Bale or not to bale or fertilize for 2nd cutting?

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Douglas

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Okay, first question: I have fescue on the ground since last Saturday afternoon. Has been rain on several times but is still green underneath. Only one mostly sunny day. Tomorrow looks good for drying and I can probably get it bailed late in the day. I can tedder and rake tomorrow and get it dry enough to bale.

How do I determine from looking at it if it is worth bailing? Or would you just tedder enough to not smother the grass and forget it.

Next question: Since cutting the fescue it has really jumped. We are expecting more rain next week. Would you try more fertilizer and a second cutting in a few weeks? I have a strong stand of new MaxQ fescue planted last fall and I wonder if a little fertilizer would help in improving establishment anyway.

Last question: If the hay is poor what is it worth as a filler? At this point it will probably cost 15 dollars per roll (5X6) to finish. I normally have winter annuals to supplement winter hay.
 

BeefmasterB

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Don't know anything about fescue but I know that fetilization and thus available soil nutrients pretty much dictate the value of the hay (aside from wether it's too wet or too dry, mold etc). But regardless of it's nutrient value, I would see value in just getting the current cut hay off the ground so you could gain to the fullest, from the new growth underneath. Assuming that you don't have any mold issues with the hay that's now on the ground and you can dry it with the tedder, you could most definitely use it as a filler and supplement the cattle along with it.

Because every cutting takes nutrients out of the ground, I would fertilize again right after you bale the first cutting and because you have another rain coming. This is only if you want hay with a good nutrient value. And yes, the fertilizer should help it become more established!
 

grannysoo

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Douglas":kl6g2492 said:
Okay, first question: I have fescue on the ground since last Saturday afternoon. Has been rain on several times but is still green underneath. Only one mostly sunny day. Tomorrow looks good for drying and I can probably get it bailed late in the day. I can tedder and rake tomorrow and get it dry enough to bale.

How do I determine from looking at it if it is worth bailing? Or would you just tedder enough to not smother the grass and forget it.

You can "eyeball" it to see how much green is there, but the only way to determine what it is worth is to have it tested, and you don't have time for that. Keep in mind, the more you work it, the less it's probably going to be worth. As to just tedding it up, it's still going to be there next time you bale hay, so regardless of whatever quality you bale next time, you're going to get most all the bad hay along with it. That ain't good...

Douglas":kl6g2492 said:
Next question: Since cutting the fescue it has really jumped. We are expecting more rain next week. Would you try more fertilizer and a second cutting in a few weeks? I have a strong stand of new MaxQ fescue planted last fall and I wonder if a little fertilizer would help in improving establishment anyway.

Has it been fertilized yet? If not, I would probably fertilize. Have soil samples pulled and see what you need. You especially want to have the ph checked to see if you need lime added too.

Douglas":kl6g2492 said:
Last question: If the hay is poor what is it worth as a filler? At this point it will probably cost 15 dollars per roll (5X6) to finish. I normally have winter annuals to supplement winter hay.

As a "filler", if it has no nutritional value, then it's not worth much of anything. It might just keep them from complaining as much. It might be worth as much for mulch hay as anything.
 

grannysoo

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Douglas":2rzx340s said:
Could you tell anything if i posted a picture? Will try tonight

I don't have fescue, so I probably won't be too smart on it, but I'm sure there are others that will be. Post away.
 

Cowdirt

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This doesn't deal with the posters immediate need for information and I don't want to hijack the thread but there was information posted on CT recently that flies in the face of what is posted on this thread, and what I have always heard, with regard to the feed value of fertilized and non-fertilized hay. The difference is fairly small. However, there is the larger problem of mining the elements from the soil when hay ground is not fertilized. IMO, that's a losing game.
 

dun

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As long as it's nit slimey or stimking you can tedd it and get it dry enough to bale. It may have lost some of it's nutritive value but you have to get it off the freld anyway to keep d=from smothering the growing grass. Feed it early in the inwter with maybe a lick tub. That's what we're going to do with a field that was down for a week with rain off and on. I tedded it multiple times to keep it dry and not rotting.
 

hillrancher

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Remember any bail of hay is a diamond in a snow bank. If it still has green under it ted it get on top of the new growth it will dry quicker and bail it. If the cattle wont eat it it will make bedding to lay on when the weather is bad. Fertilizer is the key to good quality of forage. To get the most out of the fertilizer apply often and in smaller amounts not all in one application. We have fescue we only get two cutting if the rains are in order. Fall is usually late and it is very hard to get dried. Even though it has gotten rained on it will test better than if you would have let it stand too long.
 

grannysoo

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Cowdirt":2sgl1ab7 said:
This doesn't deal with the posters immediate need for information and I don't want to hijack the thread but there was information posted on CT recently that flies in the face of what is posted on this thread, and what I have always heard, with regard to the feed value of fertilized and non-fertilized hay. The difference is fairly small. However, there is the larger problem of mining the elements from the soil when hay ground is not fertilized. IMO, that's a losing game.

If we don't fertilize, we won't have quality hay because it takes fertilize for the grass to grow in our area. We could grow a stand without fertilize, but by the time it would be big enough to cut, there would be very little green in it. With fertilize, we can have a stand up and ready to cut in about 30 days. Without it, it would take 90 days. That fertilized 30 day old grass has plenty of leaf and not much stalk. The 90 day old grass has plenty of stalk.

Huge difference between the two.
 

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