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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wanting to start baling and selling wheat straw. I would like to come in behind the combine after he threshes the wheat and lays it down in rows and then bale it into square bales. Just wondering what you all thought about this and if you think a farmer would even be interested in doing this? I've heard some good money can be made by doing this.

Another question.....Is there a big market for wheat straw? How hard would it be to sell and who would I sell it to? How hard is it to get a contract with the big box stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, etc? I could get close to 15,000 to 20,000 square bales.
 

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Don't know where you are from, some places it is common for people to want the straw off. Serious no-till operations don't like to let it go. But there are lots of niech markets for example feedlots, places that make particle board that like large sqaues. You're area means everything
 

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We sale about 2500 one ton bales to a guy every year, the dairies around here buy it from him. It big business and there are quit a few around here who do it. We raise 140 bushel wheat and it's hard to put it all back. We get anywhere from $10 to $20 a bale. It really depends on what the dairies are getting for their milk, and I'm not sure what the bales bring at the dairy. I'm pretty busy so I rather have someone else do it.
 

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Just do the maths on the removal of all that organic matter and way up the costs of replacing it. Once in ten years off a paddock probably wouldn't make a difference but every year or every second year is a lot more strain on your soils.
If you have a good healthy biomass already go for it , If the soils prone to blowing away, the profits you get might end up costing more in the long run.
I would put that straw to use with cattle on the paddocks at least that way you are getting manure, but if you sow the same paddock every year the timing probably wont allow that.
 

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I have had barley straw baled on shares with the baler getting 40 to 50 percent of the bales
for baling and stacking out of the combine windrow. I prefer 3x4x8 bales because of the shipping advantage.(more tons/load) Certified weed free straw can be sold for roadside erosion projects and burn areas. Local mushroom farm uses wheat straw for their operation. It usually isn't a big money maker for me unless the hay price is high but it's nice to be rid of so I don't have so much trash at tillage and planting. The guy that has bought my straw the last two years rebales it into small bales and then sells it to feed stores. My brother deals with him but I think he uses a "bale bandit" which makes small bales into 20 bale packages which makes handling easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How hard is it to find a trucker/middle man to buy your straw. I've heard that if you can find a guy that buys from you and then sells to the big box stores, then there is a good chance that he will buy everything you have.
 

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We run stripper heads during wheat harvest and then go in with a swather to lay it down , then put it up with 4x4x8 balers . It all goes to dairies in Oklahoma panhandle, Texas panhandle and eastern New Mexico. Getting the straw off helps us to get ground ready to go back into wheat in the fall.
 

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How hard is it to find a trucker/middle man to buy your straw. I've heard that if you can find a guy that buys from you and then sells to the big box stores, then there is a good chance that he will buy everything you have.
I used to send alfalfa hay to Florida and I know they like long straw down there for bedding at those horse farms.
 

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have a neighbor that sells out in WI from NW MN. Back hauls steel for cat I believe. Not sure how well he does, but seems like a lot of dinking around. I have heard of some people having issues selling this year. with down commodity prices it is cheaper to feed corn, so I've heard.
 

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people around me bale it all the time. I bale a few 4x4x8's every few years for the garden. I like rotary better because the straw is easier to pitch fork. Guys tell me it feeds good also, they say only the mushroom guys don't like it, but they don't see why it wouldn't work for them....luck
 

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For the 2013 and 2014 Wheat Straw we got $0.025 / lb or $50.00 / ton for our straw that was in windrows behind the combine . It was paid for in cash when the trucks left the field and we did not have to touch it . The truckers said they were hauling it to an hay / straw auction center in or near Orlando Florida . That's 12 to 1300 miles south of us , So there may be some profit in it for someone . May want to check that option out also .
They have called again looking for straw in 2015 but we only sold them the extra straw we have as some of the more local dairies actually pay a bit more than what they pay .
You should have no issues baling behind a rotary combine , actually some of the local dairies prefer it chewed up a bit .
But i am not sure what market the big box stores sell straw too .
Another option is the construction / landscape industry for soil retention while hydro seeding and ditch work .
 

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lots of local guys with cattle always looking for straw in my area. Going rate is normaly 10-15 bucks per round bale.
 

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BPowell I am in North Georgia and bale roughly 40K small square bales (grass hay) per year. We sell probably 25k of that for mulch to grassing companies.

We have been offered just shy of 200 acres of wheat straw to bale this year if we want it. I believe the market for the wheat straw in this area is obvious, like you I'm just having trouble figuring out how to tap into it.

The grassers we sell to prefer grass hay over wheat straw as it covers and holds up better. This has ruled them out for a potential customer so I'm working to find another option to sell wheat straw.
 

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Guess the economics are different in the US because you might get $10 per big round bale here in Canada. By the time you bale it and truck it, you have that much already into it. Even if you get the straw for free, its likely a break even proposition.

Straw used to be a nuisance here, but now every body has the dual rotors and high speed choppers and then heavy harrow it in the ground. There is nothing left after that and its worth more in the soil as organic matter.
 

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15-20000 bales? is that small squares or something bigger?

sounds like the large square balers must have easier time with rotary straw bc with our JD 535 round baler I have a hard enough time getting bales started even behind a walker combine unless straw is a little tough.... Just from talking to guys it sounds like the STS and CR rotaries are better to bale behind than the axial flows because of their internal chopper (????).

One client of mine had a CX 8080 and a T670 to get straw but said that they both beat it up pretty good when it was dry too, the 8080 in particular, definitely not as good as the maximizers had been
 

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straw has to be tough in a chain bailer , the belt bailers I know of will do it in the heat of the day.
Before day break is when we bail ours when we do, feeds better, winds up tighter
 
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