Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2nd cutting of hay in progress...

 This is turning out to be a good year for hay - I got my first cutting on May 21st, and we're on time for a second cutting on June 23.  The weather has been warmer and drier than usual, and that's retarded the growth of the hay somewhat, but I'll break out the irrigation equipment after this cutting and give the fields a good drink.

We got 1286 bales from the first cutting; roughly 38.5 tons of hay, this cutting will produce a smaller amount, but will probably be higher-quality.  I'm going to guess roughly 900 bales, which will go nicely towards the goal of 4,000 bales;  If I can get this into the barn without mishap we'll be over 50% towards the goal, which is a good place to be in June.  

I'm hoping for one more cutting at the end of july, and then a final cutting at the end of august or first week or two of september; roughly 30 days growth between them.  Watering from the manure lagoon will help bulk up the production, so I'm hoping for roughly 1100 bales from each of the final two cuttings to make my overall goal.

I use this hay both as food for the cows and bedding for the pigs.  There's a fairly good chance that I'll be baling corn stalks after combining it and using those for pig bedding.  I'm not taking the nutrients in the stalk off the farm; I'm just borriowing it from the field for the winter; I'll put it all back with added manure in the summer, to make the net nutrient transfer positive to the fields.

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