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Early May small bales for horses?

Horse spring may humidity dry

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#1 Two mules and a dog

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:29 AM

Good morning all,

 

I am new to haying and to this site, although I have read a lot of great informative posts on here before joining. I live in Grants Pass, Oregon and hoping to get some advice from others in my area experienced with horse quality haying in this climate. One of my fields looks like it is ready to cut now. It’s seeded primarily with orchard grass and seed heads are up and starting to open on a stand about 24-30” tall.

 

We have had sunny dry weather in the low 70’s this last week and the forecast is for it to continue for the next 7-10 days with temps getting into the mid to upper 70’s. Humidity mid-day forecast in the 30-40% range and 50-60% range over night. We have had frost the last couple mornings and expect it will continue for a couple days longer.

 

Most people around here wait until late May to start haying. That could be due to weather conditions or because most fields around here are in the river valley bottom and potential mud bogs if accessed to early. I can drive on my fields year round, so that's not a concern.

 

All said, is it too early for my area?

 

Looking forward to input.

 

Thanks,

Aaron



#2 Vol

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 05:01 PM

All said, is it too early for my area?

 

Looking forward to input.

 

Thanks,

Aaron

 

Doesn't sound like it is too early.....being in the eighties would be extremely helpful about getting it up quickly though.

 

Regards, Mike



#3 Hayjosh

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 06:07 PM

Your weather sounds exactly like the weather I have here for third cutting in September. My experience has been if it's in the 80's, it dries ok. If it's only in the 70's, seems it's a lot more difficult to dry...maybe an extra day or three. And if it's in the 70's, there better at least be full sunshine as solar radiation helps. A breeze at 8 mph+ helps too. But when it gets so cold at night, it takes a long time for the dew to come off the following day and slows overall dry down. The night temps have an effect on rate of dry down. With heavy first cut that has a lot more stem moisture, I'd personally want more heat units to help with dry down. However, a lot (read: most) guys probably bale hay with a lot more moisture than me, because they know they can. I'm still trying to figure that part out.

 

I condition and ted all my hay.



#4 Two mules and a dog

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 08:27 AM

Thanks for the replies and good info. We usually get an afternoon breeze in the 6-8mph and it's in the daily forecast for the next 2 weeks, although we know how quick that can change. Highs in the upper 70's with exception to a day or two in the 80's.

We had a custom hayer cut for us the the first week of September last year and that was difficult to get dry. The difference being we still had daily temps in 80's and 90's compared to our current heavier stand and lower temps. Looks like it might be a good idea to hold off and deal with less grass rebounding for a second cut.

 

Thanks again for the replies and input.

Aaron



#5 r82230

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 11:06 AM

If you haven't used this site, you might want to as part of your starting point.

https://www.awis.com...cgi/zipwx.uncgi

 

Watch your pan evaporation (PE) numbers, then using attached chart will give you a general starting point (thanks to HayWilson). 

 

Naturally, your local conditions, crop maturity stage, ground moisture, etc. all can come into play.  If you have never weighed your crop and don't have a clue of your tonnage per acre...……….. start weighing this year, would be a suggestion from the peanut gallery ;).  Trust but verify comes to mind, SS bales are easy to get a pretty good idea of tonnage per acre, just using an old bathroom scale, RB are another story.

 

Larry
 

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#6 Two mules and a dog

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 05:18 PM

Thank you for the info Larry, 

 

I haven't seen that weather site or chart before but will save it to use from now on. I plan to keep tabs on yield but it might be another year or so before they start getting consistent. Both of my fields were reseeded last year and suffered from the previous owners neglect. I have been working for a couple years on both to get nutrient and minerals back up to healthy levels and it's really starting to show.

 

Thanks again,

Aaron



#7 r82230

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:30 AM

if you want some fire side reading, here is a bunch of copy/paste stuff that I have saved from Hay Wilson.  Some stuff maybe a repeat because of my copy/paste skills. ;)

 

I re-read this before (and sometimes during) the hay season.  Hope you enjoy his wisdom as much as I do.

 

Larry

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