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Baling Sudan Grass

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#1 steve in IN

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:00 AM

Need advice from anyone with experience on baling sudan grass. I lost my wheat crop to frost and drought so I baled it up and planted sudan grass. Any help would be appreciated.

#2 swmnhay


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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:18 PM

It takes forever to dry.I havn't done it for yrs but the bales carmelized.Would baleage be an option?

#3 steve in IN

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 02:36 PM

It is a new variety with a hollow stem. The seed company dealer ( I know they wouldnt stretch the truth now would they) said it is bred specifically for dry hay. I know it will probably take four days to dry but I need the feed and with the drought it was about the best option. If it doesnt dry and we get a bunch of rain then it is still worth it. Baleage is not an option.

#4 Texasmark


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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:16 AM

Down here the commercial guys use it. Some let it grow to 6+ ft. tall and when they do it is mostly flax, stems as big as a silver dollar and not much food value, but they sell quantity.

I grew it for many years and usually planted 50# per acre of a seed (the size of milo seeds) drilled in 7" rows about 1" deep. You can cut to half that but the reason for the quantity is to crowd the plants and keep the stems small. It's a high producing, easily managed feed.

If you can get some warm soil temp in the spring (65F) you can maybe squeeze 3 crops if you feed and water it appropriately. The 3rd cutting puts money in your pocket, the other two just pay the bills.

I usually cut around 3' when it was plenty leafy and the stems hadn't had time to get to big. Stubble of 3" at least to get good regrowth. My preferred cutter was a JD 1209 swather which was a 9' sickle bar and two crimping rollers to smash the stems and you do need that. Today they have disc cutters with crimpers called MOCOs but I never had the $$ for that.

The commercial guys will cut it, let it lie for a week or so, come out and check it and if it is done, the next day rake and chase the rake with the baler. Course they bale all over the area, travel costs money and they are trying to make a living, so I don't slight them for that........and they feed a lot of tons of cattle in the area.

I would "play" with mine; tedder about the 2nd or 3rd day, rake about the 4th or 5th and bale the 6th. I used a JD 5x6 roller and could put out 1800-2000# rolls depending upon moisture content. I'd usually cut in the mornings after the dew was off (to keep the sickle from plugging) and when baling would not start till about 11 and quit before 4. The hay was hard enough to get dry, didn't need any dew to help it.

The grass is referred to as Sorghum/Sudan Hybrid and as such is sweet. Cattle love it and around here will go after it first. I am currently feeding a 3 year old bale as field supplement, and to get rid of it, and they prefer it over my coastal bermuda growing in my field.

There is a Prussic Acid potential with this product so you have to take the necessary precautions when grazing. For cured hay it has never been reported.

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#5 steve in IN

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for the input. I am hoping to cut 24-30 inces and maybe get two good cuttings and possibly chop third. I hope it doesnt take six days.

#6 RocknRollBilly



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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:22 AM

I am posting this question for my husband, Our SS Grass has "gone to seed" in spots. Is it still alright to bale it & will it still contain quality nutritional value?

Thank you for any adivice as I cannot find anything on the World Wide Web related to this particular situation.

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