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Author Topic: Hay Cutting Question  (Read 2112 times)

Online andersonjk4

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Hay Cutting Question
« on: May 11, 2017, 02:52:02 PM »
Looking for some info on hay cutting.  Other than having my new pasture hayed last year I have very little experience with grass and hay (I have always worked for and been around grain farming).  Anyways.  I have a little over 2 acres of pasture (mostly timothy grass as far as I can tell).  I have it separated into 3 sections and just recently got a couple heifers to feed out and butcher in the fall.  One section (about 1 acre) is sub irrigated and the grass has grown very fast and is starting to flower.  The other two sections of pasture have enough growth to sustain the 2 heifers for several more weeks maybe even a month.  My question is should I have the fast growing sub irrigated section cut in the next couple of weeks before it matures too much more and allow for better re-growth or let it go and just put the cows on it even if it is over-matured and not prime for them?    :dunno:

Offline Jolten

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2017, 02:58:43 PM »
My grandfather always cut it once it started to seed out.
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Online andersonjk4

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2017, 03:07:40 PM »
My grandfather always cut it once it started to seed out.

This is what I did last year when I didn't have any livestock and was cutting it specifically for harvesting hay.  This year since I have a couple cows, I am wondering if I should cut the grass in order to give the cows fresh growth down the road and get a little bit of hay in the barn.   

Offline Jolten

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 03:42:17 PM »
His reasoning was the seed fell as you cut and bailed so it grew back thicker the next time
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Offline Special T

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 04:56:23 PM »
I thought you needed to cut before flowering so it had the best feed content, or rotate your beef through the 3 acres and intense graze each area so they can't seed.

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Offline deereman

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 07:00:26 PM »
Cut it for hay so you have something for winter. The cows will do better on young short grass. The grass will still grow pretty fast for the next month before the temperature gets too hot. This is just my opinion😉 I am not from your area and don't know your climate well.

Offline HUNTIN4SIX

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 08:48:16 PM »
Cut it end of May then give it a few weeks to rebound and graze it.

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 09:10:47 PM »
I'm impressed you get enough to bale with a couple cows on it.  That being said we cut every spring as soon as it's dry enough.  Keeps the weeds down and let's the grass grow through. 

Online andersonjk4

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2017, 08:22:53 AM »
I'm impressed you get enough to bale with a couple cows on it.  That being said we cut every spring as soon as it's dry enough.  Keeps the weeds down and let's the grass grow through.

We just got the cows a week ago, so that's why I'm thinking I need to cut this one section.  Its going to take them awhile to mow down the other two sections, and by then this section, which is much further along will be headed out.  I'm in Southern Spokane county, so not as dry as the basin, so getting a dry stretch is the only concern.  I will talk to my two neighbors who have both cut the hay in the past.  Looks like there might be a dry stretch coming next week.


Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2017, 08:31:07 AM »
Might want to ask any other cow-owning neighbors if you should even bother cutting.  Your cows may keep it down just fine.  I don't know wow well your grass grows over there so I can't really offer much but I can tell you if I had 3 acres over here and 2 cows on it, I wouldn't bother mowing.  The cows would keep it down just fine.  I'd be more concerned about how much hay I would have to buy in the winter to keep them fed.


Online andersonjk4

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2017, 09:53:42 AM »
Might want to ask any other cow-owning neighbors if you should even bother cutting.  Your cows may keep it down just fine.  I don't know wow well your grass grows over there so I can't really offer much but I can tell you if I had 3 acres over here and 2 cows on it, I wouldn't bother mowing.  The cows would keep it down just fine.  I'd be more concerned about how much hay I would have to buy in the winter to keep them fed.

This one acre section in question in sub irrigated and grows pretty good through the summer, I almost could have gotten two cuttings off of it last year.  I am a little concerned about having enough grass growing through August and September to that is part of the reason I'm thinking about trying to cut this grass now and get it in the barn for later.  I'm not experienced enough with cows to know if they will eat the 3-4 foot tall grass in a month or just pick through it and eat the younger grass leaving me with a field full of tall dried out grass that they don't want to eat.  Right now it is about knee to waist high. 

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 09:55:09 AM »
Might want to ask any other cow-owning neighbors if you should even bother cutting.  Your cows may keep it down just fine.  I don't know wow well your grass grows over there so I can't really offer much but I can tell you if I had 3 acres over here and 2 cows on it, I wouldn't bother mowing.  The cows would keep it down just fine.  I'd be more concerned about how much hay I would have to buy in the winter to keep them fed.

This one acre section in question in sub irrigated and grows pretty good through the summer, I almost could have gotten two cuttings off of it last year.  I am a little concerned about having enough grass growing through August and September to that is part of the reason I'm thinking about trying to cut this grass now and get it in the barn for later.  I'm not experienced enough with cows to know if they will eat the 3-4 foot tall grass in a month or just pick through it and eat the younger grass leaving me with a field full of tall dried out grass that they don't want to eat.  Right now it is about knee to waist high.

Wow, definitely different growing areas.  That's tall grass!

Offline lhrbull

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 03:23:13 AM »
cut it stack the hay for later use if you let it mature it will go dormant and reduce your overall production

Offline ELKBURGER

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 05:48:10 AM »
I have approx. 4 acres I would like baled in the Ridgefield area, just north of Vancouver. Does anyone have the time/equipment to do this or know someone???

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 06:18:42 AM »
If you want to cut and bale it and it is dry enough to get on, it looks like you may have a week orso of possible weather.  This is your best option for maximizing forage production.  Good luck finding anyone to cut and bale if you do not have your own equipment.  Fertilize it late this fall and you will be set up for next year.  Supplement those calves with the right vit/min mix now to gain a couple hundred more pounds by fall.

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2017, 12:50:49 PM »
I have approx. 4 acres I would like baled in the Ridgefield area, just north of Vancouver. Does anyone have the time/equipment to do this or know someone???
I found a young fella with his own equipment who will get mine baled in the upcoming weeks.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2017, 06:01:21 PM »
To maximize nutrition you cut grass in the boot stage, cutting it in seed stage you're dropping nutrition on the ground as it's all pulled into the seed head way before that, and it's going dormant  (I don't get the reseeding thing)

In Spokane CO the first cutting is late may typically if you can find a weather window.
 
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Online andersonjk4

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Re: Hay Cutting Question
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2017, 09:35:25 AM »
We ended up putting the grass on the ground the 23rd/24th and baled it a week and half later.  I think the timing worked out well.  Most of the grass was in the boot stage.  Now, almost 3 weeks later the grass has 6"-8" of new growth.  Another week or so and I will move the cows off of their current pasture and on to the cut pasture.  I'm hoping for a few more good rain storms here in June.