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Hay Yield?

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  • Hay Yield?

    Maybe Tamara will see this - and maybe someone else knows, but this year, the weather gods have smiled on me and I've been getting my first cut hay in about 4-6 weeks earlier than in the past (2008 and 2009 were 2 of the wettest summers ever)

    - I know in the past I was baling up a lot of dead crap along with the greener stuff, but my yield this year is down 15-20% - my field are still well fertilized and the grass is still super thick when I'm mowing, but I get off the baler and instead of 200 bales, I've got 165.

    I'm thinking it's because when the greener grass cures up it loses that much more volume than the later first cut stuff which is stalkier and already dried out when I cut it.

    The hay is beautiful and I"ll take less yield if the quality is so much better but I'm just curious. My field is the same size, and my bales are the same size.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Hmmm, we baled yesterday and we had a 40% increase over last year - we sprayed with 2-4D this spring so we were able to bale sections that we skipped last year though. We've had an extraordinary spring and summer here in the NE section of IN - horrible storms to the north and south and we were spared but only the right amounts of rain right when we needed it.

    I'm not understanding why you baled so much earlier though. Maybe that was the problem?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hilary View Post
      Maybe Tamara will see this - and maybe someone else knows, but this year, the weather gods have smiled on me and I've been getting my first cut hay in about 4-6 weeks earlier than in the past (2008 and 2009 were 2 of the wettest summers ever)

      - I know in the past I was baling up a lot of dead crap along with the greener stuff, but my yield this year is down 15-20% - my field are still well fertilized and the grass is still super thick when I'm mowing, but I get off the baler and instead of 200 bales, I've got 165.

      I'm thinking it's because when the greener grass cures up it loses that much more volume than the later first cut stuff which is stalkier and already dried out when I cut it.

      The hay is beautiful and I"ll take less yield if the quality is so much better but I'm just curious. My field is the same size, and my bales are the same size.

      Thanks!
      It's been the same over here- fantastic hay, just less of it. Gonna be an interesting winter I think. I'm buying mine in now.
      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

      Comment


      • #4
        Here in Eastern Ontario we had NO rain in May, and the June we were soaked every other day.
        So, people are just now starting to cut...and are thinking the yield will be a bit less. My fields look fantastic, thick, but not really high.

        But I agree...after 2008/09, I'll take the good quality over quantity!!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I'm doing the whole process earlier in the year- the past 2 summers in New Hampshire we've had rain from the second week of June straight through the middle to end of July.

          So in the past I've had to wait for the fields to dry out enough to get the tractor on them, which has been late June even early July, then wait for enough hay weather. This year has been very dry so I did my first mowing on June 18th, rather than say July 18th or even later. The hay is curing faster too - probably because the ground is bone dry under it and it's not shaking off the last 6 weeks of dampness.

          This year has been much more like the summers I knew as a kid - when haying was a mid-late June activity. But I was curious about the decreased number of bales I'm getting.

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          • #6
            Wow! Amazing how much it can vary, even in the same province, a few hours away ...

            We cut the last week of May and the yield was fabulous - basically the same as every other year. We have just done second cut now on 3 of the fields and the others should be ready by the middle/end of July (they got cut about 2 weeks after the first 3 did)

            We are on a sand loam soil and the climatic conditions seem to be better than literally anywhere else in our area. Hence why we have such a thriving market garden business around here as well ...

            I know even in Milton, ON, which is about 60 minutes NE of us, they are JUST starting to get first cut off in some places now, as they are on heavy clay and they havent been able to get the equipment onto the fields as it was too darned wet ...

            I dont think I am ever going to move away from this place ...
            www.TrueColoursFarm.com
            www.truecoloursproducts.com

            True Colours Farm on Facebook

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            • #7
              Hey Hilary, we got almost exactly 20% less yield than last year! But I'm not complaining, since the quality is much, much nicer. I know we decided NOT to fertilize before 1st cut this year (and we did last year) plus we cut about a month earlier as you did, so that probably explains our difference in yield. We still got about 5600 bales.

              We fertilized all the fields as soon as we finished (last week) and the fields are already growing like crazy! I expect we will have a bumper crop of 2nd cut and probably more 3rd cut than usual. YEAH!
              \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                I'm thinking it's because when the greener grass cures up it loses that much more volume than the later first cut stuff which is stalkier and already dried out when I cut it.

                Thanks!
                you are correct...very early first cutting will resemble a second or third cutting

                and it is in normal first cutting (esp in grass) that you can get 2/3 to a full 1/2 of you total yields for the YEAR....cause of course you have all the dead thatch from last season as well as new growth

                which is why people who sell buy the bale like the big coarse volume stuff and people who sell by the numbers want the finer stuff with lower yield and higher numbers

                Tamara in TN
                Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

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