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Going Bigtime [Growth
Posted on April 4, 2019 @ 11:44:00 AM by Paul Meagher

There are many businesses that can produce a nice side income. There will always be those, however, who take a modest side business and have the drive to turn it into something truly colossal.

Every year me and my joint-venture partner make around 2500 square bales of hay from the hay fields on the farm. It can generate around $10,000 dollars a year before costs (2500 x $4 per bale). We split the revenues and some costs. The shared costs usually include worker pay, fuel, baler twine and lots of beer to quench the hay makers and keep them happy. My partner is now using his half of the hay to feed his 5 beef heifers and getting more benefit that way.

There are some farmers around here who make 10,000 bales a year and make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year before expenses just on the hay sales. They might make quite a bit more if they offer delivery and not just pickup. Making hay and delivering it can be their main source of income.

In Ohio, JD Russell Hay and Straw Inc. takes the hay business to a whole other level of large scale choreographed production. When you have nice flat productive land like they do, a passion for high quality hay, and an extended family all willing to be involved in the business, then going bigtime in the hay business is a viable option. Here is a video of how they make hay at JD Russell's farm.

According to their website:

Neither John Russell nor his wife Denise came from a farm family. But in 1985 they sowed the seeds of their dream, working together part-time with less than $1500 in equipment.

Expanding every year, and paying cash for equipment, the Russells worked hard until they were able to devote themselves full-time to the business in 1992.

The Russells did not get this big overnight and appear to have self-financed their growth in the early days. Not sure if they still self-finance with the amount of machinery and buildings they have, but it does go to show that what is a nice side income for some (e.g., 2500 bales a year) can be a large business for others (e.g., 500,000+ bales a year?).

JD Russell was voted the 2018 Haymaker of the Year by the National Hay Association.

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