The Massey Ferguson 5712SL and 4180v Baler: The Best Hay in the Barn

This cattleman is convinced: Massey Ferguson is the brand that helps him put up the best hay, from mowing to raking to baling.

By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jamie Cole

Ryan Keith’s shed is all red. His latest purchase for Franks Farm, and its dairy and beef operations that sell products directly to consumers and institutions, completed a Massey Ferguson haying system that Ryan says puts the best hay in the barn.

“We’ve just purchased a 4180v baler,” he says. “I wanted that baler since they started making it.” Besides the new silage baler, the farm also runs a Massey Ferguson 1383 Disc Mower Conditioner, an RK Series rotary rake, and pulls it all with a new MF5712SL tractor.

Talk about a winning combination, especially if quality hay for a top-notch herd is your goal. Ryan says the farm’s products are only as good as the feed he puts in the cattle, so the investment in the best equipment made sense.

“We bale a lot of Coastal Bermuda hay, and I think that mower cuts the Coastal more clean, more level,” he says. The added bonus of the conditioning system on the 1383 Disc Mower crimps the hay and “speeds up our drying time,” he says.

The 4180v completes the process and helps him get a clean, tight bale. “The main goal is to get as much oxygen out of that bale as possible,” he says, to preserve feed quality and make for safer storage. “Actually, the first bales I made with that baler, we baled them so tight that the hay spear wouldn’t go in them,” he laughs. He has the hang of it now, and says “it makes just the prettiest bales you’ve seen.”

Not just pretty, but practical; getting a tighter bale means less storage space and less time in the field. “For every three bales I’m making with this baler, the other (manufacturer’s) baler would make four,” he says. “I’m using less net wrap, less time in the field, less storage,” he says. “Plus, the back door on this baler is just super fast. You can have a bale dumped and closed and start it back before you can have the back door open on another competitor’s baler.”

“For every three bales I’m making with this baler, the other (manufacturer’s) baler would make four.”Click To Tweet

The 5712SL tractor is a perfect match, “but also it’s big enough to use on the row crop side,” he says. “The fuel efficiency has been a big thing. It’s got a Powershift transmission. It works very well for us.”


Ryan is discovering more about the versatility of his setup every day, baling wheat straw, baleage and dry hay as well. And, he’s pushing it in less-than-ideal situations, with good results. “I would kinda cheat a little bit, get longer days, so I could bale wet,” he says. “With this baler, I baled some stuff that was short and wet that the (other manufacturer’s) baler would’ve never baled.”

While he says he appreciates the versatility of the equipment, it’s the baling that sold him. “I usually do all the baling because I want to. I enjoy it. I want to have the best hay in the barn, and the equipment that I’ve got through Massey has really helped me achieve that goal.”