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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be buying a tractor this summer in the 35 hp range with 24 or so at the PTO. The front runners are the 3033R (24 PTO) and LS XR 3135 (28 PTO) Hydros.

I'd like to run a baler someday, but can never find the HP requirements when I find older balers. I remember my Grampa baling (I was one of the wagon stackers as a wee lad) with his 420 and if the spec site is right it had around 25 or 26 HP PTO, but no idea what baler model (JD) he had.

Anyone have recommendations on certain vintage models or a site that gives the specs?

Also giving serious thought to a new mini round baler, but no haying for the time being.


My situation:
I have a 6.5 ac fallow hay field I want to reclaim as well as access to about 12 more acres belonging to the original farm my property was carved from. AND if an out of state neighbor agrees I would have another 15 (ish) acres to hay also carved from the original farm. So potentially 25+acres to supply my budding homestead. The neighboring fields are being hayed now by someone who has to trailer his equipment in, but the on site owner has already given me the green light for his field.
 

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I had a old John Deere 24T square baler that ran easily on 30pto hp ......its a backup now but it still makes good bales....i know there are some Small round balers like the Hesston 530,5530,730etc and other versions that take about 30hp but i have never owned one
 

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It's not a matter of power running a baler like a 14T or 24T, the problem is having enough tractor to hold it back so you can maintain control on hills. Are you planning on dropping bales and then picking them up later or using an ejector? If you are using an ejector, I believe you will need a larger tractor.

There are several posts and threads on GTT about small round balers and using small tractors on balers.
 

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DRobinson is exactly right. Some of those big balers used to run off of pony engines (instead of a PTO shaft) that were only 16HP. The HP isn't the issue. They're BIG and HEAVY. If you start rolling down a hill they'll push a small tractor all over the place and there isn't much you can do to stop it if you're on the tractor.

There are several companies that make balers for small tractors like:

Ibex
Small Farm Innovations

I've also seen companies that retrofit large balers (usually the New Holland's) to produce small bales but those would still have the weight issues.

Just based on cost, it'd be cheaper to find a old beater tractor that is larger to run a conventional baler.
 

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It's not a matter of power running a baler like a 14T or 24T, the problem is having enough tractor to hold it back so you can maintain control on hills. Are you planning on dropping bales and then picking them up later or using an ejector? If you are using an ejector, I believe you will need a larger tractor.

There are several posts and threads on GTT about small round balers and using small tractors on balers.
That's it right there, if you are just kicking on the ground a smaller tractor is fine. Our Ford 5000 runs our baler just fine but on the hills it's just flat scary, we normally use the White 2-85 for baling duties.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks fellas!

I've seen those mini baler sites and they do look promising and that's the direction I will likely go and for $6 grand or so, why not.

My terrain is on a gentle slope, not sure of the angle, but point well taken on considering weight. Grampa's hay field was dead level so I guess the little 420 was enough, tho a fair bot heavier than a 3033 I s'pose.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Of course I could always skip the baler and go with this instead.


I saw where another couple used some cattle panels to keep the stacks neat. Looked like giant cupcakes.
 

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I expect you might be a little light in weight. Horsepower should be fine. I bailed many, many bales with a Farmall M and a John Deere A pulling a New Holland #268 Baler with a thrower. Up and down hills and on the flats. The tractor you're interested in is 1300Lbs lighter than an M. We had loaded tires and loaded tires would be a requirement on the 3033R. Due to the tires smaller size the loaded weight would then be a few hundred pounds lighter yet. If your running on flat ground I'd be tempted to try it but no on any hills.
JMHO,
Ron
 

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What do you plan on doing with these small round bales ? Cattle or Horses or ?? Or selling hay ??
 

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What do you plan on doing with these small round bales ? Cattle or Horses or ?? Or selling hay ??
Its all for our small homestead.

The plan for now is just forage and fodder for small critters. Chickens & meat rabbits. Might have some meat breed sheep and pigs in the summer, but out on pasture. Maybe a couple dairy goats or a cow to winter over, but that's a future project.
 

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What do you plan on doing with these small round bales ? Cattle or Horses or ?? Or selling hay ??
I read that there is quite a demand in some areas for small bales like that. Hobby type people who have a couple horses, goats, etc. They don’t have the equipment or the want to deal with large bales. From what I understand, depending on demand, that they can get more money for the small bales than the large ones.
 

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I read that there is quite a demand in some areas for small bales like that. Hobby type people who have a couple horses, goats, etc. They don’t have the equipment or the want to deal with large bales. From what I understand, depending on demand, that they can get more money for the small bales than the large ones.
There is quite a bit of demand for them in my area. The problem is those people don't want to store the hay themselves. They want someplace to pop in every Saturday morning and pick up one or two mini-bales for the week. You really need a retail outlet for that sort of thing.
 

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I read that there is quite a demand in some areas for small bales like that. Hobby type people who have a couple horses, goats, etc. They don’t have the equipment or the want to deal with large bales. From what I understand, depending on demand, that they can get more money for the small bales than the large ones.
It doesn't take a very big tractor to handle 4x4 round bales.

2025R/round bale and answering questions - YouTube

I'll have to get a pic of it next time I'm up at the horse barn, but we have a turntable for feeding round bales should we ever get away from small squares completely. It has a spike you put in the center of the bale and just set the spike in a hole in the center of the turntable and you can unroll and feed. It's been awhile since we've used it that way, but if I remember correctly one wheel barrow is the equivalent to four slabs of a small square bale, though I could be wrong because as mentioned, it has been quite some time since we fed that way.
 

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It doesn't take a very big tractor to handle 4x4 round bales.

2025R/round bale and answering questions - YouTube

I'll have to get a pic of it next time I'm up at the horse barn, but we have a turntable for feeding round bales should we ever get away from small squares completely. It has a spike you put in the center of the bale and just set the spike in a hole in the center of the turntable and you can unroll and feed. It's been awhile since we've used it that way, but if I remember correctly one wheel barrow is the equivalent to four slabs of a small square bale, though I could be wrong because as mentioned, it has been quite some time since we fed that way.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t have a tractor at all - or just a lawn mower.
 

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I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t have a tractor at all - or just a lawn mower.
I know you're right, I couldn't imagine having livestock without a tractor, but I know some people that do.
 

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I know you're right, I couldn't imagine having livestock without a tractor, but I know some people that do.
I agree. Heck, I couldn’t imagine owning more than a couple acres and not having a tractor.....of course we have some here who I think have less than an acre....

There are actually some people out there that don’t think like us.....
 

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I agree. Heck, I couldn’t imagine owning more than a couple acres and not having a tractor.....of course we have some here who I think have less than an acre....

There are actually some people out there that don’t think like us.....
I know, even if we didn't have the horses I still couldn't imagine being without the tractor now.
 
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