Hey, how much hay?

Tractor with hay bales
Photo credit: Dave King
Q:

How many bales of grass hay per acre from the average pasture?

- Coos County, Oregon
A:

Each field is different and it depends on many factors such as forage species, fertilization program, plant stage when cut, bale weight (how tightly packed),etc. Should also measure quality of the hay, not just quantity.  

Average Pasture
Here's an example calculation for a lower productivity field that is typical in western Oregon:

  • Production of 2 Tons/acre and the bales weigh 65 lb.
  • 4,000 lb./65 lb. per bale = 62 bales/ac

Excellent fields might produce 7 tons per acre and bales might be packed tighter and weigh 85 lb each:

  • 14,000 lb./ 85 lb. per bale = 165 bales.

There are some who are able to consistently produce at this level, but these are the better producers farming very productive soils.

Amy Peters
Extension Rangeland Faculty
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