baleage for winter?

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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by TexasBred » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:53 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:My mid June baleage is usually 16% protein. Last analysis (not last year's - July awkkk)
Moisture - 74%
Crude P - 16.6
Avail P - 14.8
ADF - 37.9
NDF - 51.6
TDN - 59

Not sure what all numbers mean. That was hubby's expertise. This represents mostly grass hay with little clover.


Very good baleage !!!!! Figures are on a dry matter basis.


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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:41 pm

Yes, that is DM. V. Good?? that's super. Have not tested this year's, but sure it is as good - maybe better. Don't need so good for Nov & Dec on main herd, but by 1-1 calving, so great for nursing cows. I do tend to have heavier BW - but, nothing to worry about.
Thanks for looking at the numbers.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:56 pm

That's a lot of moisture
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by bball » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:55 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:That's a lot of moisture


Sure is!
Lets do an example and use the baleage numbers Jeanne provided; with a 1000 lb cow as an example.
Cow consumes 2.5% body weight dry matter. 1000 # cow = 25 lbs amount DM to feed.
The baleage is 74% moisture or 26% DM.
25 lbs DM ÷ 26% DM = approximately 96 lbs of baleage needed to meet the 2.5% DM needs of the cow.
Thats an awful lot of baleage. Gets expensive fast, not to mention the tremendous amount of excess protein that is being wasted feeding that quantity of baleage...presuming a cow would eat that much per day, or anyone would allow them to.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:57 pm

True. Cost me $13/bale total expense. (lied - that does NOT include fertilizer ?$5/bale = $18/bale)
On a fed basis, by cows will eat 1 dry bale in place of 2 wet bales. Don't know about your area, but i cannot buy a good dry bale (equal feed value) for anything close to $36.
Baleage is the cheapest GOOD feed in this state. Other than haylage, which I do not have the storage for that. That is the feed of choice for the dairymen in this state - due to our wet weather.
I consider my feed cost relatively cheap. My hay cost + fertilizer is about $200/hd/year - fed 6 months. That is putting all the fertilizer expense on the baleage, but some goes to pasture and 2nd cutting.
Is that considered a high feed cost/yr/head?
My cows look good!!!! LOL
Hay is cut day 1, raked in AM on day 2 (put 2 rows together) and baled after lunch on day 2.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by bball » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:15 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:True. Cost me $13/bale total expense. (lied - that does NOT include fertilizer ?$5/bale = $18/bale)
On a fed basis, by cows will eat 1 dry bale in place of 2 wet bales. Don't know about your area, but i cannot buy a good dry bale (equal feed value) for anything close to $36.
Baleage is the cheapest GOOD feed in this state. Other than haylage, which I do not have the storage for that. That is the feed of choice for the dairymen in this state - due to our wet weather.
I consider my feed cost relatively cheap. My hay cost + fertilizer is about $200/hd/year - fed 6 months. That is putting all the fertilizer expense on the baleage, but some goes to pasture and 2nd cutting.
Is that considered a high feed cost/yr/head?
My cows look good!!!! LOL
Hay is cut day 1, raked in AM on day 2 (put 2 rows together) and baled after lunch on day 2.


I lived upstate NY for a few years and can certainly appreciate the invention of baleage. It is a godsend to that part of the country. I wish I could produce any feed source for $18 a bale. Just can't do that where I live. Cheapest I can make anything is right around $25, wrapping it adds a few more dollars on top of that. Baleage, when cut at the appropriate time, and put up properly, is arguabley some of the most nutritious cattle fodder out there. Just takes more to meet the DM needs.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:36 pm

Don't need to defend balage. Just surprised that your moisture is so high.
Most wrappers here hope for dry hay, but make balage after a couple days, at 35 to 50% moisture.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by bball » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:56 pm

Hope no one misunderstood my thoughts on baleage. It's our plan B here if we can't get dry hay made because the weather changed quickly. Probably true for many folks living in the north I imagine.
No intentions of being negative toward it or anyone that utilizes it. Just having some fun with the math.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by fasttommy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:58 pm

bball wrote:
Stocker Steve wrote:That's a lot of moisture


Sure is!
Lets do an example and use the baleage numbers Jeanne provided; with a 1000 lb cow as an example.
Cow consumes 2.5% body weight dry matter. 1000 # cow = 25 lbs amount DM to feed.
The baleage is 74% moisture or 26% DM.
25 lbs DM ÷ 26% DM = approximately 96 lbs of baleage needed to meet the 2.5% DM needs of the cow.
Thats an awful lot of baleage. Gets expensive fast, not to mention the tremendous amount of excess protein that is being wasted feeding that quantity of baleage...presuming a cow would eat that much per day, or anyone would allow them to.


Doesn't a cow eat 60-85% moisture forage all summer long?

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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by bball » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:03 pm

fasttommy wrote:
bball wrote:
Stocker Steve wrote:That's a lot of moisture


Sure is!
Lets do an example and use the baleage numbers Jeanne provided; with a 1000 lb cow as an example.
Cow consumes 2.5% body weight dry matter. 1000 # cow = 25 lbs amount DM to feed.
The baleage is 74% moisture or 26% DM.
25 lbs DM ÷ 26% DM = approximately 96 lbs of baleage needed to meet the 2.5% DM needs of the cow.
Thats an awful lot of baleage. Gets expensive fast, not to mention the tremendous amount of excess protein that is being wasted feeding that quantity of baleage...presuming a cow would eat that much per day, or anyone would allow them to.


Doesn't a cow eat 60-85% moisture forage all summer long?

Yea, but the fermentatioin process along with the heating up(hopefully you don't get much of this) and chemical reactions(pH changes) alter the DM content of baleage compared to 'normal' pasture vegetation.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by boondocks » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:57 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:My mid June baleage is usually 16% protein. Last analysis (not last year's - July awkkk)
Moisture - 74%
Crude P - 16.6
Avail P - 14.8
ADF - 37.9
NDF - 51.6
TDN - 59

Not sure what all numbers mean. That was hubby's expertise. This represents mostly grass hay with little clover.


Jeanne, how do you test yours? (Re your question of what went into the baleage, it was a field that was seeded back 2 yrs ago. I'm looking for the label for the seed. It was a mixture of grass, bit of clover and alfalfa I think....).

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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:08 am

Hubby used to manage a fertilizer plant. He had a service that tested, and had the equipment to get his own samples. I now own 1/2 interest in a core sampler. Haven't tested this year's yet, but I fed a few bales and it looks/smells awesome. I generally don't worry about testing. I have fed it for maybe 30 years. I go by the manure on everything I feed - and how much they eat.
I don't even "think" about trying to make dry hay on 1st cutting in June. Try like heck to make all dry on 2nd cut, but so far this year, we have not cut any 2nd cut, so probably will wrap. Need about 100 more bales for winter supply.
And, bball, if there is any "heat", your hay is ruined. Baleage has a "cool" cure - no heat. Years ago, they said it would kill horses - never feed baleage to horses. Now, it is fed all around to horses.
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:11 am

boondocks wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:My mid June baleage is usually 16% protein. Last analysis (not last year's - July awkkk)
Moisture - 74%
Crude P - 16.6
Avail P - 14.8
ADF - 37.9
NDF - 51.6
TDN - 59

Not sure what all numbers mean. That was hubby's expertise. This represents mostly grass hay with little clover.


Jeanne, how do you test yours? (Re your question of what went into the baleage, it was a field that was seeded back 2 yrs ago. I'm looking for the label for the seed. It was a mixture of grass, bit of clover and alfalfa I think....).


You have to get a "core' sample. Use a hand held drill. You should sample several bales (like 5) from the field you are testing. Put all the core into a bucket, mix it up & bag it. You can call your feed supplier or fertilizer plant and they can tell you where to send. They usually have core bags to send in for testing.
Your hay should be excellent quality if put up early (before July)
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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by Silver » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:06 am

I really like oat baleage. I try to put as much into this as I can as I feel it is better feed than dry oat bales. This year however it dried so fast after cutting I couldn't get much. That is unusual for oats up here.
On the bright sided I did manage to get some really nice mixed hay baleage. Right around 900 bales.

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Re: baleage for winter?

Post by TexasBred » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:05 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Yes, that is DM. V. Good?? that's super. Have not tested this year's, but sure it is as good - maybe better. Don't need so good for Nov & Dec on main herd, but by 1-1 calving, so great for nursing cows. I do tend to have heavier BW - but, nothing to worry about.
Thanks for looking at the numbers.


Ok then....super. :cowboy: :lol2:
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