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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So ive been following the posts on Haytalk for awhile now and meant to make a profile and join the chat a while ago but didnt, this is my 4th season back in upstate New York after taking some time away from the farm to do some "other stuff" and its my first hay season "with the reigns in my hands" with that said, hello to everyone.
Im hoping somebody out there can offer me alittle advice on baleage. Its something Im not real familiar with because when I left the farm 10 years ago we still had dairy cows and were using a green chopper, wagons, silo and ground bags to do sileage and haylage. Anyways, we wrap baleage in tubes with an anderson, its our third year doing it and ive been told that 65% moisture is the highest you want. Problem is, last week I got alittle jumpy with getting the baleage on our land done and getting the wrapper over to do the neighbors and I wrapped bales one day with moisture content in the 76 percent (as the highest) range, moisture probe is questionable, but only a few percent either way. The entire cut, rake, bale process, happened in about 12 hours on an 80 degree day, it hadnt rained for 2 days previous, end result, we wrapped 100 of the 127 that we baled, at 100 I started to second guess myself and couldnt justify using wrap to wrap up the other 27 and still am second guessing myself. Needless to say, my first big screw up as the so called "boss".
My question is to anyone who has experience with baleage, what can I expect when I open that wrap? Should I put up another 100 insurance bales from what we have left to do of 1st cutting or second cut bales? We wrapped about 200 more over the next few days but the moisture was in high 50 low 60 ranges, so Im not worried about those. The 27 we left unwrapped became a disaster after the 2 hot weeks we had as I figured they would be, and we do purposly make some small square "mulch" hay for landscaping contracters but the 2 I talked to about those bales didnt want to mess with the big rounds, so, luckily I unloaded them at the garden center for a whopping 10 bucks a piece, not sure what the going rate is for mulch hay ugh. ANyways my biggest concern are the ones that got wrapped and what I should expect? Thanks in advance.

BTW- My uncle is still technically in charge, but is looking to fully retire in a "few" years, but he is still as new to this baleage process as I am and way more skeptical about it, if it were up to him, cabs wouldnt exist because a big enough hat is as good a sun shade as any and he farmed for 40 years without listening to music while working, despite him saying that the 50's ,60's and 70;s a.m country radio station is always cranked when I get in a tractor after him, oldschool, lol.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mike. Interesting stuff on this site, havent had any answers about my baleage yet, guessing allot of people dont use the practice. Oh well, I guess it was an uneducated experiment at best, lol. We'll see what it looks like in the fall I guess. Lol. How is the season going for you so far? We are about 75 or so acres shy of being done with 1st cut, Ive read allot of people out in the midwest are dried right out, been rained out since sunday a.m here in the northeast, probly wont get back at it till the weekend.
 

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Welcome, made me laugh about your uncle, Some of these guys will answer your ? Just gotta give them a bit. Probably out baling alfalfa....for silage...we r n south ga and do no alfalfa and only hay so I'm of no value to you other than, good luck, you'll probably need some...I know I can stand some
 

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Welcome to the forum.

I am waiting for the baleage guys to offer their opinions. I have followed this thread but have never done silage. I am curious as to what advice they will have to offer.
 

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Well, reasonably new to baleage myself but we used to fill a 18x60 and a 20x70 stave silos with haylage and a 24x80 stave silo with corn silage, also did 4-5 silo bags a year with haylage and corn silage. With a stave silo if blown in too wet teh silage will force the extra juice out thru the walls and it will still make good silage, however if your bales are well wrapped I'm afraid the bales will be slimy when you go to feed em, hopefully just the bottoms will be.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Guys, thanks for the replies. Hope everyone is staying as busy as I have been, as it has been on the back of my mind to get back on here, just havnt had time to sit down and respond.
In response to Erock813's question, Its for beef cows, we have mostly black angus, 65 head, 2 dozen or so mix and match breeds and 30 beefalo. We using it, trial and error mind you, as a second feed option to dry hay in the mid winter, as weve found that when it gets cold around mid to late december through mid february, single digit and below zero temps, the cows tend to come out of the "huddle" and respond to baleage alittle better. When we originally started using it, it was meant to preserve "alfalfa heavy" hay mixes, that we were feeding the best of, to pregnant and nursing cows in the fall and spring as we try to ideally do our calving around october/november and march/ april.
We also wrap when we do the neighbors hay for his small dairy operation, Im not worried about his bales or the second group that we wrapped on our lot because they were put in at an ideal moisture range. My big concern is the 70% plus moisture bales that we wrapped, as the ones we left out went bad real quick.
Mlappin's school of thought was kind of along the same lines as what had crossed my mind a few times the last few weeks, about how the stave silos leech out excess moisture, wich inside the plastice tube would all end up at the bottom.
Ive done alittle research on the web and it sounds like you can make your animals pretty sick feeding them grass thats been wrapped to wet. I cant remember the exact term of what they said it would cause, something I hadnt heard too many times before though.
I think im more worried about this then everyone else is. General mind state is, "we'll know when we open the wrap if it smells bad, we wont feed it" and " if worse comes to worse and they turn out like S, we can always bust em up and spread em back out on the field" wich is, i guess the best way to look at it, not like were gonna come up short on hay, but just dont want to poison a bunch of cows as Ive made it known that it was my questionable call, so in the long run will be my call, to feed or not to.
So with that all said, sorry for the book I wrote and thanks in advance for any words of advice.
 

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We made some 2nd cutting Alfalfa baledge on 6/28 with our new MF 2170 XD. 3x4x4' bales weighed 1200 lbs @ 35% moisture. Opened one up today that was left in chamber and fermentation smell was strong and some heating (no wrapping used on this bale) Oxygen free storage maybe?? We went ahead and wrapped it now and will see what happens.
 
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