Hay preservative

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Hay preservative

Jul 5, 2016 | 07:36 1 So I'm sitting at the breakfast table with a frustrated hay baling husband who is getting fed up with the weather. The tractor, baler and haybine are ready to go. The hay crop is excellent, and it just won't stop raining. Not a lot of rain, but enough to stop us.

What is everyone's experience with hay preservative. Is it expensive? Does it work? Will it work if sprayed on a heavy swath? Is the applicator pricey? Reply With Quote
Jul 5, 2016 | 08:03 2 We just put a Gandy Applicator on our baler. Largely to help with greenfeed on short frosty fall days, but also to get a boost on hay in the early morning and right before a rain.
The applicator installed was $3000. The preservative is bacterial, and uses wheat middlings as a carrier. The advantages of this are 1)no salt or acid to eat the baler 2) no salt to limit intake on the feed.
Cost is $125 per bag and does about 70 1500# bales @ 16-19% moisture. As the moisture goes up the bales per bag goes down. At 30% you can get about 40-50 bales from the same bag. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 06:19 3 That sounds very economical if you are committed to hay but around here it's been a challenge to get hay anywhere close to ready to bale between rain and humidity. Quite happy to have dropped hay as our main method of winter feed conserving back in 1985!
We finished putting up another silage pile yesterday - a "pasture" mix we seeded last spring with grass and 3# acre alfalfa and 0.7# acre sweet clover. The crew reckoned it was about 15 ton/acre. In a two week heatwave I don't think you could have hayed that stuff!
Picture before we cut it - the day I realised it was beyond pasturing on account of volume/maturity and electric fence/posts that were completely submerged under the yellow carpet.

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Jul 7, 2016 | 08:18 4 GF - that is an awesome crop. I am not sure how we could handle silage around here, as the feeding costs would be quite a bit higher for us. Have you ever looked at ways to "graze" your silage piles? Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 11:17 5 Sean where did you get that Gandy applicator? I'm not too far from you. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 12:27 6
Quote Originally Posted by smcgrath76 View Post
GF - that is an awesome crop. I am not sure how we could handle silage around here, as the feeding costs would be quite a bit higher for us. Have you ever looked at ways to "graze" your silage piles?
We have never grazed piles but I know some people who have. A long low pile, or a bag would work eaten from the side behind an electric. You'd still have a significant manure distribution problem that would likely need a mechanical solution (hauling not harrowing) I don't find it too expensive to feed out with an old tractor and a sub $5,000 silage wagon and movable feed-bunks. Essentially eliminates waste and I get the cows to distribute the manure where I want it. I guess time feeding out is the biggest factor but you can minimize that by having the feed close to where the cows are and optimizing cow #s per group to suit the wagon capacity.
There are substantial benefits to silage to offset the cost of feeding out - less weather reliance, generally easy to capture better feed value, ability to hold feed over for years without quality loss, ability to handle huge or lush crops that would never dry down, flexibility to buy neighbours hailed/weedy crops at the right price etc etc. Also custom silage with a high output team is 2/3 the cost of custom haying. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 17:10 7
Quote Originally Posted by grassfarmer View Post
We have never grazed piles but I know some people who have. A long low pile, or a bag would work eaten from the side behind an electric. You'd still have a significant manure distribution problem that would likely need a mechanical solution (hauling not harrowing) I don't find it too expensive to feed out with an old tractor and a sub $5,000 silage wagon and movable feed-bunks. Essentially eliminates waste and I get the cows to distribute the manure where I want it. I guess time feeding out is the biggest factor but you can minimize that by having the feed close to where the cows are and optimizing cow #s per group to suit the wagon capacity.
There are substantial benefits to silage to offset the cost of feeding out - less weather reliance, generally easy to capture better feed value, ability to hold feed over for years without quality loss, ability to handle huge or lush crops that would never dry down, flexibility to buy neighbours hailed/weedy crops at the right price etc etc. Also custom silage with a high output team is 2/3 the cost of custom haying.
I always wondered what it cost to have something sileaged. Manpower is short here and I always pined for sileage but don't want to bother with extra iron or bodies to pay. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 17:25 8 I find with the big output teams we can take it from standing in the field to packed in the pit for @2c/lb dry matter basis. Custom hay cost me 3c/lb dm last year and that's with the bales left in the field.
2000hp can move a lot of stuff in a day - I just don't fancy making the payments on it. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 19:46 9 you need about 3 people to do pit silage, one chopping with a 150 HP tractor pulling a high dump, one trucking with a grain truck, one pushing and packing. Swath in early morning or night before. We do 400 ton/day,(10 - 11 hour days) and have all our feed up and covered in 3 days. Field close by Hay is easy to feed too though, but I like the fact that silage can be put up for years, and can mix mineral/ grain in if required. Then you just feed straw bales as well. Need about 200 cows to make it economical I think, and you go through your chopper with a fine tooth comb preseason. Now I grow all my feed on 1 or 2 1/4 sections. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 20:59 10 Any idea on what it costs you to make it with that machinery set up and your labour? I've never used that small an outfit but maybe its economical? I find the self-propelled and 3 trailers can move it fast enough on a 1/2 to 1 1/2 mile haul to justify the high hourly charge. In a good crop they can do close to 200 tons/hour. Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 21:04 11
Quote Originally Posted by WiltonRanch View Post
Sean where did you get that Gandy applicator? I'm not too far from you.
Got it from JSK Sales in Vermilion. I can get you a number if you want. They have put quite a few on and they need to wire up the tractor (to run the fan and metering setup). Reply With Quote
Jul 7, 2016 | 21:35 12 12000 dollar chopper, 7500 dollar hi dump, and we already have the tractors for grain farming. It takes the custom guys 2 days it seems, though once out of 15 years they put up 1200 in one day. I still have to cover the stack, and still have to pack. It seems to be about 1500 dollars/year for repairs for the chopper. tank of fuel for the truck, 1/2 tank for the packing tractor, 3 for the chopper. It seems cheap for me. I don't pay my kids much. Doing my own for past 3 years, best silage I ever put up since you choose the time. If you are a mixed farm it makes more sense; straight cattle, more difficult to justify as you would not normally have a 4wd tractor with blade to pack. Reply With Quote
Jul 8, 2016 | 06:54 13 Thats why I like the high output custom versus smaller custom outfits - 1200tons is 6-6.5 hours work with no stoppages. We had a smaller outfit once - bigger than yours in equipment and it was moving less than 400 tons a day. I find that kind of custom guy hard to afford. Not as bad as the silage baling though. One guy that bales and wraps with the onboard wrapper I calculated his bill would have been exactly twice what my bill for the total job was using the big custom team - and I would still have had 1300 bales sitting out on the field to move! Yet they are busy too so some guys must like that system. Reply With Quote
Jul 8, 2016 | 07:24 14
Quote Originally Posted by nicolaas View Post
12000 dollar chopper, 7500 dollar hi dump, and we already have the tractors for grain farming. It takes the custom guys 2 days it seems, though once out of 15 years they put up 1200 in one day. I still have to cover the stack, and still have to pack. It seems to be about 1500 dollars/year for repairs for the chopper. tank of fuel for the truck, 1/2 tank for the packing tractor, 3 for the chopper. It seems cheap for me. I don't pay my kids much. Doing my own for past 3 years, best silage I ever put up since you choose the time. If you are a mixed farm it makes more sense; straight cattle, more difficult to justify as you would not normally have a 4wd tractor with blade to pack.
Having a Grain enterprise and available labour makes a huge difference. We are basically a one used tractor, one person outfit (and I am not sure that isn't too much equipment when you just have cows). Your cost for do it yourself is very reasonable. For us the baler and discbine is a good, low cost risk management strategy. We have made a lot of feed available in years with poor growing conditions, simply by being able to cut/bale on shares or other arrangements. Without that basic lineup, we would have been pretty well stuck a few times. We use some custom labour/equipment (eg: corrn planting/spraying) but you always seem to be a touch out of perfect timing. Sometimes waiting doesn't matter, and sometimes it costs. Reply With Quote
Jul 8, 2016 | 18:16 15 Have used silage in the past but as Sean says it's not really suited to cowboys unless you can get some sort of cooperative deal going.
Do you think Corn may not be so time sensitive?
I use a lot of grass seed aftermath. It varies from good calf starter to good windbreak.
Utilization is a lot better if you can mix it with highly palatable silage.
All kinds of opportunity feeds with silage in a TMR. Reply With Quote