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I was just given an 18 acre field of sudan grass. Currently most of it is between 24-30" height range and I am planning on wrapping all of it. It is more than I will need this year as I already have a bunch of grass wrapped, however I don't want to miss out on future opportunities. What is the best time/height to cut this stuff?
 

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I was just given an 18 acre field of sudan grass. Currently most of it is between 24-30" height range and I am planning on wrapping all of it. It is more than I will need this year as I already have a bunch of grass wrapped, however I don't want to miss out on future opportunities. What is the best time/height to cut this stuff?
Have you ever been around that stuff before ? 4" is all the taller I would want it .. if I wanted it.. and that is more than tall enough to challenge any baler FIY good thing your wrapping it because up where your at you will never get it dry. watch the stuff close as it grows very fast, it doesn't make very good feed.. JMO but your just wasting good plastic
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No I have never been around any of it. I planned on cutting Saturday so another couple days growth is all its going to get.

Snowball why doesn't it make good feed? Some reading in the net says it's pretty goo protein and makes good baleage/silage. Am I missing something?
 

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Many acres of sudan is grown in Texas. It's no as good as Alfalfa but if harvested before seed heads emerge can produce decent protein & RFV.
Tx Jim you guys down there can get it dry can't you ? up here is almost impossible to get dry so the protein and RFV is not there for us .it just a used as a cover crop mostly , maybe to graze but the cows don't get much out of it when grazing
 

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Never seen sudan baled here. Just chopped. On good soil it can get 8 feet + tall.
 

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Tx Jim you guys down there can get it dry can't you ? up here is almost impossible to get dry so the protein and RFV is not there for us .it just a used as a cover crop mostly , maybe to graze but the cows don't get much out of it when grazing
We can get it to dry here, Snow. Takes a while, but it will. It's kinda a double-edged sword of not enough yield vs too long of drying time. Just cut it before it heads out, and it makes ok feed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, what I'm gathering is its not as good of feed as I though? I'm feeding beef cows so I'm not a high production milk facility or anything but I don want to be feeding 4% protein either
 

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It makes fine feed. Cattle will eat it over mixed grass hay because it has more sugars.

They do tend to waste more due to the long plant size. If you have someone that has a cutter on the baler that will help.

The stuff holds a lot of water in the stem so it is wetter than you think when you bale it...

Its no alfalfa, but it will work just fine for you....
 

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Tx Jim you guys down there can get it dry can't you ? up here is almost impossible to get dry so the protein and RFV is not there for us .it just a used as a cover crop mostly , maybe to graze but the cows don't get much out of it when grazing
Sudan can need 5 or 6 days to dry and that's if it is properly crimped when cut. If cut in the boot stage before heading it can make some excellent cattle hay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok these pictures were taken an hour ago. It's a little taller than I originally thought, most of it is probably up around the 3' mark. The weather for this weekend is showing low 80's with a 7-9mph wind.

This is my first year making baleage, and with the grass hay that I have done so far I have just mowed into a windrow through the flails and came behind it with the baler when I was done mowing. However it seems to be a little drier than I wanted it to be and I am thinking around 30% moisture.

However with all the talk about the stems holding moisture, should I lay a wider swatch and come back and rake it into a windrow before baling? What is the lay time to get to say 50% moisture? I understand it's all relative and depending on all the factors, but I am just trying to get an idea if I should be expecting to let it lay 2 hours, or let it lat a full day before baling and wrapping?
 

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Even for Sudan baleage I think you'll need to lay windrow wide and wait a least 2 maybe 3 days before baling. I asked my neighbor dairyman what the best testing Sudan hay he had fed and he stated it tested 15% protein/95 RFV. IMHO that's fairly decent hay.
 

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Lay it wide for a day or two. Then ted it. If you dont have a tedder than roll the bottom over. You must get the bottom turned over so it dries.

Are you round baling it? The stuff is hard to bale and takes some horsepower esp if its too wet....
 

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Yep... had a neighbor tell me the secret to making good sorghum/sudan hay....

"Plant it thicker than hair on a dog's back, and cut it when it's three feet tall... maximum leaf to stalk ratio at that height, thicker you plant it, the smaller the stalks are, and smaller they are, the softer and more palatable, and the more leaves you have. Max sugar and nutritional value at that stage."

Let it grow 6,8, 10 feet tall, and all you're baling is cane poles..."

later! OL JR :)
 

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We can get it to dry here, Snow. Takes a while, but it will. It's kinda a double-edged sword of not enough yield vs too long of drying time. Just cut it before it heads out, and it makes ok feed.
So PackMan what is the different between Sudan grass & what my inlaws call Haygrazer ? it looks about the same my BL likes the Haygrazer alot
 
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