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Honored Advisor

Short hay last year to get worse?

There was winterkill this spring, first hay cutting will be short and put up when??? I know the government can solve a short hay year with the stroke of a pen and open up CRP or the probable no shortage of prevent plant cover ground to bale.  But that first cutting might be a month late, probably get rained on and one or two cuttings after that with the 3rd cut on Halloween?  


Hay has been very high, those of us feeding since March have some high priced animals.  A 1800lb bale bringing $180, cow that eats 30-40lbs that`s $3-$4 a day just for hay.  Dairy quality $300/ton.   Pastures short and some pushed animals on pasture too soon and you know what that means "...short of pasture all summer".  


There`s still time to get ahead of the 8 ball, figure on chopping silage and baling cornstalks, "a good bed, half fed".  It`s kind of funny with the high hay prices, if you drive through the country, there`s still rows and rows of old crop bales sitting there.   But, those that thought they`d buy hay until Memorial Day and then make their own, might have to plan on another month of buying.

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11 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Short hay last year to get worse?

Kinda  like  the  corn  we  ran  out  of ,  in  the  past,  - ? 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Short hay last year to get worse?

I`ll be surprised if there`s a glut of hay in the future.  There`s work all summer with it, it isn`t like corn having the elevator put on Resicore with the 28% and then essentially forget about it until October.  And with hay you might have the best of intentions of cutting every 28 days and getting 4 cuttings...and God laughs.  Maybe 2019`ll be a 2 cutting year?  Stemy, bleached stuff that cows will pull half of it out of the ring and stomp on it.

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Hay makes more money

Than even $7 corn did in the past. There's really No govt program for hay And hay is perceived as to much real Work for today's farmers.
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Depends on location

Out West and SW where hay IS a crop like grass,


there is always hay.


The Midwest has created their Own socialist crop shortage re hay.

Cant say that many feel sorry for Lazy Farms there.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Depends on location

I don`t know, Mark.  Could it be that that the shortage of  midwest hay is because the "lazy Iowans" have donated too much of it?   I`m not going to bash regions, because I love and respect all parts of America.   But our hay shortage has to do to bad weather...if we raised so much hay that it went to waste every year, where would the corn to feed our hogs come from?   I`m not asking for "hay donations" I`m just saying hay is expensive and it is.


It's AMAZING to be a TV Trojan! FFA headed to NE today with hay & supplies over $10,000.  Safe travels & thank you for the donated supplies, time, & to the semi drivers! What a great community we have! Watch KWWL Channel 7 for coverage of the send off. #TVPride

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what happens this time of year IS

It dries out some and that 1st cutting that had to wait till mid June to cut simply adds up to more tonnage with less Protien.


still is a lot of nice hay.


heck if the rain bothered just broadcast some Japanese millet on and it's fantastic hay....could be 15 to 20 ton per acre thru fall.

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Honored Advisor

Re: what happens this time of year IS

Speaking for myself, i`m not worried about hay too much for winter, I seeded more alfalfa/orchard and oats as a nurse that`ll be baled at early milk.  Plus I have a extra  "silage option".   The problem with that 1st alfalfa cutting if done at full bloom and later it shells the leaves when you rake, it shells leaves when you bale and the stems you end up with bales that are 90% coarse stems and 10% alfalfa leaves.  Bigshots that didn`t go broke in the 80`s and still have some Harvestores can green chop the 1st cutting and blow it in the silo...that`s ideal if you happen to have old blue silos around, you could be out on Friday filling silo.


But Japan Millet, IMO if you can plant corn even the 1st of July I`d say raise corn and make silage, then you could make 15-20 ton.  With Millet, Iowa State says more like a 3 to 5 ton yield, which is fine, but don`t have too high expectations out of it.


ble 1. Establishment and Harvest Information for Millet Forages.
Typical dry matter Days from planting Harvest at boot Height when to graze,
Forage Seeding yield & cutting to 36-inch height stage or 36-inch Height to graze to,
millet rate schedule or boot stage height down to… Grazing interval
lbs./ac. tons/ac.
Pearl 25-30 4 to 6 tons 45 to 50 days 6 to 10 inches of 18 to 30 inches,
2 to 3 cuts to 36-inch stubble to allow for 6 to 8 inches,
height optimum regrowth 3 to 4 weeks
Japanese 25-30 3 to 5 tons 45 to 55 days 6 to 10 inches of Lack of information
2 cuts to 36-inch stubble to allow for on grazing potential
height optimum growth
Foxtail 15-25 2 to 3 tons 50 to 60 days 2 inches, Graze aftermath
1 cut to boot stage little regrowth growth after 1st cut
Proso 15-25 2 tons 40 to 50 days 2 inches, Graze aftermath
1 cut to boot stage little regrowth growth after 1st cut

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Senior Contributor

Re: Short hay last year to get worse?

Winter kill was bad this year.  Normally I raise only 40 acres of corn and it all gets chopped. This year I tripled my corn acres due to all that winter kill. Plan to reseed to hay this fall to get back to my normal rotation.


Haying anymore requires you to look at alternatives.


Bale wrappers for making Baleage , tedders , silage baggers , preservative applicators , innoculants when chopping...


We just had 2.5 days of sun with another 1/2 day of overcast and close to 80 degrees in my area , we put up about half of first crop hay acres, chopped a bunch and bagged it and round baled a bunch wet and wrapped it as baleage. Tonnage was slightly down, but quality will be pretty good. The tonnage I'm short will be made up by chopping more corn in the fall. If/when we get a couple more sunny days I'll do the rest just like this.  


Get a bale processor for your dry hay , in my book it is the only way to feed it. Makes it more palatable , lessens waste, allows mixing of some high quality and lesser quality to get a more desirable feed product.


Jap Millet I used in Iowa

UTo cover crop both pasture and new hay seedings All went 8 to 16 tons of Great Baled Dry Hay per acre.


granted some don't recommend using jap millet as a cover crop....


but then they likely don't handle grass and hay like I do either.


i doubt Isu has grown enough jap millet to know the Crap they're supposedly telling You.

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