Making Haylage

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Ridgefarmer63
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Making Haylage

Postby Ridgefarmer63 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:01 pm

Hello,

I am currently making small square dry bales. I'm looking on some advice on making haylage and had a few questions.

My plan is to use my drum mower to lay the hay down. The drum mower lays the hay down in a 3 or 4 foot wide windrow. The hay is usually a combo of orchard grass. timothey and red and ladino white clover.

Should I rake the hay prior to round baling or just bale away? Mt thought is it would be well into the wilt stage on top but pretty wet underneath. Is that a concern or am I thinking too much?

Thanks,

Mike
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chevytaHOE5674
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby chevytaHOE5674 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:43 am

I rake all my haylage just prior to baling to dry the bottom out just a touch but mainly to save baling time. A rake is cheap to run across the field compared to a baler.
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby WinterSpringsFarm » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:17 am

If it were mine I'd rake. It'll dry a little on the bottom and you can merge a few windrows to save time when baling.
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Ridgefarmer63
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Ridgefarmer63 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:46 am

Raking seems to be the general concensus at the haytalk forum too. Combining windrows and reducing chances of butyric acid, clostridium etc.

Thanks for the feedback.

My only concern now would be if my Kuhn grs-24 tedder rake will hold up to the extra weight.
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Ridgefarmer63
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Ridgefarmer63 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:47 am

Although a few guys said they just flop it and bale it.
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby True Grit Farms » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:59 am

Do you wrap the bales in plastic?
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Ridgefarmer63
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Ridgefarmer63 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:08 am

I am just getting into the haylage deal just for the fleibilty with the weather. I have only made haylage once with someone else's baler, but we plan to individually wrap the bales we make. Better for feeding with the set up we have.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:53 pm

Are you saying you have standing hay NOW?
I have been putting up baleage for over 20 years. I do not own any hay equipment. I have a neighbor that has always done mine. You probably have the same problem - very rare to get 3 days of sunshine in a row. They mow 1st thing in the morning, then rake a couple rows together next morning & start baling after lunch. We occasionally, mow, rake & bale the same day.
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Tbrake » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:09 pm

I made the mistake of running the Tedder over the oats I was trying to put up wet. It was my first year wrapping and I learned a lot. Teding it caused it to dry to fast. Ended up testing at 43% moisture instead of the 60% I was going for. Still made some decent hay, but not near what I was wanting. Planted 40 acres, that was about too much for 1 baler. I wasn’t aware I would have to slow down to 5mph In wet hay. With an in-line wrapper it took us till 2:00 in the morning to finish. 215 60” bales. I plan to wrap my oats again next year, and 4-500 fescue bales.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:19 pm

We use in-line wrapper - always have. Using a skid steer to load the wrapper works really well.
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Tbrake » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:52 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:We use in-line wrapper - always have. Using a skid steer to load the wrapper works really well.

I agree. I was waiting with the next bale before the wrapper was ready. We had 2 guys hauling bales to the wrapper, one with a truck, one with tractor 5 bales at a time. I hired a guy to wrap them, he ran that and I set them on with skid loader. We were really getting things down to a science about the time we got done
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chevytaHOE5674
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby chevytaHOE5674 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:54 pm

I've baled the windrows directly from behind the mower and never had any issues with haylage quality. Heck late in the season when the grass is dying off I've had the wife mowing and me following directly behind baling.

Haylage or dry hay a rake costs a whole lot less than a baler so I would rather spend more time raking and less time baling. I can buy a few new rakes if they wear out for the price of one baler.
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Ridgefarmer63
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Ridgefarmer63 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:04 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Are you saying you have standing hay NOW?
I have been putting up baleage for over 20 years. I do not own any hay equipment. I have a neighbor that has always done mine. You probably have the same problem - very rare to get 3 days of sunshine in a row. They mow 1st thing in the morning, then rake a couple rows together next morning & start baling after lunch. We occasionally, mow, rake & bale the same day.

Ha ha ! I wish. Planning for the upcoming season.
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Ridgefarmer63
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby Ridgefarmer63 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:15 pm

chevytaHOE5674 wrote:I've baled the windrows directly from behind the mower and never had any issues with haylage quality. Heck late in the season when the grass is dying off I've had the wife mowing and me following directly behind baling.

Haylage or dry hay a rake costs a whole lot less than a baler so I would rather spend more time raking and less time baling. I can buy a few new rakes if they wear out for the price of one baler.


Yup. I'm thinking it'll depend on the time of the season, the weather, the thickness of the crop. I did second crop dry one year that we baled the next day dry ! It was a very thin crop, almost not worth running the machines but it was real good stuff, just not alot of it.

A dairy guy I know who has been doing this his whole life (he's pusing 60 now) said he thinks people dry hay too much. I usually ted once , let it sit for a day or two, rake around 10 am, let the wind and sun work on the windrows for three or so hours and bale.

We feed cattle and they seem extremely happy with the dry hay we've put up over the years.

In NH, having the ability to do haylage early season would allow for more options with the weather not always cooperating for 3-4 days of sun in late may/early june.
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Re: Making Haylage

Postby dun » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:16 pm

chevytaHOE5674 wrote:I've baled the windrows directly from behind the mower and never had any issues with haylage quality. Heck late in the season when the grass is dying off I've had the wife mowing and me following directly behind baling.

Haylage or dry hay a rake costs a whole lot less than a baler so I would rather spend more time raking and less time baling. I can buy a few new rakes if they wear out for the price of one baler.

I was going to somment that a lot depends on the forage, weather and how wet the soil is. We have baled right behind the mower, raked and baled right behind the rake, raked it twice and waited and baled. Probably about every possible iteration of cutting, baling and wrapping. We use an inline wrapper. I put some up at haylage but only as a last resort, I prefer dry hay. Neighbor puts up almost all haylage, for him dry hay is a last resort.
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