How Many Round Bales Per Acre?

How many round bales per acre? You probably have gotten here after searching through a plethora of websites but got no valuable information. It is difficult to find relevant information online regarding this topic, no satisfactory answers available for the horse owners and farmers. However, this ends here as we bring some information your way.

Most horse owners rely on hay to feed horses, they expect a greater yield per acreage. Especially people who have dozens of horses to feed can not rely on purchasing feed and supplements from the local store. It is just too costly and adds a whopping amount to the upkeep cost of a horse.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from the people who have been thinking of haying independence: how many bales do they get from an acre? Every horse owner wants to know about the estimated yield so that they compare and evaluate whether the haying independence would be profitable or they should just keep buying from the local store.

How Many Round Bales Per Acre?

It is not easy to answer this complicated question, there is no easy answer or a single number possible to provide. There are many varying factors that affect the hay yield and ultimately the number of round bales per acre.

It also depends on the weight of the bales, round bales can weigh from 40 lbs to 1000 lbs or more. The number of round bales per acre would vary depending on if the person wants heavier or lighter bales. Other varying elements include region, soil, and type of hay.

Generally, a rule of thumb is used to calculate the number of bales per acre, however, the accuracy of results would still be questionable as the outcome can be influenced by different factors.

Rule of Thumb To Calculate Number of Round Bales Per Acre

As per the general rule of thumb, a person can get 4 to 5 round bales from one tonne of hay given that round bales weigh 40 to 45 pounds. The estimated hay yield from an acre would be 2 tonnes of hay.

So, if we follow the rule of thumb, the expected yield from an acre is two tonnes then we can get 8 to 10 round hay bales weighing in at 40 to 45 lbs. How true is this? This rule of thumb can not provide accurate results because of certain controllable and uncontrollable factors. However, it can give a rough idea about how many round bales can one get from an acre.

Factors That Influence The Number of Bales Per Acre

Certain factors have influenced the hay yield and the number of bales per acre. When trying to predict the productivity of a field, keep these factors in consideration as well.

Type of Grass Grown

Some types of forages guarantee higher yields whereas with others you have to settle for low productivity. Perennial grasses like timothy and fescue offer higher yields on the contrary alfalfa and clover generate lower yields.

However, the decision to grow a certain type of forage should be based on the nutritional value, not the quantity.

Fertilization Program

Compare the growth and production of hay with fertilized and unfertilized soil and you will clearly see a difference.

Soil rich in organic matter and other nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium tend to have better hay growth. Test the soil before planting the seeds, provide the soil what it lacks. Fertilize periodically to ensure better growth and desired outcome.

Control the amount of NPK required by the soil through proper fertilization or crop variation/rotation.


Season & Number of Cuttings

The amount of hay and the number of bales should be evaluated based on an entire season.

The amount of hay produced at each cutting vary in regards to the weather conditions, plant stage when cut, and species planted.

Calculate the average yield of many cuttings over several seasons and the number of bales gotten from it.

Learn About How Much Does a Round Bale of Hay Cost?

Weight of the Bale

Bales weigh differently from as small as 40/45 pounds to as large as 1700 lbs. If we are going for larger round bales, the number of bales gotten from an acre would certainly be less.

The number will be multiplied if the person wants smaller and lighter round hay bales.

Length of the Growing Season

Shorter growing seasons mean fewer hay cuttings and ultimately low yield. Longer growing seasons generate higher yields. For instance, in Southern US, there are at least 4 to 5 hay cuttings whereas, in the Northern US, there are approximately 2.

Other factors like rainfall and sunlight also play an important role in determining the production of hay.

In a nutshell, the only accurate way to determine the yield capacity and the number of bales is to get out and bale it. Keep in mind that certain factors can tweak the number of bales one can get from an acre.

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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