Cutting for Hay vs Grazing

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RunninB

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I have a question for you guys.
I have a 21 ac Kleingrass field that I am trying to decide if I should bale it this year (assuming we get some rain) or graze it and buy hay.
Three years ago we had it baled because that is what has always been done with it. I took the property over after it had been leased out by my parents. The guy didn't fertilize it that year and we baled about 50 bales off of it. It was a little thin at the time so the last two years we let it grow and grazed it periodically. It has come back nicely and I was thinking of baling it again. The property is located 22 miles north of Fredericksburg Tx for those who know the area. I run about 20 Angus on about 200 ac that is about half Klein and half native. With the rains we have had they haven't put a dent in most of it. After putting the pencil to it with the prices from a local guy to bale it and fertilizer, it would cost me about $40-$45 per bale estimating about 60 bales total. Question is do you think it would be smarter to bale it (which typically happens in late June) or buy hay again and use it for grazing.

I am in the begining phases of a Grass Fed operation so I love to have that extra grazing but I am torn.
What do you guys think
 

bird dog

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All things being equal, I would bale it every other year but on mine, I bale it on the years that have good moisture early in the summer. That maybe three years in a row or not touched for three years. Baling it in June will give it plenty of time to grow back and seed if there is some moisture in the ground and not effect the density of the stand.

Saying that, Klein grass hay that has a lot of seed in it, is great hay to roll out to reseed some thin pasture.
 

Logar

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RunninB":varaep5s said:
I have a question for you guys.
I have a 21 ac Kleingrass field that I am trying to decide if I should bale it this year (assuming we get some rain) or graze it and buy hay.
Three years ago we had it baled because that is what has always been done with it. I took the property over after it had been leased out by my parents. The guy didn't fertilize it that year and we baled about 50 bales off of it. It was a little thin at the time so the last two years we let it grow and grazed it periodically. It has come back nicely and I was thinking of baling it again. The property is located 22 miles north of Fredericksburg Tx for those who know the area. I run about 20 Angus on about 200 ac that is about half Klein and half native. With the rains we have had they haven't put a dent in most of it. After putting the pencil to it with the prices from a local guy to bale it and fertilizer, it would cost me about $40-$45 per bale estimating about 60 bales total. Question is do you think it would be smarter to bale it (which typically happens in late June) or buy hay again and use it for grazing.

I am in the begining phases of a Grass Fed operation so I love to have that extra grazing but I am torn.
What do you guys think

All I can say is that you can never have too much hay that has been put up right and stored right.

Great feed and some nice potential cash in hand if times get a little tough.

I try to always have about 150 - 200 extra bales in the hay yard - it beats not having enough on a short feed year.

My best.
 

callmefence

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If it's time to bale it and your short on grazing. Graze it. If you don't need the grazing bale it.
Fertilize it either way. It will make very good feed either way. Cows will get plum fat on good Klein grass and it will out do alot of the native grass when fertilized. Like birddog mentioned. I always roll out Klein each roll in a different spot.
It seeds and takes very well.
Another thing. You can buy good hay for 45 dollars delivered and dumped right where you need it...............as long as it rains.
 

Texasmark

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What kind of baling operation for you getting for $45? As callmefence mentioned, you can buy pretty good hay, 4x6 already rolled with a $5 per bale fee for delivery..... Cut-rake-bale-drop in the field goes for $15 for a 4x5 around here.

I don't have Klein grass and know not but having hay available in excess sure beats the dead of winter out looking for something to feed "pin bone visible" cattle. BTDT

I like to run a cutter over a field periodically, even when grazing to get rid of noxious weeds and trees, Cedars especially will take over if you don't. Down there you probably have Mesquite to do the same thing.

Proven fact that fertilizer, applied right and help from Ma. Nature, will provide you 10x in total returns of non fert. pasture.
 

1982vett

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callmefence":epor1flj said:
If it's time to bale it and your short on grazing. Graze it. If you don't need the grazing bale it.
Fertilize it either way. It will make very good feed either way. Cows will get plum fat on good Klein grass and it will out do alot of the native grass when fertilized. Like birddog mentioned. I always roll out Klein each roll in a different spot.
It seeds and takes very well.
Another thing. You can buy good hay for 45 dollars delivered and dumped right where you need it...............as long as it rains.
Key is making sure it’s worth the money. I can see where paying a little extra is worth not having to deal with custom baling or even cranking your own tractors... :D ...

Extra grass..find a couple or two old or thin pairs needing better pasture than they came off. Short bred for a longer time horizon. Gotta buy them right which is easier to do when prices are rising rather than falling.
 

Texasmark

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I'd rather bale and store. Just get more efficient results....able to control the pasture traffic and control the intake. Pasture traffic is the reason I quit planting a winter grazing crop.
 

tnwalkingred

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Most of my hay fields don’t have a fence around them so it makes my decision easy. The ones that do I try to fertilize Heavy in the early spring and hope for rain. If we get good rain then I cut them on First cutting and then rest them a month or two. Letnthe Cattle graze them the rest of year. Ours is mostly fescue mix so not sure about other grass types but this works well.
 

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