can deliver to most any places along the mid-Atlantic. We do have minimum amounts based on delivery distances. Sending an email or calling would be the best advice to see if we can accommodate a minimum amount to your location. We typically can deliver up to 300 bales on a gooseneck flatbed, and up to 600 bales on a semi-truck dry van trailer.

Q: Will you unload the hay off of the trailer? Can you stack it in my barn?
A: We will unload the hay off of the truck and/or trailer, but it is the customer's responsibility if they would like it stacked in their barn. We can provide stacking for a low additional fee (semi loads excluded). Typically 1-2 people for stacking a delivery of up to 300 bales, and 3-4 people for a semi load is sufficient help.

Q: What all do I need to have ready at my barn on the day of delivery?
A: If the hay is being stored at a lower level such in a hay shed, stalls, garage, etc., its appreciated if there is plenty of space available to maneuver the truck and/or trailer as close as possible. We also recommend not allowing the hay to have direct contact with the floor, since the bottom layer of bales we absorb dampness given off by stone, soil, or concrete. Placing skids and/or any type of vapor barrier on the floor is an inexpensive and easy way to keep the bottom bales from absorbing moisture. If the hay is being stored at an elevated level such as a loft, we ask that a hay elevator is provided or we can bring an elevator for a low additional fee.

Q: What size are your bales?
A: The typical small square bale measures 14" x 18" x 38". Our small square bales of hay vary in weight depending on the type of hay. Varieties like Alfalfa, A/O, and Timothy typically can be around 46-50 pounds, while mixed grass is around 42-44 pounds. Wheat straw bales weigh approximately 32 pounds. We also have 3' x 3'x 7' mid-size square bales that weigh approximately 500 pounds each.

Q: Is there a minimum if I pick the bales up at the barn?
A: No. We will sell any amount of bales if you come to pick up at the barn. We will load the bales onto your vehicle/trailer but it is the customer's responsibility for stacking the hay on the vehicle/trailer and securing the load. For semi-tractor van trailers, we will provide loading and stacking in the trailer.

Q: Do you treat your hay with acids or chemicals?
A: Our goal when baling hay is to have the moisture content between 14% to 16%. At this moisture range, hay can be baled and stored without the use of chemical preservatives, yet minimize leaf shatter and dry matter loss. However, mother nature does not always allow for constant ideal conditions. If rain is anticipated and the hay is close to the ideal moisture, we will bale the hay to retain nutritional quality and color. If the hay is between 16% to 24%, we have the ability to treat the hay with buffered-propionic acid at specific levels based on the moisture content. Propionic acid is an organic acid as it found naturally in a horse's gastrointestinal tract and is safe to feed to equine and livestock. It allows the hay to be baled at higher moisture contents but not allow the hay to become dusty or moldy. For more information, provided is a link to a great article for learning more about propionic acid and its benefits - Acid Treated Hay for Horses

Q: I can't have moldy or dusty hay. Will you know if the hay is dusty or moldy?
A: Yes. When we bale, we have electronic moisture sensors and monitors that read real-time moisture contents throughout the baling process. These monitors display readings every 2-3 seconds and have the ability to read outside and inside stem moisture for accurate results. This allows us to bale at optimal moisture contents. Hay that is baled at moistures too high without chemical preservative treatment is likely to become dusty and mold. Additionally, all hay and straw that is produced is stored by hand which helps in quality control to insure that no bale that is too high in moisture stored. Trucks and trailers are also loaded by hand and allows us to analyze each bale that is able to be fed before delivery.

Q: If I pay for the hay now, will you hold it for me?
A: No, unfortunately not. We sell our products on a first come, first serve basis.

Q: How do you take payment?
A: We take payment via cash or good check for quantities up to 300 bales. Any quantity of 300 bales or more, we require payment as certified check or cash. We hope to accept credit cards soon. We do not accept money orders or wire transfers as there have been hay scams in the past that left hay producers without payment. Any bad check is subject to a $15 service charge.

Custom Haying FAQ`S

Q: What processes of haying do you preform?
A: We can provide all of the processes from beginning to end. This starts with mowing with a disc-mower/conditioner, followed by tedding the hay which allows the hay to be evenly spread out across the field and increases the drying process. Later, the hay is raked up into windrows and the hay is baled and thrown into wagons. Next, the hay will be stored at the area of the customer's choosing. We can provide fast, efficient help to store the hay or the customer can save money and use their friends or family to help store the hay.

Q: Can you just come and do the baling (or mowing, tedding, or raking) for me?
A: Absolutely, we can do any individual process such as mowing, tedding, raking, or baling. Mowing, tedding, or raking are charged on a per acre basis, while baling is charged on a per bale basis. For baling, we can drop the bales on the ground, throw them into your wagon, or thrown into our wagon. Please call for rates.

Q: Can we do the hay for halves (50/50)?
A: Harvesting hay for equal shares can sometimes be done, but not always. If you're fields are in close proximity to our farms, doing the hay for the halves is usually not a problem. Doing hay for the halves doesn't typically work when the land is significantly far away and the acreage is limited. Best advice is to call and talk with us on your specific situation. We do our best to work with most situations.

Q: I've recently bought a farm with some land. I have animals to feed, the land to grow hay, but I don't have the equipment and/or knowledge to make the hay. What should I do?
A: Best advice is to first take soil samples of your fields to determine what shape they are in, how much lime you should apply to achieve a pH close to 6.5-7, and what blend and amount of fertilizer to apply to reach your yield goals. We look at pH, CEC (cation exchange capacity), nutrient PPM (parts per million), and base saturation to give fertilizer recommendations based on your soil capacity. If weeds are a problem, we can apply herbicides to achieve clean, weed-free hay. We have the ability to lime and fertilize your fields, so that your soil will constantly produce good yields while also be replenished with nutrients each year. The worst thing a landowner can do is constantly take hay off of the fields, year after year, and "mine" the soil for its nutrients without ever replenishing them with fertilizers or lime. Afterwhich, as the hay begins to reach maturity, we can work with you to establish cutting dates that work with everyone's schedules. After the hay is stored, it's best to keep air to it and let it cure for a few weeks prior to feeding, especially if your animals are kept off of pastures.

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