Welcome to Allen Family Farms

Allen Family Farms Smithshire Illinois USA


2016 Hay 4 Sale SOLD OUT (2017 in the works)
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Please contact us if you are interested in being notified the progress and availability during this 2017 season to come. It would be advantageous for both parties to know in advance what might or might not interest you so we don't roll up a product that lacks or includes added expenses and features you do or do not wish to pay for. My inclination right now is:
  • Same old same ol' venerable, most affordable Vermeer 605J poly twine tied bales
  • Just slightly smaller to fit the largest 5' x 6'4" poly sleeves (an up charge naturally for sleeve cost )
  • Hay is stored for pickup on an all weather blacktop at what would be 1217 20th Street, Smithshire IL.
    Of course this assumes
  • You don't want to simply pick up and pay as baled
  • Have your own storage options for delivery early in the post season without concern for weathering prior
  • Or rather we pre arrange for net wrap instead (weather & baler man vs timeliness not withstanding)
    to better suit your desires.
  • If you are not part of our group of past buyers you most likely won't be in the know until too late.
  • Thus let us know up front to include you in that bunch.

For this go around, adding sleeves as we did way way back in the day for ourselves will let us sport a product post season that can take full advantage of any shortage windfalls with minimal weather storage damaged should cowboy procrastination lead to such ... yet at the most affordable bang for the buck for both. Of all the possibilities out there, being able to retain and reuse majority of poly sleeves more then one season, or offer a sleeved product for extended storage at your location, seems to be the best investment/savings for both. When it comes to beating ice off of net wrap, twine is superior (been there, done that) but a poly sleeve beats everything hands down. Fresh coat to shed moisture, able to breath, no surprises hidden inside. Knock the ice a bit, pull right off and if lucky still usable next go around. It is 4x the effort taking time to dress up each bale, but as I say later I likely have more time then you now anyway so...

$ Price (subject to change)

But current willingness is:

$50 each, field picked up post baling
(no sleeves)

$55 each picked up before November
(we remove and retain the poly sleeves for reuse)

$60 picked up with poly sleeves included 

We will assist in loading if done in one session

I realize I always plan for the worse and hope for the best. Too often cattlemen I fear assume the best and then wait until really caught short once everything goes South. (The only thing to annoy me worse is the insistence on shopping for a "cheap bull" which is a mistake that will haunt you for decades. When it comes to 50% of my genetic future hopes I never paid too much for a bull. Even more critical in an otherwise closed Angus breeding stock herd strategy.) Right now we are not particularly greedy or under any illusions my wife might be right and hay will skyrocket down the road for ridiculous lottery like winnings (never good customers nor herd longevity when cost of production tightens anyway). Price projections today are pretty standard from years past. Generally grass is just grass. The only caveat there this season is added investments and potential sleeve damage from weather and Winter rodents increases as time passes causing added cost for us both which I need to pass on otherwise. Unimportant if we only know in advance you either have no interest in sleeves or  intend on further retaining the sleeved bales through pick up anyway.

For those that do not know, these are 5'x6'+ Vermeer 605J poly string tied bales. We fertilize and maintain (spray as needed) what was grass pastures (and a way too wide SWCS 9 acre waterway) prior to liquidating our Angus herd in 2009. If it goes weedy, it gets the bat wing mower instead until we can clean it up to be worthy. Sure there has been limited success in places inter seeding Timothy. Occasionally outbreaks of alfalfa and red cover can occur. However as the ability to spray for weeds outweighs any insanity thinking we could significantly up charge for mixed hay, only inevitably leading chronic broadleaf root lifespan and inevitable demise at the cost of interim weed infiltration without the possibility to kill off weeds (with 24D or Grazon depending on harvest intents) with rotation to otherwise crop ground to clean it all back up ... keeps us grounded and thus reasonable in our expectations of what we can do or what you are willing to pay for. Sort of like investing in a hoop building or shopping for a net wrap baler is not feasible for either of us. Still we do everything in our power to make this the best quality grass product we can with the least amount of crap. Grass is certainly a better option then removing costly nutrient value from your crop land at the added cost of replacement fertilizers simply to feed your cows corn stalks (or worse) instead. Quality grass added to extend silage  is a good strategy. Of course that is just IMHO in the trenches. Mixing feed sources around keeps cows content, and tricked, to a point. Possibly registered Angus cows are more finicky needing maximum quality all Summer as they nursed and not willing to take a hit right before that tough Winter struggle prior to a new calf ready to pop. I know my cows were demanding right up until all the freebie help skipped out for faster Internet, more food joints and albeit less view but more excitement then we were offering here in Forgottonia ... making cow calf production a 7 day prison and an unsustainable 1 man war. Harvesting maybe 100+ round bales on what limited grass of our own we have is however still doable and ironically enjoyable in fact more so now then before. I prefer the view and distain even the few stop lights I must endure. That helps to keep cost reasonable Still twine, fuel and repairs are not nearly as free, thus unfortunately neither is the hay totally without cost.

(PS: if you have no clue what cows eat, don't begin to know anything about farming or really ended up far off your intended beaten path looking for something else (like 99+% of the world) I hope you were at least amused?)

Hay Pasture 1/2 mile South at RR Tracks

Hay 1 mile West at 9 acre CRP Waterway

Preston & Glenda Allen

PHONE: 309-221-1427
Smithshire IL 61478