Manure in hay field

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herofan

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For those who pasture their hay fields, how long does it take cow manure to decompose to the point that it isn't an issue in the hay that is mowed and baled?

To be clear, I'm speaking of random piles here and there; it's not overstocked to the point that it's knee deep and looks like a hog lot in some places.
 

farmerjan

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We make sure our cows are off the hayfields about 6-8 weeks before we are starting to make hay, but these particular fields are usually not cut for at least 4 months after the cows are off. We try to have everyone off the hayfields as it starts to green up. We also usually get alot more rain in april, so want them off before it gets muddy and they start to tear it up. The other fields we cut first cutting off, then pasture later until late fall, then the cows are off for the winter so they are off about 6 months or so.
 

Brute 23

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Im not a fan of putting cattle on hay fields but ideally we cut first thing in the spring then the cattle go on. They come off before winter so the pasture has several months to clean up on its own before the next spring again.
 

JSCATTLE

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It will be gone after the first cutting . Either the mower or rake breaks it up .. most of the big pieces will fall to the bottom of the wind row and the baler will pass over them .
 

JW IN VA

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farmerjan":zha8n8wp said:
We make sure our cows are off the hayfields about 6-8 weeks before we are starting to make hay, but these particular fields are usually not cut for at least 4 months after the cows are off. We try to have everyone off the hayfields as it starts to green up. We also usually get alot more rain in april, so want them off before it gets muddy and they start to tear it up. The other fields we cut first cutting off, then pasture later until late fall, then the cows are off for the winter so they are off about 6 months or so.

Sounds like a good plan.I do about the same.
 

Nesikep

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I get a few dried pies in my bales of first cut... if you aren't selling the hay it's no big deal. it takes forever for cow pies to break down in my dry, arid climate, even with irrigation
 

dun

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We graze them in the fall and cut hay in the spring. Any piles that may be left are dried and turn to powder when you hit them with the mower.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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JW IN VA":3vxw5wdk said:
farmerjan":3vxw5wdk said:
We make sure our cows are off the hayfields about 6-8 weeks before we are starting to make hay, but these particular fields are usually not cut for at least 4 months after the cows are off. We try to have everyone off the hayfields as it starts to green up. We also usually get alot more rain in april, so want them off before it gets muddy and they start to tear it up. The other fields we cut first cutting off, then pasture later until late fall, then the cows are off for the winter so they are off about 6 months or so.

Sounds like a good plan.I do about the same.

+1
 

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