Hay is one of the crop types available in Farming Simulator 15. It is essentially mowed, dried Grass, which has been collected into a bale. Although Hay may be sold as-is, it is far more lucrative as either a a component in Total Mixed Ration, or when transformed directly into Silage.
Note: Dried Grass must be picked up in Bale form in order to become Hay. If it is collected in loose form, with a Loading Wagon, then it is simply Grass, for all intents and purposes!
Creating Hay Edit
Hay is simply cut and dried grass, which has been picked up as Bales. You must follow the process below in order to create, dry, and collect Grass to make Hay:
- Mow some Grass using a Mower. This will leave one or more trails of Grass behind the mower, depending on the specific equipment used.
- Run a Tedder over the mowed grass. This will instantly turn it into Dried Grass. Note: Although the description for tedders states that they "decrease" the drying times of cut grass, grass will not dry of its own accord.
- (optional) Run a Windrower over the Dried Grass to arrange it into a single trail, making it easier for pickup.
- Pick up the Dried Grass using a Baler, to create either round bales or square bales or Hay. Hay Bales are green, as opposed to Straw Bales, which are yellow. This should allow you to distinguish between them at a glance (although with Round Bales, that may be more difficult, especially at a distance, as the colors are harder to notice).
(Note again that Hay cannot be picked up in loose form - since that simply creates Grass).
The minimum machinery required for this process is a small Tractor, a Mower, a Tedder, a Bale Trailer, and either a Front Loader or Bale Loader to pick the bales up from the field. Although cheap equipment can be purchased for each of these tasks, it is still somewhat expensive to get into Hay. However, it can pay for itself very rapidly, as explained further down this article.
Since Grass grows pretty much all over the map and does not need to be resowed, Hay is essentially free. However, for maximum effectiveness, you may prefer to deliberately sow a small field with Grass in order to be able to collect large amounts of it rapidly. Also, round hay bales are the only way to create "baled" silage.
Selling Hay Edit
In both Bjornholm and Westbridge Hills, there are specific locations where Hay bales may be sold. It is a brown barn with an open door, that has straw visibly spread out on the ground in front of the door. Drive any vehicle carrying Hay bales right up to the door, to automatically sell your Hay.
A single bale of Hay sells for about $430. This is only about $30 more than an equivalent volume of simple Grass.
Note that this is one of the least lucrative methods of gaining money from Hay. The work involved does not justify the costs of the equipment, nor the amount of work put into it. Moreover, Hay has the potential of making you far more money if used either to create silage or to feed your Cows, as explained below.
Producing Silage Edit
The primary function of Hay, especially for players who can not yet afford to get a cattle industry running, is to transform it directly into silage. Only round bales of Hay can be processed this way. Such a bale can be transformed into Silage instantly, and at no loss of volume whatsoever.
This is done by driving a Bale Wrapper up to a single Round Hay Bale. The Bale Wrapper will automatically pick up the bale, place it on the receptacle, and rotate the bale repeatedly while wrapping it in long strips of plastic. As soon as the short packing process is completed, the bale of Hay will have turned into a bale of silage, and can be dropped out the back of the machine on command. Note that Bale Wrappers will not take Square Bales, and will not take Round Straw Bales either. Only Round Hay Bales are accepted.
The Silage bale can be picked up and ferried to the Biogas Plant, where it can be dropped into one of the Fliegl receptacles (the Silage sale point) using a Front Loader or similar device. This will earn you around $6,400 instantly, for a single bale. This is nearly 15 times as much money as you would have made for selling the bale directly at the farm!
Alternatively, Silage Bales can be used in the process of creating Total Mixed Ration (see next section), by loading them directly into the Mixer Wagon with the help of a Front Loader. Each Silage Bale counts as 4,000 liters of Silage for this purpose.
Producing Total Mixed Ration Edit
- Main article: Total Mixed Ration (Farming Simulator 15)
Hay is one of the two primary components of Total Mixed Ration, the other being silage. A properly-mixed ration can be fed to cows in order to boost their productivity to either 90% or 100% (depending on whether Straw Bedding is also provided).
To make TMR, Hay and Silage must be mixed together in a Mixer Wagon. As long as there is at least 25% of each of these materials in the wagon, and no more than 75% of either of them, the mixture is considered proper TMR, and can be fed to cows by driving the Mixer Wagon up to the feeding troughs and unloading it.
Hay vs. Grass Edit
Although many players assume that Grass turns into Hay as soon as it is dried with a tedder, this is not the case as far as the game is concerned. Tedding Grass simply produces Dried Grass - which can be turned into Hay, but isn't yet Hay. Should that Dried Grass be picked up in loose form, by a Loading Wagon, it will have turned back into regular Grass and does not differ from it in any way, shape or form.
Hay is only considered such when picked up in Bale form, by any of the available Balers. In this form, it not only fetches a slightly higher price, but can also be used for producing instant Silage or TMR, as explained above in this article.
Hay can also be transformed back into Grass, by shredding a Hay bale. This can be done with a Mixer Wagon. To do so, ensure that the Mixer Wagon is empty first (or already contains nothing but Hay), and drop a bale into it using a Front Loader or similar device. The Mixer Wagon can then be driven up to one of the troughs at the Cow Pasture, and unloaded in the same way that Grass is normally unloaded there - and for the same exact results as Grass. You may load several bales of Hay into a single Mixer Wagon until it is full.
A single bale of Hay that is shredded in this manner is equal to exactly 4,000 liters of Grass - the same amount of Grass that was originally used to create the bale.