Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Benton Hay Farm Featured in New Holland Video

New Holland hay baler on display during the 2018 Hay Day demo.

The New Holland agriculture equipment company does business all around the world, wherever farmers work. They have started a video series to feature family farming operations globally, and Colleton County’s Benton Hay Farm is selected to represent North America. Benton’s Hay Farm has been in business for 40 years now, and a little over 25 years ago when Benton’s Feed and Seed opened in Walterboro, to sell hay and other farm-friendly products. Three generations of the Benton family are currently working on the farm today, and the recognition from New Holland Ag comes after decades of making hay while the sun shines.
The New Holland Agriculture, “All In The Family” video series, is available to view on YouTube. A few videos in this series premiered in 2019 featuring South America, Asia, India, and Europe with the Benton Hay Farm video rolling out in early 2020. Each video starts with a map of the world, and then the featured continent is highlighted and the exact home town being filmed is listed. The production on these videos is super slick and each beginning is almost like a James Bond 007 movie, where any place in the world may be the next filming destination. A film crew came for New York last summer to film the hay farming operation in western Colleton County.
Ryan Whitehead is the sales manager in South Carolina for Blanchard Machinery and New Holland tractors. “We’ve got four locations in S.C. including Spartanburg, Columbia, Summerville, and Walterboro,” said Whitehead. “The video series is designed to feature different continents, and Benton Hay Farm was just one of about ten farms across North America nominated to be filmed. It is a real honor that they were chosen to represent New Holland Ag best, and we filmed downtown and out on the farm. Using drones overhead provides better scope for how large a hayfield operation can be.”
Clips showing Walterboro City Hall and downtown Washington Street at the beginning of the video helps share the front porch of the Lowcountry with viewers worldwide. The remainder of the video titled “A Life Well Farmed” talks about hay growing and baling and the importance of family farming. Mr. I.M. Benton is the elder statesman, and he makes a brief appearance in the video, but his son Timmy Benton stars as the family spokesman. Hunter Benton and ‘little’ Timmy Benton represent the third generation. Sandra Benton and Michelle Benton get credit for working at the Feed and Seed Store in town.
“My Daddy is the hardest working man I know,” said Timmy Benton. “Always has been, he doesn’t know when to quit, and he’s taught me everything I know. I reckon he’s my hero. We cut about 800 acres of hay and we farm another 250-acres of corn. Every year is different, but we average three cuts of hay in most years. The drought in 2019 hurt our yields. With the longer hay growing season, the hay yield was off 25-percent, while the corn crop yield was off 75-percent. Everything we grow is to sell out of our feed and seed store.”
“Our hay farming season starts in February when we spray pre-emergent weed killer on our hay fields to keep them clean,” said Benton. “The process continues in April when we spray fertilizer on the hay before the spring green-up. The growing season begins when it warms up during the day, and we lose any cooler overnight temps. We have had some customers for over 30 years and so we know what quantities they expect, and they understand we start cutting in May. We sell both the big round hay bales and the smaller square hay bales, to meet the customer’s needs.”
Benton Hay Farm and New Holland Ag have partnered in recent years to host a hay farming demonstration day in Colleton County. On Saturday, September 11, 2018, the hay demo day was held at Snider’s crossroads and New Holland’s Whitehead was present to go over cutting, raking, and baling. Prospective buyers can kick the tires on hay balers and tractors while getting straight talk from the Benton’s about what works well in the field on the job. A hay baler is a large piece of equipment, and eventually, it will require some upkeep. The cleaner the hayfield the longer the service life of the equipment. Benton’s Hay Farm speaks highly of the quality of customer service they receive from New Holland Ag, and now that trust is documented for all to see.

Jeff Dennis
Lowcountry Outdoors
Jeff Dennis, Contributor (389 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com