Tall hay going into winter?
Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:24 AM
Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:30 AM
Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:52 AM
I've read more than one article that says to leave it instead of cutting it this late, but on the first cutting what I don't keep for my beef cows the rest gets sold as horsehay and can't hardly have this years crop in it as it makes for some ugly bales.
Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:09 AM
Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:25 AM
Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:36 AM
Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:54 AM
Posted 07 October 2009 - 11:32 AM
We put on a tractor with a loader to move the bales out of the way, a mower and right behind that the baler. We just backed the bales up 15 feet mowed and baled in one continuous operation.
The hay was not great but it was put through as chopper with good hay and some grain. Got him through the winter.
Next year his field was in good shape, no ruts, no old bottom or swaths to hamper mowing or mix in with the new hay crop.
Of course this would only work where you get freezing ground and you have a window before snow falls.
Anything you can do to get the old hay off the field will benefit you next year. I am cleaning up some field now just to get the old hay off. It is black and some has been down for a month or more. I am also going to see if I can get on with a roller/packer to fix up the ruts. I'm thinking that that should smooth things out a bit.
Burning : no good for the plants underneath the swath
Bush Mower: leaves trash in the next hay crop especially if it does not break it up fine. If it is very dry then this might be an option
Leaving it: Next year you will have more headaches than you can imagine especially if you are cutting with a knife It will jam up, cover the cutters, and make you hay look dirty.
Baling: best option if you can make it happen.
Sorry to hear about you plight, hope all works out for you.
Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:41 PM
Leave it there. The alfalfa will deteriorate to almost nothing, and the grass will shrivel to half it's height. If you have any snow on it will go down even more. Just depending on how high it is it won't be a problem for next year, but if you feel that it will be a problem, you can mow it off if the ground dries over winter, or while it's frozen. We mowed a lot of 2nd cut timothy and o-grass last year while it was darn cold outside - in winter you'll have a LOT less material to try to work with, and it will all be dead, and that means that it will work easier. We mowed a lot of alfalfa down in spring, and it was just really the stalks sticking up anymore, and then maybe only 50% of them. The last thing that I would do is mow it now. And there is enough junk hay on the market that the last thing you need is 'cheap' hay that is going to cost you money in the end. A flail mower will really work well where you have a lot of material - it will not windrow, and a plain ole batwing will work on alfalfa in spring. I know that's what were going to do. We've got all of the 2nd cut in, and we finally have some 3rd cut that is blooming, but now we're out of weather. We even mowed a lot of 2nd cut grass with the flail this summer - we had so much rain that all the weeds grew - even though there was a lot of material that we mowed, it dried to nearly nothing. If you want to mow right now, then a flail mower would be the ticket. A batwing will just windrow the chopped material.
Not sure if it says. but this is SE PA.
Posted 07 October 2009 - 09:22 PM
Then the tedder picks some of it up as well as the wheel rake, by time it finally got baled, those bales were just plain ugly. Since about 80% of my first cutting is sold as horse hay, having this years crop in next years first cutting is not an option.
Posted 08 October 2009 - 06:43 AM
Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:04 AM
Posted 09 October 2009 - 12:56 AM
Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:48 PM
Posted 13 October 2009 - 08:55 AM
Posted 14 October 2009 - 07:42 AM
Posted 14 October 2009 - 07:54 AM
You guys are giving me a panick attack with the horror stories about leaving standing hay in the field. Do you get a lot of snow to insulate over winter? We've had a lot of bare ground the past few years, would that maybe have an effect on how much 'stuff' was there in spring? The alfalfa that we have left in the field was about 2 ft tall, not quite in bloom, and by spring..... maybe only half of it was still there, and it had thinned out a lot. A pass with the batwing shattered the rest of it. Last time I saw a field burned, it was in rolls and it smoldered for 2 weeks, and the field had to be replanted. If the material was dry and spread out, it might be alright.
Normally if its only a foot tall or so I'll leave. Stuff I'm looking at trying to get done yet this year is over knee high. I've left hay that tall in the past and enough is left come May that I can't hardly sell it for horse hay as its real ugly by time the tedder and the rake lifts some more of it up and adds it to the fresh hay.
Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:57 PM
Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:06 AM
The one field I mowed was between knee and waist high, but I still only got one bale per acre.
Temps were in the 50's to lower 60's all the week it was down with little or no dew at night and a good stiff breeze, but still took almost a week to get not quite dry. If anybody else is in the same situation and you have a use for it, I would highly suggest making it wet and wrapping it before teddin it every morning 3 or 4 times.
Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:57 PM
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