With so many industries failing, many who find themselves out of a job, are looking for a lucrative career that allows them the freedom to make their own hours, own something for themselves, and to grow a business for the future. Hay farming may not be the easiest occupation to embark on, but it is something that you know will be market and recession-proof.
When considering a new career path, there aren’t many who think about farming, specifically hay farming. In fact, many would consider switching from the nine to five position they formally held, to toiling the soil, a ridiculous idea, but the facts are that building a hay farm may be your ticket to financial freedom. If you approach hay farming in a smart and methodical way, you can have something that will continue to yield long after your hard work has been put in.
There are several steps necessary to become a successful hay farmer. They include choosing the right scale, scope, and manageability for any newbie farmer.
The mistake many farmers make is that they try to do too many things at once. Focusing specifically on one type of product is the best way to be successful. The idea of hay farming is that you only produce hay, and that is all. If you try to branch out and use the farm for other commodities, you will likely overspend on materials, use the soil to depletion, and as any smart business person understands, you run the risk of spreading you and your resources too thin.
By only farming hay, you need very specific equipment and nothing more. Not requiring as much as other types of growing yields, farming for hay has inexpensive start-up costs. A great idea for the farming newbie, once you master hay farming, then anything else is possible. But it is a great starting point and may be all you ever need.
Places to be a hay farmer
For a hay farm to be successful, you have to have the right conditions. First, you have to be in a region where hay is a commodity. Choosing an area where there is a lot of livestock or an equestrian specific locale, will make it much easier to sell the hay and reduce the produce-to-distribution chain.
It is also imperative that you have the right conditions necessary to produce hay. A very specific type of farming, finding the right growing environment is critical so that you aren’t fighting against mother nature. Unfortunately, everyone knows who will win that battle.
Along with the right region, you need to ensure that hay is a commodity in the area that you choose. Finding the right place to be a hay farmer is reliant upon high demand which will drive up the cost that you can get for your product. And finally, you have to have the land necessary to grow enough hay to turn a profit and for it not to be just a hobby.
On the average, to become a hay farmer, you will need approximately $50,000 or more in capital for a start-up. That includes the equipment, like a hay crusher, which is needed but also comes with the assumption that you own the land. Otherwise, there will be an additional expense to either purchase or lease the land. If you don’t own the land, then hay farmer is difficult to make your primary means of income.
To get a premium price for your hay product, you have to produce an excellent quality of hay. Those who do not deal in the industry don’t understand that hay comes in varying degrees of quality. Because there will be fluctuation in the market, you have to shape your product to accommodate. If the average farmer can barely afford any hay than throwing a whole lot more money in to make a higher quality product, isn’t going to make much sense. That is why it is important to temper your quality of the product by how much those around you will and can pay.
Do you have the storage
The key to hay farming is having a place to store hay. A very sensitive product, once it is yielded, you have to have the right shelter to keep it safe from the elements of the environment. Quick to mold, keeping it in a dry, moist-free, storage facility is crucial, but also can become expensive if you don’t have a place on-site.
Hay farming can be the key to your financial future if you use the right methodology to grow your business, don’t overspend, and always know the market in your area and accommodate for market fluctuations. Making good decisions can have you earning profits with very little effort.