Cutting Interval

Discuss grasses and how to grow and harvest them.
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TexasBred
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby TexasBred » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:28 pm

herofan wrote:When one gets into the topic of loosing nutrients after 30 or 40 days, what are some obvious negatives that one will notice in cattle if they eat hay that stands 2 or 3 months after the first cutting?

I wouldn’t do this, nor would I promote it, but I knew a guy when I was young who had a rather large operation, and he mowed his hay once a year, and that was in October. I never heard of any issues he had, and his cattle looked normal. I have a neighbor who said he’s probably not going to mow any hay this year until fall.

Weight loss in the cow, failure to breed back in a timely manner, more susceptible to illness, and crappy looking calves. There is no benefit to feeding low quality hay "by choice". Seems like when you supplement you still don't get the good results that you see when the grazing and the hay is higher quality. BTW that October cut hay may not be bad if he fertilizes in September. ;-)
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby Supa Dexta » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:26 am

ClinchValley wrote:This is the first year we've not sprayed in the spring, therefore lots of red clover. I have no experience dealing with it.

Should it make me cut earlier than we have been? Don't know if it gets too mature pretty quick or not.


Cut it when the pink flowers are coming out a good amount.

By october here there is a lot of green in the bottom again, but the top of the hay is junk.
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby herofan » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:26 pm

For those of you who have several cuttings per season, do you fertilize between cuttings, or at least more than once?

Speaking of nutrition loss, does anyone who keeps round bales outside have a few left over at the end of winter? Do you just keep and feed next season, or do consider hay that sits out that long to be garbage?
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby M-5 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:38 pm

I fertilize in spring about 4 to 5 weeks before anticipated cutting then 50# of N for every ton of hay removed. Ideally it's cut every 4 weeks . I apply the soil test recommend P and K in spring. Don't usually have much outside hay left. Barn hay is first in first out so it's rotated .
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby JMJ Farms » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:03 pm

M-5 wrote:I fertilize in spring about 4 to 5 weeks before anticipated cutting then 50# of N for every ton of hay removed. Ideally it's cut every 4 weeks . I apply the soil test recommend P and K in spring. Don't usually have much outside hay left. Barn hay is first in first out so it's rotated .


I do the same with the exception of I split my K application. 1/2 before 1st cutting and 1/2 on second. I put all the P out before the 1st cutting. I usually add a little sulfur as well. Still working toward getting me a hay barn. I’d like to stock up on these wet years to help out when things get back to normal.
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby snoopdog » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:12 pm

Mixed grass fields are a balancing act, if you try to maximize yields you give up some quality , maximize quality and you have more fuel and labor costs . We usually try to cut the 1st for quality , topdress with nitrogen and try and maximize the yield on the second . Sometimes , we have to do an about face .
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby herofan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:12 am

Anyone else have comments on what you do with leftover rolls stored outside at the end of winter? Do you just feed next winter, or do you consider them junk by next winter?
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby farmerjan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:41 am

We store all our round bales outside. We shoot for having approx 100-200 left over every year so that we have a cushion.Yes, they lose some quality. Yes there is some "waste" as the outside deteriorates. All the "old" hay gets fed first to dry cows. They need the lessor amount of nutrition and it is better to not overfeed a high quality hay that will sometimes cause the calf to put on exceptional growth and size before being born. But it has been studied and proven that the dry cow does not need the same quality of feed as a recently fresh lactating cow.

Depending on what the hay is, we have cows that practically lick the ground when we have fed some old hay. Stuff that you think is "junk" they are fighting to eat. Go figure.
On the older hay, with the outside couple of inches weathered, we normally roll it out so that they have something to lay on besides the cold and/or wet ground. It is putting organic matter back into the soil so it is not really wasted. Sure the cows may not be doing more than picking through it, but you are still getting those nutrients added back into your soil. If you feed it all in feeders, or in one place and don't roll it out, then take and load the accumulation into a manure spreader and spread it on the fields, you are still putting nutrients back into the ground.

We have some 3 yr old hay that was part of the left over when we rented the big farm. We feed that out with "good hay" and let the cows pick through it. They will find what they want to eat and the rest goes back into the soil. Anything that rots back into the ground is feeding the bacteria, and micro organisms that make up the basis of the soil nutrients. If the hay came from fertilized fields, then you are is essence putting that fertilizer back into the field or pasture where you are feeding.
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby herofan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:10 am

farmerjan wrote:Depending on what the hay is, we have cows that practically lick the ground when we have fed some old hay. Stuff that you think is "junk" they are fighting to eat. Go figure.


That’s been my experience too. I assumed there were some that would say feeding leftover hay stored outside was the same as feeding cardboard, but I have always done it, and they will often eat it before the new hay.
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Re: Cutting Interval

Postby ClinchValley » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:57 am

Cut the fields on Wesnesday and got it all put up shortly after dark last night. Got 81 4x4's off of about 20 acres. Had 6 weeks growth. Pretty happy with how it turned off. We're considering a bit of urea if it rains this week in hopes of a decent third cut in about a month.
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