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What do I need for my small farming needs?

Hay balers come in many shapes and sizes. While we discussed the various balers before, let’s examine farming needs. After all, not every small farming interest is the shame. Some people are happy to have square balers for easy use and removal.

Others realize the need for having round bales that might be slightly costlier but produce longer lasting results.

Small farming needs hay

Less hay is being produced. This has led to a rise of DIY hay farmers in America. Seemingly gone are the days of spending weeks between cutting, drying and baling hay. New balers have sliced that time down and given the ability to farm to a new generation of Agribusiness hopefuls.

Fewer hay acres have led to higher hay prices at market. Whether it’s Canada or the United States, we’re seeing events like drought coupled with diminished hay production producing a perfect storm. So, remember that as you select the hay baler for your farm.

While you might worry about cost or producing extra hay, realize that you could be feeding a demanding market that desperately needs hay. Livestock still need to eat and not everyone has the time and space to farm hay.

small farm

Plus, dryer summers combined with growing market need creates demand. There are plenty of small farmers that grow enough just to get through the year. But, what about those that go for something more?

Are there obstacles to small farming?

Many farms sport hills, rocky terrain and dangerous corners that rule out using large mowers and balers. Small Farm Innovations caters to the farmers that aren’t working at a corporate/industrial level. You might be one of the guys and gals out there that has a proud 20-40 acres they work. Small Farm is in your corner.

Knowing what we know about the hay market and concerns over getting the right hay baler, we’ll leave you with this. Do you want to cover your feed needs? If there is extra hay, do you want to sell hay to your farming community to help take care of their livestock? How concerned are you with your operational costs?

After you have an idea of what you want your baling future to look like, reach out to Small Farm Innovations. We have supportive staff waiting to take your questions and find the right baler for your needs. Purpose drives size at Small Farm Innovations.  

Shrinking the Farm: Mini Hay Balers

Mini Hay Balers are essential to shrinking the footprint of your small farm. What exactly does that mean? Well, the small farmer faces certain challenges that aren’t typical of the more traditional setup. Specifically, land is a fixed quantity and most equipment was designed for the larger pastoral settings.

When many potentially interested farmers and Agribusiness types learn of small farms, their response varies. They either enjoy learning that they can farm at scale. Others feel like they might be getting cheated out of the traditional farming experience.

mini hay balers

Some might wonder about the operational costs of Mini Hay Balers. A lot of customers when trying to make up their mind about baling their own hay scoff at the initial price. They’ll often try to plan long-term math out, as they figure out the economics of producing feed for livestock on-site.

Small farms have a lot more to figure out when making those big purchases. That’s why it pays to work with an educated partner that wants to help you achieve your dreams. Your small farm can be a reality.

Small Farm Innovations is here to say…there is a future in going small. As equipment meets the needs of those that aren’t producing at commercial level, you’ll want to find a partner that can match your needs.

Do I need a baler or a wrapper?

The hay baler is a staple of the modern farm. Taking what was once done by hand into the modern era has been the baler’s task in recent generations. To those not living on the farm, it might seem like a one stop answer to your hay needs.

A hay wrapper is a means of properly storing your hay against the elements and related parasites. Many small farmers don’t realize the sheer volume of varmints or mold that can get into their smaller bales of hay. The wrong kind of flax grass mixed into your hay bales and a grazing cow can become horribly ill.

hay wrapper baler

Fears like that might push you away from baling your own hay, but let’s take a step back. You own a small farm for a reason. As a small farmer, you want to produce hay and other things on your own time. That way you can control the quality and produce a better product. But, what of the costs?

One thing to watch out for is how fast this hay equipment can depreciate. That’s why several farmers don’t directly engage in first-tier ownership. However, if you’re going to be needing a constant supply of hay, it’s in your favor to purchase a hay baler.

No one gets into farming to be unsuccessful. While there are costs associated with beginning your journey into the Ag industry, there is no time like the present.

Does your Harrow have teeth?

Harrow teeth can make tillage into a dream. Well, a dream where you get dirty and enjoy a hard day’s work. But, that’s the dream of a fulfilled farmer.

When you pull a disc-based harrow behind your tractor, you’re living the dream of generations before you. But, what happens when your harrow can’t break through the soil? Not everyone experiences the same planting season, so you must be ready for the environment presented now.


The harrow is part of a product agricultural tradition dating back to the Spring Tooth Harrow days of the 1800s. Now as tines and mechanized soil tenderizers take over, we feel that the Harrow still has some teeth. Especially when it’s deployed as an attachment behind your ATV or tractor.

Loosening soil before planting doesn’t have to be that hard. However, it takes experience to find the right techniques that work for your farm. While we may steer you to a variety of equipment and techniques, we hope that you use this time to study and discover what makes the most sense to you.

All Small Farm Innovations are not the same. So, you should do what is best for your small farm. That’s why we recommend stopping by and discussing the options that best make sense for your property.

Closing thoughts

Many farmers will automatically assume small and lightweight when they hear harrow. That’s simply not the case. As disc harrows can function as a primary and secondary tillage tool. Your corporate farmer isn’t going to lean that hard into it, but smaller farmers should check out that avenue for future tillage success.

If that sounds up your alley, then visit our Harrow section in the store. Make tillage great again.

Why’s your Hay Bale so Square?

Square hay balers are best used on small acreage farms. Large equipment is impractical for those that farm smaller than average lots. But, the square hay baler runs fast and plays small. After all, think about how you see hay on an average basis? The hay tends to be square.

Square Bales: Easy but Difficult?

Many veteran farmers will let you know that most square hay bales can exhibit signs of mold and parasites on the surface after a few days of open exposure. While the square hay bales are easy to transport, these concerns require careful storage.

hay bale

But, if you’re already working a small farm, then where do you have the room for storage? Thus, we enter another avenue. You must sell the hay. Even a small farm can produce a healthy amount of hay that requires a baler. What many small farmers find is that they must justify their return on investment.

Who would have thought that something as simple as a hay bale could be so complex?

Solving the Hay Bale

So, the endgame becomes solving the on-site need for baling by finding extra avenues to move the excessive production. A pessimist would call this extra work, but an opportunist would see the opportunity to expand their farming enterprise.

It’s something to think about the next time, those nice square bales come out of your machine. That or you can build a nice maze on your back acre. We’re just here to share ideas about making your work much easier.

Vertical Tillage: The Future of Small Farms

Vertical Tillage: The Future of Small Farms

Tilling soil on small farms requires strategy. Vertical tillage involves the mixing of soil and residue. This means that nutrients get to remain for crops without compacting it to bits. The practice started as part of the conservation agriculture movement, but it has a foothold in modern practices.


But, what is tillage?

Tillage breaks down to three steps.

  1. Plowing – the process that deep turns soil. Plowing is the more intense version of tilling. Honestly, it’s what most traditional farmers imagine when they look for a tiller. But, it’s not the only way to prepare a field. Especially on the smaller scale.
  2. Disking – the process that tends to be favored by corn farmers. It often follows direct plowing in many regions. Disking is known for closing the furrow made by a deep plowing. That way the nutrients can stay in the soil.
  3. Harrowing – the process of breaking up and smoothing the soil. Plus, harrowing is probably the best for keeping air and water in the soil. If that wasn’t enough, harrowing can also be carried out after planting. Most farmers recommend harrowing after disking but feel out what you need for your small farm.

While the list is a basic run-through of the tillage principles, Small Farm Innovations feels that it gives many newer farmers a chance to learn some basic principles. Some of the older guys might even need a brush-up on some of the terms. That’s what we’re here to do, people. We’re here to help everyone in the Ag industry.

Final thoughts on Tillage

When you think of the small space optimized vertical tillage, which aspect plays closer to what you need? It’s something to think about when you browse the tillers available at Small Farm Innovations. If you get stuck on a model or have more questions, feel free to contact us.