What if you can't get your hay cut?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mountaineer, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what to do, my field is getting really tall, and nobody is interested in the hay.
    I don't have the equipment or animals to go through it anyhow.
    What can you do so that you don't cause pasture management problems in this situation? Thanks for any ideas!
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I would wait until the end of July (minimal regrowth) and have the field bushhogged.
     

  3. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    In our area, hay is like gold! It rains so much that everybody is scrambling for hay. Starting in March, we are hunting hay as our source is usually out by then. But we have a couple of others to go to, but sometimes they are even out.

    What do you usually do? Have someone with the equipment cut the hay for themselves? Or share it with you?

    It would seem that would be a good source of income for someone. I sure wish we had a hay field of our own.

    katlupe
     
  4. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I guess brush hogging is the best bet. It seems like such a waste, yet it will be recycled back to the field which is beneficial.
    This is my first year witrh the field. The plan was to have sheep and a couple dairy cows but I decided to hold off.
    There are a lot of wealthy people moving in and I have seen signs posted of them willing to pay people to take away their hay (cut their lawn). Plus, this year is said to be a big hay year, we had a damp spring and everyone's fields are huge, and there will be two and maybe even 3 cuts. We have a good water table, very fertile soil.
    Not enough hay to warrent the equipment, but enough to keep other farmers afloat.
    I'll have grazers within a few years. I just have enough on my plate. No house yet, no permanant fencing, basically nothing.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What kind of hay is it? If no one wants the hay. Just bushhog it after it seeds out and use it as mulch in your garden. OR disk it into the ground and use it for fert.
     
  6. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Have you put notices at the local feed stores? Do you have a swap shop on your radio station? Look in the paper for people who sell hay, call them to see if they would be interested? I'd try every angle I could think of before I paid someone to bushhog it. My neighbor cuts mine on shares. I usually end up with about 22 big round bales each summer. Not bad for free.
     
  7. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    It's a small town. I've asked many people- word gets around fast. There are signs up too. I'm told it's a big hay year and everyone has more than they need, already.
     
  8. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So far we've been able to find someone who wants to cut ours. They always cut it in round bales and leave us enough for the horses.

    We've had no calls this summer though so hubby will bushhog it and we'll rake and store it loose in the barn. More work, but unless someone comes along who wants to cut it we have no other choice.

    Hubby is supposedly working with a local farmer to have it put into Tifton 44. I haven't seen them doing much though! They fixed a few drainage problems on it and seem to have lost interest now. :grump:
     
  9. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    "More than they need" is a new concept for me. Here we end up trucking in extra most years. It must be a very good year where you are. Sounds like you need to buy some stock or pay for someone to bushhog. It hurts to hear about all that good hay going to waste when we could really use more around here.
     
  10. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    what is your location farmer joe?
     
  11. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    In the BC southwestern interior. It's in the mountains but close to a river, we have rich soil and plenty of moisture. Canary reed grass desn't help anything.
    I'm thinking this may actually help push the few patches of butter cup out, though the thistles may end up spreading. They will be blooming within a week or two. 10 acres is too many to hand pull!
     
  12. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    It's been a good hay year by us as well. I've offered our hay around but there isn't much interest (from folks able to take it off themselves). I've had a few people without equipment (or access to it) express interest but that doesn't do anyone much good. I'll be brush hogging it down soon.

    Mike
     
  13. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    sell it cheap. I would be concerned with brush hogging it. That will leave an awful lot of chewed up hay lieing on top of the hay that is trying to grow up through it. Id be worried about killing the exisiting living hay.
     
  14. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I sure need to get mine in - but it won't stop raining!
     
  15. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    EXACTLY!!!!!
     
  16. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My brother expected to fill the silo and make about 700 small square bales this year. Full silo, 1400 bales, and a bag of silage later, he was done with first crop:) Two or three more to go, and it's had plenty of moisture since being cut.
    A year ago they were considering cutting the ditches they were so desperate due to winter kill.
     
  17. Junkman

    Junkman Junkman

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    I am with you Chuck. We still have the big field to get it. Rain has it laid down and deer are having a field day. Last year it was nothing to see 7 to 10 deer in the fields. This year they appear to be scarce or better at hiding. There is one lady and her fawn that have been enjoying wifes garden. If I were the Farmer I would check into seeing if someone was interested in building fence to run their horses free for a year or two if he isn't ready to farm yet. Cost of fencing is high but boarding and running horses isn't cheap either. Or cows if a barn is near. We rented out our fields until we got on our feet and got our cattle.
     
  18. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    We always brushhog the fields when we have no other choice. We rake up what we can the rest is recycled by mother nature.
    The leavings improve the soil, the weeds and woody stuff is kept in check and
    we don't have a problem with stuff underneath dying.

    We've read that if you open up one side of the brush hog, you will get windrows
    that are easier to pick up. We'll be trying that soon. Will let you know.
     
  19. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I'm with minnikin1. Never had a problem with brushhogging a field and killing off the grass. I do brushhog with the 3pt raised up a bit so that I'm not cutting as close as one would if they were making hay.

    The other thing I do sometimes is go over the field a few weeks later with a finish mower.

    Mike
     
  20. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ditto in Maine :Bawling: