cutting hay

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Central Fl Cracker

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I was driving to Panama City on Tuesday and noticed some very large pastures cutting hay (1,000 ac. ) Now the dumb question. If a cattle operation has that much hay wouldn't it make more economical sense to vastly increase your stocking rate and buy the hay you need during the winter months?
 

certherfbeef

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Maybe they don't have the manpower to handle more cattle.

We make hay off our pastures early spring. Give it a few weeks to get some regrowth and turn the cows in it.

Keep the insidence of bloat down in the winter because it is the same grass (hay) they haxe been eating all summer(winter).

We have other fields for just crops. But haying the pastures sure beats fighting pinkeye because of tall grass and brush hogging what the cows waste when it gets too tall.
 

msscamp

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Central Fl Cracker":3otzuxnx said:
I was driving to Panama City on Tuesday and noticed some very large pastures cutting hay (1,000 ac. ) Now the dumb question. If a cattle operation has that much hay wouldn't it make more economical sense to vastly increase your stocking rate and buy the hay you need during the winter months?

With a 1,000 acres of hayfields they could very well be using part of it for their herd (you don't mention how big the place appears to be, or what they had planted for hay) and selling the rest.
 
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Central Fl Cracker

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They had quite a few of cows but my main questions is most people cut hay around here all summer long but why not just increase their stocking rate with all that extra grass?
 

AngusLimoX

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Central Fl Cracker":1tpd63td said:
They had quite a few of cows but my main questions is most people cut hay around here all summer long but why not just increase their stocking rate with all that extra grass?

Because they have business reasons for it. Maybe they need the grass to winter them, maybe they do sell hay, and they do likely know to the cow what the carrying capacity of the place is and don't put themselves in a position where they can't feed what they have?
 

Texan

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Central Fl Cracker":28yrxawe said:
If a cattle operation has that much hay wouldn't it make more economical sense to vastly increase your stocking rate and buy the hay you need during the winter months?
There's not always hay available to buy. When you "vastly increase your stocking rate" and quit cutting hay, you set yourself up to either have to buy high-priced hay or sell cheap cows. It's a whole lot better to have extra grass than it is extra cows.
 

cowtrek

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There's not always hay available to buy. When you "vastly increase your stocking rate" and quit cutting hay, you set yourself up to either have to buy high-priced hay or sell cheap cows. It's a whole lot better to have extra grass than it is extra cows.[/quote]

Amen to that! Usually a guy has to get burned pretty bad that way to learn that lesson well! Been there done that luckily not burned too bad :) I saw it in the 96 drought where a cow could eat her own worth in hauled in hay in about a month. A guy here with purebreds was buying cubes by the truckload to keep his herd intact because there was no hay to buy here at nearly any price. Lot of guys lost everything in that one. Read an article in Stockman Grass Farmer that most folks are overstocked anyways. Aggressive culling of low performers and problem cows eliminates most of your problems and lowers stock density, which means more grass available for your highest producing cows and usually a good increase in productivity even at a lower stocking rate. Makes sense to me. Like and old timer it's hard for me to learn that 'aggressive culling' though :)

Better to have just your best cows and get rid of your problems, and have more grass that what you need. In a drought you'll have more grazing til you start hurting and in a good year have hay to sell. Sure beats buying it when it's priced like gold if you can get it at all.

Good luck! OL JR :)
 

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