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Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana?


 
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atlarge54
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Location: NE Indiana

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:55 am    Post subject: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'm pretty much a rookie to the hay business. I have a nice 15 acre patch of alfafa with some timothy. The farmer does the baling and leaves me half the bales, we share all expenses 50/50. In Sept. the field was ready for the 4th cut but he didn't have time to get at it and said he might bale after frost. Late in the season the heavy dew seems like the hay could never get dry. Now the hay is starting to lay down. Personally I thought when he said bale after frost he really meant it'll never get baled. Thanks
 
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Hayfarmer
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have put up hay this time of year in Washington state but it is difficult as you have very little drying time. Further north in the state they put up hay with what they call "freeze drying". It literally freezes before or after baling and since frozen does not mold. The guys are feeding it to livestock so they feed this hay first. Good luck
 
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GordoSD
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I wouldn't cut it again. Thw weather has been unusually cool, and it looks like an early winter. You MIGHT get it dried and baled but odds are against it.
But that is not the real risk. It's doubtful we will have enough warm days for new groth to really get started. You need that to build up reserves in the root structure for the winter.

Gordo
 
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Ed S. (IL)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I made my last cutting about two weeks ago, and promptly got four days of rain on it. Got a couple sunny days, and the forecast didn't look too threatening, so I raked it, and then got two more days of rain on it (so much for forecasts). Raked it again after it dried out a bit Sunday, and was able to finally bale it yesterday (light frost the night before). Doesn't smell too bad, but it probably has some mold in it from laying in windrows wet... will probably use for non-feed stuff like banking our stock tank for the winter.

es
 
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haymaker421
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'm in Northern Indiana and I would say just leave it. The weather is terrible and if you cut it it may never be made. Just leave it and it will be better hay next spring.
 
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formenwhogrow
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

can you put up some temperary fence and graze this field off? Might be a bit time consuming but at least you will get off some of the feed. of course if it is mostly alfalfa it would prob be best to just leave it rather than risk the complications that can come from uncontrolled grazing of alfalfa. Bloat and whatnot.
 
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JMS/.MN
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Cutting after frost better be in 1-2 days, otherwise the leaves fall off.
 
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Stephen Atkins
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would leave it. You will get a better 1st. cutting next year.

steveomary
 
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Deere Scotty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I agree with the "leave it" people! If you get a hard freeze early; the crop cant store enough energy to make it through the winter without damage which will reduce crop yeild maybe permanately for all cuttings the next season!
 
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msb
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you can get a break in the weather, cut it. At this point all the nutrients are in the roots anyway. Won't hurt the stand a bit.
 
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Don-Wi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'd have to say it'l be hard to dry down with the heavy dews. We cut and chop our 4th crop the last few years. Works out ok. The important thing is to wait until the 1st killing frost, and then get it cut fast before the leaves drop. If you can chop it, it makes REALLY nice feed, and you don't have to worry about drying it down.

Donovan from Wisconsin
 
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Haymaker29
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting hay after frost in northern Indiana? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We usually stop cutting hay by Sept. 15. If you want to bale it you can 2 weeks after the first killing frost. I think it would be really dangerous to cut it right after the frost. They say that it takes that long for the plant to feed nutrients down to the root system. Remember though that the nutrient quality will be down by this point. Personally, I would leave it because I can"t see it drying very good anyway.
 
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