Hay Season is Coming Soon, Refresh Your Production Strategy

Farm Journal logo

Hopefully, the first round of hay harvest only a few weeks away. After a long, cold, wet winter, many producers are scrambling to find hay supplies to finish out April.

Two free “Beef Tips” videos from Purdue Extension could help beef producers maximize the quality and quantity of their forage crops.

The videos were developed by Ron Lemenager, Extension beef specialist, and Keith Johnson, Extension forage specialist.

“Most beef producers rely on harvested forages as a primary feed resource during at least part of the winter-feeding period and when dry weather during the growing season reduces pasture growth,” Lemenager said.

Timing of Hay Harvest

What is the proper cutting techniques for common grasses and legumes — including tall fescue, orchardgrass, alfalfa and red clover? Determine the proper bale moisture content and monitor internal bale temperature to reduce the fire risk.

“To make excellent quality hay, the forage needs to be cut at the right growth stage and packaged into a bale at the right moisture content without incidence of rain damage, Johnson said. “Baling hay too wet can result in mold formation, reduced quality and the possibility of spontaneous combustion. When the hay is baled too dry, leaf loss occurs which results in less yield and quality.”

The Process of Making Dry Hay

These step-by-step tips will show the proper use of equipment needed to make dry hay. Topics include modern mowing technologies, when and how to use tedders, proper raking techniques and the differences between round and square bales.

 

Latest News

When Stress Goes Beyond Normal 

It started with a broken baler. The farmer panicked. He had recently lost his brother to cancer and his father to old age. Not to mention he had 2,500 acres to farm, 250 beef cows to attend to and his crop just froze. 

White House Drought Relief Working Group to Address Western Water Crisis

Interagency effort will coordinate resources across the federal government to bring immediate relief to irrigators, Tribes, and western communities.

Cargill, Sysco Partner On Sustainable Grazing Project

Sysco and Cargill will partner with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to help ranchers tackle the impacts of climate change and improve grasslands and wildlife habitat through cattle grazing.

Switzer Ranch Receives Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award

Bruce and Sue Ann Switzer along with their children, Sarah Sortum and Adam Switzer, own and operate Switzer Ranch, recipient of the 2021 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award®.

Profit Tracker: Spring Rally For Cattle And Hogs

Cattle and hog feeding operations are experiencing the highest market prices since before the pandemic began more than a year ago. Hog margins were positive for the 11th consecutive week.

Tyson Announces Support for U.S. CattleTrace

Beef industry efforts to develop a voluntary animal traceability system gained significant traction today as Tyson Fresh Meats becomes the first beef processor to invest in membership to U.S. CattleTrace.