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From: mike green
williston, SC
i have 15 acres of land. how much hay could i grow and about what i could profit from it. i am new to all this i know its not much land but, i am trying to find something to make a living from can provide any type of start-up that i can profit from. thank you

Extension Message
From: Jim Morrison
Extension Educator, Crop Systems
Rockford Center
Mr. Green:

Your question on hay was forwarded to me for response. Believe your first question was how much can you grow. You should check the USDA/NRCS Soil Survey book for McHenry County. You will be able to identity your property and the soil types you have. One of the tables in the book will give yield of various crops, including hay, by soil type. The Soil Survey book should be available at the USDA Service Center Office, 1648 S Eastwood Drive, Woodstock, IL 60098. The University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences conducts alfalfa variety trials at 3 locations in Illinois (Freeport, Stephenson County is the closest to McHenry County). Alfalfa yield data is at Data from the first harvest in 2006 (May 25) is posted along with data from previous years. The yield (shown as tons dry matter per acre) range in the seeding year (spring seeding) from the high and low variety in 2005, 2004, and 2003 was 4.6 vs. 3.9, 2.4 vs. 1.6, and 4.4 vs. 3.2, respectively. The average of all varieties in 2005 (seeded in the spring of 2004) was 8.6 tons per acre, dry matter basis. The average yield of alfalfa varieties (seeded in the spring of 1999) for 2000, 2001, and 2002, were 7.0, 6.5, and 7.6 tons dry matter per acre, respectively. Regarding production costs, please check this University of Illinois web site, , click on the drop down box and you can select either alfalfa establishment or alfalfa. For 2.5 tons per acre in the establishment year, total costs amount to $124 or $50 per ton. For years after establishment, a yield of 4 tons per acre or 6 tons per acre have a the total cost per ton of $98 or $72, respectively. One source of hay prices is the USDA Market News Report, see Click on Illinois Hay Market Report. This report is updated the first of each month. Depending upon how much machinery you have access to and your experience, may wish to rent the hay land to a tenant. Lease arrangements could be made so the tenant would take all the hay, or have it split with you. Hope this helps.


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