Hay & Forage Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that with sorghum sudan, johnson grass, it’s a no-no to cut close after a frost due to toxicity issues and there’s timing before and after frost for cutting alfalfa.

But what about cool season grasses like Timothy, orchard grass and fescue? Any reason to cut before or after a frost? I’m thinking of left over stand life going into winter after cut and hay quality.

Any sage advice is much appreciated!
 

·
Gourmet Horse Hay Producer
Joined
·
2,978 Posts
I’ve had heavy frost on fresh cut orchard and fescue (call it freeze-dried) multiple times and never had issues. Usually Timothy is cut too late to get frost on first cutting and didn’t cut late cutting on it that often Sonos experience there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VA Haymaker

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
I always try to leave at least several inches of good stubble in the fall until it frosts and before grazing it down fairly short in late fall or early winter. Also some years may be grazing some shorter around the time we get frosts, never had any issues that I’m aware. I don’t think we have to worry a bunch about winter kill here in VA like some up north. But I still try to leave some decent stubble just for root health (and to make me feel better). The last hay we cut was 2-3 weeks ago. It came back really fast and I’d say a good 6” of thick stubble. Should be in good shape. We also will probably start lightly grazing some other hayfields soon and not too worried about it. Don’t really have much experience making hay late fall after a hard frost, but should be similar concepts and management to grazing it off.

If you are thinking about when to cut that field on your YouTube videos as green as it is I’d be willing to bet if you cut it now it would spring back up before a frost. At least I don’t think we are expecting one here anytime in the 15 day forecast. Might be different down your way. Course it’s not going to hurt to leave it either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I always try to leave at least several inches of good stubble in the fall until it frosts and before grazing it down fairly short in late fall or early winter. Also some years may be grazing some shorter around the time we get frosts, never had any issues that I’m aware. I don’t think we have to worry a bunch about winter kill here in VA like some up north. But I still try to leave some decent stubble just for root health (and to make me feel better). The last hay we cut was 2-3 weeks ago. It came back really fast and I’d say a good 6” of thick stubble. Should be in good shape. We also will probably start lightly grazing some other hayfields soon and not too worried about it. Don’t really have much experience making hay late fall after a hard frost, but should be similar concepts and management to grazing it off.

If you are thinking about when to cut that field on your YouTube videos as green as it is I’d be willing to bet if you cut it now it would spring back up before a frost. At least I don’t think we are expecting one here anytime in the 15 day forecast. Might be different down your way. Course it’s not going to hurt to leave it either.
Thanks - I’m just asking in general. I’ve always been told wait until two killing frosts to cut, but recently reading and consulting an extension agent, not finding much evidence to support that notion in regards to grass hay. I agree keeping the stubble high is most important. The ability to cut without respect to a frost really opens some doors to take hay when I’m ready and the weather is cooperating vs waiting on some misinformed deadline as to when you can or can’t cut with respect to frost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,925 Posts
I was advised by a local veterinarian that sorghum crops such as Sudan, Haygrazer, Johnson grass that had frost damage could safely be cut for hay. The crop that suffered frost damage needed to stored for 30 days & Prussic acid would dissipate from the hay in storage. I have no knowledge/experience with Alfalfa.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top