Massey Ferguson 1838 Square Baler: Tight, Consistent Quality Hay Bales

This horse boarder and hay grower says “there’s no comparison” to Massey Ferguson tractors and hay equipment.

By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jamie Cole

“I think people see these loads of hay going up and down the road all the time and think, ‘Man, where’s that going?’” says Nathan Mills, who runs Hidden Acres Farm, a horse boarding and hay operation in Nashville, Tennessee (see the full story here). It can be a challenge to move hay and farm equipment around a metro area, but Nathan has the equipment to make the logistics work for him.

“I’ve never considered anything other than Massey Ferguson,” says Nathan, recalling that when he was growing up, he ran the 165 and 175 models and knew they were built to last. They were so durable, in fact, “my grandfather would not buy a new tractor,” he laughs. “I always said, when I run this place, I’m buying a new tractor.”

That leads to a long line of Massey Ferguson tractor purchases, including several that are still operating on the farm now: the MF 583, 2615, 2605H, along with a 4710 that runs an MF 1838 square baler and the DM 306-P disc mower.

“The 1838 baler is crucial to making a perfect bale,” he says. “Every bale, every time, it’s so consistent.” That’s important for transport, getting a good, tight load for the road. “Every bale I make has to hit the road at some point,” Nathan says. “You cannot lose hay on the road.”


The consistency also pleases his clientele, who are buying square bales mostly for pet horses. Besides consistency of shape and weight, the 1838 makes consistent flakes as well, and Nathan runs the baler at a speed that yields 16 flakes per bale. “Bales that flake apart easy, and a consistent number of flakes, makes the bale easier to portion out,” he says, so customers know how to plan for feeding with the hay they buy from Nathan.

The baler is practical for Nathan in the field as well. “It burns me up to leave hay in the field,” says Nathan, “so I like that the 1838 can eat some hay! The wide pickup is very important to me.”

“You’ve got to have the inline baler. There’s no comparison.”Click To Tweet

Meanwhile, the 4710 and the 1838 work together “like butter,” he says. “The 4710 has more than enough power to run that baler smooth and easy.” Loading hay is a breeze, he says, switching from forward to reverse “with just a finger… Loading bales in the field, on the trailer, when it takes a lot of finesse and intricate movements… that transmission is key.”

Mills works with Cleburne Farm Supply in Columbia, Tennessee. “Cleburne Farm Supply to me is like Cooter to the Duke boys,” he laughs, referencing the constant companion character from the 1980s series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” “I wouldn’t consider using anyone else. I call them up, boom, I’ve got help.”

Mills has purchased all of his Massey Ferguson equipment from Cleburne Farm Supply. And he says his hay operation depends on that equipment, not just to make hay, but to make perfect bales. “If you’re trying to sell a lot of hay, if you’re trying to transport a lot of hay… you’ve got to have the inline baler. There’s no comparison,” he says.