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Making hay after a hard frost


 
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Edd in KY
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Joined: 02 Mar 2012
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Location: Bluegrass region

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Making hay after a hard frost Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've never done this. Maybe this year the conditions will be right. How does it change hay making? Cure faster or slower? Feed value? Do the animals like it better or the same?

Thanks
 
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Don-Wi
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Joined: 12 Aug 2002
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Location: Hilbert, Wi

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Making hay after a hard frost Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Your results may vary, but hay this time of year is very hard to get dry. We did just get some marsh grass that was a second cut, but grass dries quicker than alfalfa and we had lots of sun, wind, and upper 60's. Since then it's been cold so all hay drying is slowed way down.

As far as what the hay is like if you can get it, it's some of the nicest looking hay you'll get. The cows like it too. We normally chop it after letting it dry until it wilts this time of year.

Donovan from Wisconsin
 
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JayinNY
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Making hay after a hard frost Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What are u talking about? Baleing hay? Or making silage? If baleing hay, is it 1st cut or second cut? If baleing it takes a lot longer were I am to dry because of the shorter days and cooler temps. If your gonna chop it, than I'm not sure how good it will be, if it's first cut hay, than it can't be to
Good for feed hay this late,if it's second cut after frost?? Can't be that good either!
 
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JDseller
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Making hay after a hard frost Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well the hay will dry slower that is for sure. I assume we are talking about alfalfa. The biggest worry I have is weather the stand is really dormant. If you are planning on keeping the hay in production next year then I would not chance doing it. A few years ago we had a hard early frost and a week of nightly lows under the freezing mark. Then a few weeks later it warmed up for a month in mid Oct-Nov. A lot of 70 degree days and warm nights. A close friend made a extra cutting on his alfalfa hay. It had grown back up to knee high. All the experts told him it would be fine as the hard frost made the stand go dormant. Well he killed 250 acres of hay dead as a door nail. The next spring he had ZERO alfalfa in the field he did the late cutting in. He is dairyman and had to buy his high quality hay while he had to reseed new hay ground.
 
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donjr
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Making hay after a hard frost Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'll cut some, but it can be a crap shoot as to whether it will dry or not. But I will also bale a few bales each day (4-6) and feed it right away. The cows go after it like green grass and I don't have to feed any hay during these days. Don't bale anymore than you have to to feed for a few days. But it can save a lot of dry hay for later in the winter.
 
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cjd12000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject: Re: Making hay after a hard frost Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Made balege last November was hopping to dry for square bales but got nervous and wrapped it. Tested at 30% moisture 14 protein sugar content was high cows loved it.it was just a grass field. Had been snowed on two weeks before.
 
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