Question: I buy hay by the bale, but a friend told me I’m over‐paying. My small square bales weigh 45 pounds and cost $5. My friend buys a similar type of hay and pays $175 per ton. How can I convert price per bale to price to ton?
Response: To convert price per bale to price per ton, use the following equation: (2,000/bale weight) x bale price = price per ton.
The University of Minnesota also has an app called “Hay Price Calc” that calculates price per bale to price per ton. The app costs $0.99 and sales supports equine research at the University of Minnesota.
Using this equation (or the app), your hay costs $222 per ton while your friend’s hay cost $175 per ton. Its difficult to assess whether you are over-paying. You need to consider the quality and type of the hay, services the farmer provides (delivery, storage) and your long-term relationship with the farmer. Hay quality, delivery and storage options, good customer service and a long-standing relationship with a hay supplier could be worth the price difference.