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Who is already feeding hay this summer?

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#1 downtownjr



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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:54 PM

The drought has just about did the pasture in, even with the rotational grazing plan, the rested paddocks did not grow...one more paddock and I am done with any pasture. Figuring I will have to move them to the larger wintering paddock and start feeding hay. Might string some electric around a portion of woods and turn them loose, but that would buy a week max.

Anybody else feeding hay already?

I had just grown the herd the past few years to a point I was very happy with...we kept all the heifers for us, when we used to sell most everything. Have finally put together a nice group of cows and heifers now.

I think I will be baling stalks and doing some real thought for some decent ration mixes.

What are some things those of you that have went through a bad drought like this learned in prepping for the upcoming winter?

I know many others have had worse lately. Open to any thoughts . Thanks guys, they say this is the worst here in Indiana in 24 years.

#2 mlappin


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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:11 PM

We start feeding hay as soon as we put em on the summer pasture. But... we don't have near enough pasture in a normal year to carry them all summer, reasoning being if they head to the barn for shade or a drink, they'll eat some hay in the barn and not hit the pastures so hard when it cools off later in the day. Also makes it much safer to walk behind them if they are getting some dry hay with all that green grass. :lol:

#3 rjmoses


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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:12 PM

Been feeding my 15 horses for 4 weeks now. My cattle partner and I were talking about what to do with our herd yesterday. Prices are still OK hereabouts, and we think we have enough hay stock piled to get us through the winter.


#4 swmnhay


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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:29 PM

Guys are feeding here already.Late frost screwed up some of the grasses and it was awful short/thin to begin with.Then a dry June didn't help either.

#5 Vol


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Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:40 PM

Broadcast alot of wheat in the pastures come end of august....thats what we did in the severe drought of 1988. It made a difference.

Regards, Mike
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#6 Farmall706


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:03 PM

Starting to stress myself here in Kansas. Haven't seen but 3/4 inch since first of May. They are calling for some but don't have any hopes for it. I have 12 acres left to strip graze, then either sell out or turn em loose in other pastures. Haven't even got all the hay baled yet. even the pararie grasses are looking awful.

#7 RVT


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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:20 PM

Just started feeding hay to the horses. Hay cut on May 9 grew up about 12 inches and stopped. Still small amount of pasture left but not growing any in this heat and no rain since mid May. ( north of Columbus, IN) :( Only good thing is we baled enough hay on first cutting to get through the winter.

#8 Crookhorn Farms

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:10 PM

I never stopped feeding hay from last winter. The cows do much better when feeding hay year round. They dont eat up as much of the pasture during the day. Especially if you put the hay in cool shady spot. They will eat on that periodically during the day and therefore wont hit the pasture as hard in the evenings.

#9 Vol


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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

Crookhorn....add your location to your profile.....it will help us in thought and response. Thanks.

Regards, Mike

#10 haybaler101


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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:14 PM

If u are not feeding hay here, your cows are dead. Hasn't moved been anything green for 3a months now.
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#11 prairie


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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:23 PM

Hay here is over $200 per ton for almost anything, we would be better off selling more cows than buying hay. Pairs and yearling breeding heifers on rented pastures will be coming home soon, and we had already reduced the stocking rate by half on those pastures by the first week of July. Sent home 232 head (200,000 lbs) of custom grazed cattle in late June, they usually graze from May 1 to early August. Sold 19 fall calving cows (23,000 lbs) the end of May, usually don't sell them until mid August. Sold all my yearling non replacement heifers, 37 head (24,000 lbs), the end of May, usually sell them in early August. Sold 45 pairs (65,000 lbs), about 1/3rd of our cows, in late June/early July. We still have 39 yearling breeding heifers, and about 90 pair. So as you can see we have drastically reduced our stocking rate. Most in this area have sold few, if any cattle, and still have them on very overgrazed pasture.
Most everyone around here is cutting silage, as 90% of the dry land corn won't be worth combining, and it is yielding 3-6 ton per acre, with 5 ton being common. Most of the plants did not form ears, and the ones that did have small and partially filled ears.
We started grazing corn three weeks ago. Still have some pasture left here at home, but want to save it for weaning calves on in November. Cows and calves have picked up condition since grazing corn, and they were already in good condition. What little grain formation there is is just starting to turn starchy, and today I saw the first bits of kernels show up in a few cow pies.
Based on the grazing days and total weight of the cattle, I am grazing off the equivalent of a little over 5 ton of silage per acre, but leaving most of the nutrients behind.
It's very hard to understand guys feeding hay to cows on pastures that should have had the cattle removed a month ago, and they are chopping silage from their corn field across the fence from the cows. You can buy standing corn to chop for $20-$30 per ton, with custom chopping/hauling/packing costing $12-$16 per ton. They should probably graze their own corn, then buy the neighbors corn to chop, and sell hay.
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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:44 AM

Been feeding hay to the cattle and horses for 4 weeks now. Glad I baled all of my cover crop. Was gonna sell maybe 3-400 bales but it looks like I will keep that for feed or sell some locally. Pasture in ND is starting to look tough. 230 heifers with bulls are working on the cells pretty hard. Need some more rain. They will be moved off the first of Sept. and go for replacements or to market. Everything that could be baled is up and moved.
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