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To cut or not to cut! That is the question.


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5 replies to this topic

#1 rjmoses

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:22 AM

I was talking to a friend of mine last night over a couple (or more) beers. He told me he had baled 25 acres of alfalfa yesterday and got only 6 1800# BR bales off of it.

I got 35 acres ready to be cut, but it's awfully thin, scraggly looking. My August 1st cutting yielded 23 1000# BR bales. I'm guessing I might get 15 1000# bales.

My question: Given the time, fuel, effort and equipment wear and tear, possible stand loss due to lack of regrowth before winter, etc., is it worth taking a cutting from is now?

What's your thoughts?

Ralph

#2 TFH

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:09 AM

If you'er concerned about damaging the stand cut now. I would think in your location you could push it out til the 22nd of Sept. Hay will continue to increase in value IMO and thats worth just what you paid for it.

#3 hayray

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:35 AM

I would say most times it is worth it. On my brand new stands I go by the book but once they are more then a couple years old I cut when I can right up until the snow flies. The extra money is always worth it because of the lost opportunity costs associated with all the times we cannot bale. I think those economics of legume stand cut off date/stand persistance are applicable to the modern dairy farmer. I am rarely baling based on nutirition being that 90% is horse market. The stand is always persistant because as one species thins another thickens as long as I keep fertility up. I am so far behind now that I am stressing over this right now as we are cold early and by writing this it is helping talk me into cutting late - ha, ha. RJ, think I might have met you once at a gas station in Michigan, if not it was another person with the same last name as me?

#4 CockrellHillFarms

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:12 AM

With the price of hay and not that much out there to get. MOW IT! No questions asked. Your better off risking it with your equipment than you are looking for hay in the winter or later, and paying 70 a bale. These alfalfa panzy's (no affence) on here might tell you not to but they are also prob setting great on hay, in a different region. As long as its mowed by the 15th of September you will be just fine. Run some P & K over it after the cutting. That will help boost it for winter. Besides, I'd be more concerned about next years weather vs. a few dollars in fuel cutting something thin. That hay will be good next year. I think we are about to hit some of that Texas drought. Its not too far south of us. It was a hot summer with not a lot of rain.

#5 rjmoses

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 08:47 AM

So here's the update:

Decided to mow it Monday. Started about noon when the dew finally burned off. Took 5 1/2 hours to cut 35 acres.

Raked it yesterday: Had to make 3-4 trips with a 27' rake to get a decent windrow. Started at 10:00. Took 4 1/2 hours to rake. After raking for 1 hour, stopped and put the kicker wheels back on the rake. Reduced trips from 4 down to 3 per windrow.

Started baling at 3:30. Twisted a belt on the 2nd bale, didn't catch that the bale had not started properly---first time ever with the BR780. Had to stop about every other bale and mess with the net wrap, it wouldn't start wrapping. Hay was very dry, most places running about 9-12% moisture. Waaaay dry. Took 3 hours to bale

30 acre field yielded 22 800-1000# bales, 5 acre field yielded 5 bales.

Rained 3/4 inch last night! And looks like more coming in.

Total time: about 12-13 hours

I wouldn't do the 30 acres again. The 5 acres was worth it.

Ralph

#6 CockrellHillFarms

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:42 AM

Ralph,

I did the same thing yesterday that you did. Thats why I suggested it b4. I bet down the road, you will realize that work was well worth it. Heck even if you sold that hay 27 bales x $60 a piece. That pays for the fertilizer that you will have to put down. Its a no brainer for me.




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