|This is the 100% alfalfa seeded area|
This stand is organic; no herbicides, no pesticides. Sunlight, soil, manure, rain are the ingredients.
|100% alfalfa seeded area|
|Individual plant stalk|
|alfalfa/grass test plot|
|I'm going to let this go to full bloom|
So I like the look of this crop, but how good is good? Only way to tell is to have it tested, and that's on the list. For me, it gives me some feedback on how well the crop will serve in its intended purpose -- premium feed for dairy cows -- and it'll make it easier to sell to horse people.
The grass and alfalfa should produce something like 2 tons per acre across a couple of cuttings. That means that I'll probably end up with somewhere north of 100 tons of hay. The problem around here isn't growth - we have good soil and good growth. The problem is haying weather.
I'm going to bale this in small square bales this year, somewhere between 60 and 80lbs per bale, so somewhere between 2500 and 3000 bales total. In this area alfalfa sells for $20 per 80lb bale, retail. If I can make my bales look like the eastern washington hay I think that they'll sell well. And I don't have transport costs, so the margin will be a bit better.
It's my intention to bale and stack this hay starting friday morning, and hopefully have it in the barn that evening. For this first baling I've only cut 6 acres.