Horse Illustrated

EQUIPMENT

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Farming—even something as “simple” as forage crops—often requires a sizeable investment in equipment, although costs can sometimes be kept lower by utilizing used equipment or by sharing tractors and implements with neighborin­g farmers. Some of the equipment you might need to grow your own hay includes:

TRACTOR: Probably 40 HP or more for baling hay; lighter tractors may be able to perform some of the other tasks

BRUSH HOG: For reclaiming older hayfields that are heavily weeded

DISC: Not required if you’re going with a no-till process (meaning you don’t disturb the soil through mechanical agitation)

SEEDER: For planting large areas of hayseed quickly and easily

MOWER-CONDITIONE­R: Cuts hay for harvesting and also crimps it during the process for faster drying times

TEDDER: Useful in moist regions for fluffing cut hay to improve drying; may be optional in drier locales

HAY RAKE: For turning over hay for drying and for creating windrows

BALER: Small square balers are a popular option for creating horse hay; larger operations may consider large square balers. Round bales are also favored by some horse owners and situations.

HAY WAGON: For loading and transporti­ng small squares to the storage building

SKIDSTEER/TRACTOR WITH FORK LOADER: For moving large squares or round bales

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