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Baleage vs dry hay

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Hogtiming

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What is the pros and cons of baleage vs dry hay. I store my dry hay inside. Curious if the baleage would be beneficial economically. Throughout a winter would i feed less acres of baleage vs dry hay?
 

Nesikep

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I don't think it would make a big difference.. Baleage just has a whole lot more water in it, and that doesn't contribute any nutrition... It's heavier to handle, you need to handle more bales (thus more twine, wrap, etc)
I think the advantage of baleage is being able to get a crop off the field before an extended bad weather spell, etc.. It may also make a stemmy hay a little more enticing to eat for the cows if it was overripe
 

ddd75

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a lot of people are trying it around here.. and a lot of people don't know how to do it. they are making a recipe for disaster.

hard on the equipment.. hard on the fields (baling wet, rolling equipment on wet ground)..

I don't see the benefit when you consider all the equipment, and expense of bags, just to feed the same nutrition you could feed from the barn. also.. a raccoon or groundhog could ruin a lot of bales or some of a bag if you have a lot around.

I bought some individually wrapped bales from a guy (they weren't fermented properly, had yellow, pink, and blue molds growing in them) anyway. he lost a lot to animals ripping them open. didn't matter beacuse they all needed burnt.
 

kentuckyguy

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I have looked into baleage and haylage a lot. To me it's hard to justify the cost of a baker to handle the wet hay and all the wrapping equipment. They you have to be able to transport extremely heavy hay without tearing the plastic.

From what I can read on the subject the biggest advantage is when you have really high quality forages such as alfalfa or sorghum Sudan you are able to bale it in about any weather and retain all the nutrients. That is if you don't tear the bags/wrap. Or the coons, opossums, mice, rats, or you don't tear the bags.
 

Jogeephus

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ddd75":owcn9698 said:
hard on the equipment.. hard on the fields (baling wet, rolling equipment on wet ground)..

I don't see the benefit when you consider all the equipment, and expense of bags, just to feed the same nutrition you could feed from the barn. also.. a raccoon or groundhog could ruin a lot of bales or some of a bag if you have a lot around.

I bought some individually wrapped bales from a guy (they weren't fermented properly, had yellow, pink, and blue molds growing in them) anyway. he lost a lot to animals ripping them open. didn't matter beacuse they all needed burnt.

I agree. Its tough on equipment. The bales are heavy and its a pain to feed and its more work cleaning up the plastic wrap and all. Cows do seem to like it though.
 

Son of Butch

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Baleage advantages = dairy cow production
Because we have the equipment we do use in our steer tmr rations, but no advantage to beef cows that would justify
feeding it to them if it increased your cost to produce it or buy it... even though they love it.
 

Lucky_P

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I still squinch up a bit when I see/hear folks talk about feeding baleage/haylage. I know it's good feed... but I've seen some major trainwrecks with large numbers of cattle deaths associated with botulism toxin formed in those wrapped bales.
 

chevytaHOE5674

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I make some of it for my own use for beef cattle, yes it costs more, yes the bales are heavier, yes I have plastic to burn. Hard on equipment I will disagree if you have the right baler, and big enough loader tractors. But in our climate sometimes dry hay is hard to make and often doesn't get done until August or September, or sometimes not at all. For instance this year we have not had 3 consecutive dry days all year (15 inches of rain in May and June so far), only had one day with temps in the 80's and a handful with temps in the 70's so far this year; heck 6/10 days in the upcoming forecast have temps in the 60's for highs. By having the ability to wrap I am able to cut and wrap hay in a 2 day windows when the ground is damp and the temps are only in the 60's.
 

kentuckyguy

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I agree with your situation chevy. Haylage is definitely worth the cost when considering not being able to make dry hay due to weather.

I think the biggest advantage to haylage is you are able to cut the hay when it's in its prime instead of cutting over mature hay when you get the right weather.

I'm in the latter crowd. This year our hay was all overgrown. We usually get around 65 4x4 rolls on the first cutting. This year we got 101.
 
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Hogtiming

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Acres to acres will you feed less using baleage compared to dry?
 

dun

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kentuckyguy":1y7ndrny said:
I agree with your situation chevy. Haylage is definitely worth the cost when considering not being able to make dry hay due to weather.

I think the biggest advantage to haylage is you are able to cut the hay when it's in its prime instead of cutting over mature hay when you get the right weather.

I'm in the latter crowd. This year our hay was all overgrown. We usually get around 65 4x4 rolls on the first cutting. This year we got 101.
Those are the only reasons we do haylage. Didn;t put any up this year but last year and the year before that was about all we did.
 

chevytaHOE5674

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If the baleage is made when the forage is at its prime then I will feed a little less in a year because the feed value is higher. But the added cost of handling and wrapping is more than producing and feeding the extra bales of dry hay would be. You aren't saving anything by producing and feeding a few less wet bales.

When given the choice I try not to make much baleage. But on a year like the current when I can't get 3 days without rain I will gladly eat the added cost just to have some feed stored for winter.
 

TexasBred

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Hogtiming":35ah5pfm said:
Acres to acres will you feed less using baleage compared to dry?
It's all nothing but grass when until it's cut so weight would be the same.....when baled one is dry and one is wet so you'll get more tonnage from the baleage although much of it is water. You'll get just as much dry matter from hay off the same ground.
Folks down here that put up baleage use specialized equipment designed for it, it requires more equipment, is more labor intensive and much more liable to be worthless if the wrapper is develops holes that allows oxygen into the bale. I've put up grass silage before in a bunker silo. Worked for dairy cattle but would only go the dry hay route for a beef cow operation.
 

ChrisB

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We bought an Anderson RB200 wrapper, the cheapest one we could find which was $5500. Plan to only use it only when we have to. Put up around 150 bales last year and was happy with it. Disadvantages: Have to get hay hauled and wrapped within 24 hours, takes more time to wrap than just stacking in rows, and disposing of plastic. Advantages: Cows love it, can put up forages that are hard to dry down for dry hay.
 

Tbrake

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We put up 45 acres of oats this year. It was my first time doing so, got a little too dry on us. Tester was all over the place. Anywhere from 25-40 even a few 60's like you want. Majority being around 40. Should I be worried?
 

Dave

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I feed a fair amount of haylage. This is Western Washington, it rains often here. The choice is one cutting of over ripe grass or two or three cuttings which only one is dry hay. Lots of haylage made here. For years I have bought bales which the dairy farmers don't want to put into their TMR for one reason or another. I get them for bargain price. My standard rule is that I don't look at or smell the bales. Because if you did you would never feed it to the cows. But the cows slick it up and do very well on it.
Those worried about tearing the plastic should take note. What is done here is to haul the bales to the place where they are being stacked and wrap them there. That way they are only handled once with the wrap on them.
 

cfpinz

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I've never put up any baleage before, and don't know anything about it. I have a field that I'm thinking of killing this fall and running a wheat/summer annual rotation on it before reseeding, and have been looking into wrapping that. In the past I've dry baled wheat, but it's a challenge to get it dry here that time of year.

Don't really have enough interest in one to buy a wrapper, will most likely either borrow a friend's or rent if I can find one. What words of wisdom would you share with someone who's never messed with wrapped hay before? How critical is moisture content and what issues can arise if it's not right? Any advice or words of caution would be appreciated.
 

Tbrake

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Be ready to work, and have some good help. The guy we had wrap ours showed up at 9:00 in the evening, and I put the last bale on the wrapper at 3:15 in the morning. Best thing you can do is have someone hauling the bales to where they are going to be wrapped as you are baleing. Confirm with your wrapper on how big of bales he can handle. I baled everything 5x5 and they weighed right at 1 ton. One thing I wasn't considering was the extra time it took to bale. On dry hay I run 8-8.5 mph, on the wet oats I was down to 6-6.5 to get a tight bale.(jd 569) this was my first time wrapping so I don't hardly know anything. This is just what I found out to be true. It got dryer on me than I wanted, hope it will still make.
 

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