Hay Feed Test Results ?

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Stocker Steve

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I partnered with an over equipped neighbor and put up a lot of hay this year. I sampled 3 lots of cool season grassy meadow hay from 3 farms that were baled over a 6 week period in early to mid summer. For DM basis:
The CP level ranged from 7.4 to 9.0%.
The RFV ranged from 78 to 82.

The first farm cut did have a little more CP, but the test results did not show much variation. Does this tell me that grassy hay feed value does not change quickly or native grasses have similar feed value or :?:
 

Jogeephus

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I don't know but I don't see how you could really compare them since you harvested them over a six week period. IMO, the age of the forage would have a significant effect on quality so I don't know how you can really compare them. Just my opinion.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Son of Butch":kvbah7fl said:
Grass hay doesn't have the same potential for variation as alfalfa. That is where you can really see extreme changes.

We used to test alfalfa hay, but not grass. So this is a new area for me.
Seems like there is a much wider harvest window for grass.
 

TexasBred

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Son of Butch":1puzcm56 said:
Grass hay doesn't have the same potential for variation as alfalfa. That is where you can really see extreme changes.
Actually it does. You're using smaller numbers but the changes are higher percentages especially TDN in hay harvested past it's prime. BTW relative feed value is a totally irrelevant number except when dealing with alfalfa.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Jogeephus":3rdg2gdc said:
I don't know but I don't see how you could really compare them since you harvested them over a six week period. IMO, the age of the forage would have a significant effect on quality so I don't know how you can really compare them.

I am sure the hay palatability changed. I am going to have a ration guy go though my test numbers and I will let you know if him picks up on something.
 

Son of Butch

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NDF (neutral detergent fiber) relates to palatability the lower the NDF the better the cows will eat it.
NDF for hay general range 35 - 75% by type and maturity at cutting, grasses preheading under 55 headed out 60+
average good grass hay ndf 62

corn 9 ndf
ddg 44
corn silage 49
corn stalks 70
corn cobs 88
 
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Stocker Steve

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Sounds like I was less than good. :? My excuse was I was waiting for the rain to end...

The three grassy hay farms tested 64, 65, and 66 % NDF - - in the order they were cut.
 

Texasmark

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Interesting conversation.

A lot of grass hay around here is cut semi-annually and receives no fert. I figure it's just bulk for cow bellies in the winter and TDN-CP has to come from elsewhere, syrup, cubes, blocks. With that, NDF shouldn't matter all that much.........yes? They're going to eat it because they are hungry and there's nothing else to eat, or you stimulated them with something hot and they need the bulk to cool off their tummies.......yes?

These hay patches mentioned herein, do you have any specifics on type of patch: Tended or untended?

With something like oats (I think I remember correctly) being at around 8% CP the grass is right there with sweet feed, minus the sweet so it sounds like it's good a good stand alone maintenance item........yes?
 

angus9259

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Texasmark":rm01s00h said:
Interesting conversation.

A lot of grass hay around here is cut semi-annually and receives no fert. I figure it's just bulk for cow bellies in the winter and TDN-CP has to come from elsewhere, syrup, cubes, blocks. With that, NDF shouldn't matter all that much.........yes? They're going to eat it because they are hungry and there's nothing else to eat, or you stimulated them with something hot and they need the bulk to cool off their tummies.......yes?

These hay patches mentioned herein, do you have any specifics on type of patch: Tended or untended?

With something like oats (I think I remember correctly) being at around 8% CP the grass is right there with sweet feed, minus the sweet so it sounds like it's good a good stand alone maintenance item........yes?

really depends on the grass. I have some first cut that is stemmy and probably would test just "ok". But it's cheaper to feed that plus some corn and the cattle actually seem to think they're getting a deal (because they get the corn) then if they were getting some softer hay - just more work for me :). Unless it gets really ripe, it seems to me there is always some nutritive value they can derive but, yes, supplementing may be necessary.

That said, if you have dry cows in a warm climate, you may not need much if any supplement.
 

Son of Butch

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Baled Cornstalks 70+ ndf 5% cp are cheap and plentiful in Mn. made for keeping cows ribs from clacking together.
It's always nice to have good grass hay to sell or use to limit the additional supplement needed.
 

Texasmark

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Very enlightening. Thanks guys for the topic and discussion.

On the cornstalks, we have done and do, baled milo stalks for the same reason....I may have mentioned this before.....if so, sorry for the dupl.
 
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Stocker Steve

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angus9259":3khwqeuu said:
I have some first cut that is stemmy and probably would test just "ok". But it's cheaper to feed that plus some corn and the cattle actually seem to think they're getting a deal (because they get the corn) then if they were getting some softer hay - just more work for me :). Unless it gets really ripe, it seems to me there is always some nutritive value they can derive but, yes, supplementing may be necessary.

Every fall, there are a couple articles published that compare the cost of hay nutrients to shell corn nutrients.
Corn can cost less than hay, :nod: but the feeding labor and equipment are seldom discussed.
BTOs often put together a low cost TRM ration, but how do you effectively handle supplement like shell corn w/o a TMR?
 

TexasBred

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Texasmark":3e2ytq9h said:
Very enlightening. Thanks guys for the topic and discussion.

On the cornstalks, we have done and do, baled milo stalks for the same reason....I may have mentioned this before.....if so, sorry for the dupl.
Milo stalks can be excellent roughage. Have tested them as high as 13% crude protein. Corn stalks are usually little more than filler. A little protein but probably burn more calories eating and digesting it than they get from it.
 

TexasBred

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Stocker Steve":131cm53v said:
angus9259":131cm53v said:
I have some first cut that is stemmy and probably would test just "ok". But it's cheaper to feed that plus some corn and the cattle actually seem to think they're getting a deal (because they get the corn) then if they were getting some softer hay - just more work for me :). Unless it gets really ripe, it seems to me there is always some nutritive value they can derive but, yes, supplementing may be necessary.

Every fall, there are a couple articles published that compare the cost of hay nutrients to shell corn nutrients.
Corn can cost less than hay, :nod: but the feeding labor and equipment are seldom discussed.
BTOs often put together a low cost TRM ration, but how do you effectively handle supplement like shell corn w/o a TMR?
Don't necessarily have to have a TMR but definitely need a mixer wagon to feed commodities whether corn, grain by-products or plant protein.
 

Texasmark

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TexasBred":1iwtqyyg said:
Texasmark":1iwtqyyg said:
Very enlightening. Thanks guys for the topic and discussion.

On the cornstalks, we have done and do, baled milo stalks for the same reason....I may have mentioned this before.....if so, sorry for the dupl.
Milo stalks can be excellent roughage. Have tested them as high as 13% crude protein. Corn stalks are usually little more than filler. A little protein but probably burn more calories eating and digesting it than they get from it.

"Milo stalks can be excellent roughage. Have tested them as high as 13% crude protein." Outstanding piece of info. We always figured that the stalks were just flax and the NPK went to the grain heads. We don't have access to any testing facilities around here and most of us are STOs and don't have the volume to warrant the price of self testing equipment. Same with sales. By the bale, any size, any product, who knows the CP and TDN and all, weight is a crap shoot...no tonnage sales around her; no scales and a PIA to do it if we did as each bale is different...crop, consistency, moisture....you know the story.

As I posted somewhere, currently peas and rye are sprouting. When the rye comes off next spring I'm going back with milo at 50#/ac, 7" drilled dense and see how that turns out for a leafy hay crop. Going to go for short, dense type volume. Lots of leafs, short stalks and crimp them. Reason is the friend's milo patch that he let me onto which he baled the crop, stalks and all, has come back for the third time with no rain (1.5" in 3 months of heat...Ha!). Looks like we are getting into a pattern of wet springs and dry (as usual) summers and now dry falls too. Always something changing. Guess that's part of what keeps it interesting.
 
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