Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

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Stocker Steve
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Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:36 pm

Drove by the neighbor today. They had wet hay after two nights of rain. Dad was inverting windrows in one field and son was combining windows in another. Dusty in both cases.

What would you estimate as the combined total percentage for processing losses and storage losses and the feeding losses with dry hay - - compared to balage ?

Seems like you could easily afford the added wrapping cost with higher priced hay,
or a wet climate ?


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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Aaron » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:31 am

I sure can't afford it. But I can afford to watch the weather before I stick my neck out.
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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Jogeephus » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:03 am

I view it like an insurance policy. A necessary evil. IMO, baleage is expensive and has its own type waste but having the option to make baleage when the weather doesn't cooperate is better than having to rely on someone else for your hay needs.
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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by TexasBred » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:42 am

Always remember you have to feed twice as much at least to get the same dry matter into your cattle. But when it's your only option you do it.
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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:10 pm

I have not made much, but usually put it up at 35 to 45% moisture, compared to 15 to 20% moisture for "dry hay".
Not sure if it packs differently.
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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Son of Butch » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:55 pm

In my opinion...
The added value of reduced harvest loss in a normal year is offset by the added storage cost
and transporting extra water/moisture. For dairies requiring dairy quality hay it's worth it,
but rarely worth it for beef cows. my :2cents:

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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Silver » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:44 pm

I make a few balage bales every year. I cut it with the intent of wrapping it, not because it got rained on or may get rained on. I feel it is superior feed, and maybe they don't "need" it, but feel it pays dividends. We have a long cold feeding season and the balage seems to help bring the cows through in great shape, which helps milk production and breed back. I think the 4 or 5 dollars a bale is cheap for what I get in return.
But I use sisal twine so take my opinions for what they're worth :lol2:

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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:39 pm

Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:55 pm
In my opinion...
The added value of reduced harvest loss in a normal year is offset by the added storage cost
and transporting extra water/moisture. For dairies requiring dairy quality hay it's worth it,
but rarely worth it for beef cows. my :2cents:
What did beef cow hay sell for at the last Litchfield hay auction ?
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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by BFE » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:52 am

We did some wet hay for a couple years. Cows clean it up good but its a PIA to handle, and you still get waste due to spoilage, etc. I couldn't see enough gain for us to justify the hassle. I agree, it's a good thing to have vs. losing a hay crop due to unexpected rain (which we've had loads of this year) but I view it as a last resort for us.

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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by millstreaminn » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:06 am

BFE wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:52 am
We did some wet hay for a couple years. Cows clean it up good but its a PIA to handle, and you still get waste due to spoilage, etc. I couldn't see enough gain for us to justify the hassle. I agree, it's a good thing to have vs. losing a hay crop due to unexpected rain (which we've had loads of this year) but I view it as a last resort for us.
How are you getting spoilage? Is the outside spoiled coming out of the wrap or is it spoiling because its not eaten fast enough? I feed a fair amount of balage and have almost no waste.
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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Son of Butch » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:43 am

Stocker Steve wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:39 pm
Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:55 pm
In my opinion...
The added value of reduced harvest loss in a normal year is offset by the added storage cost
and transporting extra water/moisture. For dairies requiring dairy quality hay it's worth it,
but rarely worth it for beef cows. my :2cents:
What did beef cow hay sell for at the last Litchfield hay auction ?
$75 - 150 ton plus delivery

Dairy Quality 200 - 260 ton plus delivery
wheat straw 105 - 125 ton " " "

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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by Stickney94 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:31 am

Originally, I posted a long screed that didn't address the OP.

In short -- I've yet to regret deciding to put up a hay crop as baleage. Even with the extra cost and if I had some extra spoilage.

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Re: Reduced Waste & Cost/Ton with Balage ?

Post by BFE » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:07 pm

millstreaminn wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:06 am
BFE wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:52 am
We did some wet hay for a couple years. Cows clean it up good but its a PIA to handle, and you still get waste due to spoilage, etc. I couldn't see enough gain for us to justify the hassle. I agree, it's a good thing to have vs. losing a hay crop due to unexpected rain (which we've had loads of this year) but I view it as a last resort for us.
How are you getting spoilage? Is the outside spoiled coming out of the wrap or is it spoiling because its not eaten fast enough? I feed a fair amount of balage and have almost no waste.
In places the bales shrink down and it makes gaps where the wrap rolls. Seems like the end bales have some too, I think my hay man is buying the end caps for them now though.

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