My drought strategy

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Buck Randall

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Interesting idea. You mean a silage bagger? Maybe get a tub grinder and dump the tailings in as the bales shred and bag what comes off the conveyor. Probably be a logistical nightmare lining everything up and getting things to grind, mix and bag at the right rates.
Yeah. It's not a low input solution, but if you've got access to the right equipment I'd say it's worthwhile. You increase the palatability of your straw, decrease the nutrient loss from the liquid running off the beets, and minimize spoilage by bagging. Even if he's going to pile it I'd still recommend trying to layer some dry forage in.
 

faster horses

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Gas the bales, you can make pretty good feed from them that way I hear. Also can water down molasses, set bales on end, and dump it over them. Cow candy.
Problem with that is that it doesn't make the feed more nutritious, it just makes the cows eat it better. Plus it's expensive. Also over consuming molasses can cause acidosis.
 

Silver

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Anything I ever read on gassing bales said it increased TDN, raised protein levels, and increased feed values. And yes, it is expensive.
 

Stocker Steve

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I don't have a concrete pad. When I fed beet shreds in the past - - the ground got nasty and I needed FWA to load out. A pad may be called for it this becomes a multiyear effort.

I have been trying to avoid getting into a TMR. Hiring a tub grinder to mix beets with wheat straw and swamp hay may be possible?

I have an old feeder wagon to convey product along a fence line. It works well with silage.
 

BFE

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Problem with that is that it doesn't make the feed more nutritious, it just makes the cows eat it better. Plus it's expensive. Also over consuming molasses can cause acidosis.
I’ve never had to do it but older neighbors did.
How much molasses would you have to put on a bale to make it a problem? I can’t imagine that most people would use enough to make it a problem.
Also, we all know this is not an ideal situation that we’re trying to overcome here, just trying to make it through a bad situation without breaking the bank. The nutrition can and will probably be made up somewhere else. The treated straw is more for bulk in this case.
 

Rydero

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Hiring a tub grinder to mix beets with wheat straw and swamp hay may be possible?
I'm not sure if you'd get them to actually do it or not but I've helped load when we've had bales run through and I think it'd be possible to dump.beets in while it's grinding, might not mix with much uniformity... Another option might be to run bales through a bale shredder and hire someone with a big vertical wagon to mix it since you have a way of feeding it after.
 

Stocker Steve

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Know an el cheapo operator who just pushes beet tailings into a pile with his skid steer. He is close enough to the plant to keep trucking reasonable, but that is not my situation.

A grazer dream is to self feed silage off a pile using a movable electric wire. Have you ever seen this done?
 
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Rydero

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Know an el cheapo operator who just pushes beet tailings into a pile with his skid steer. He is close enough to the plant to keep trucking reasonable, but that is not my situation.

A grazer dream is to self feed silage off a pile using a movable electric wire. Have you ever seen this done?
Seen videos but I've never been that tempted or known anyone who's tried it. We tend to be wet so could be messy. Pile collapse could be scary(keep it low) too. If I went that far I think I'd.get the wagon. Wouldn't grazing corn be more reasonable, or were you thinking of chopping other crops?
 

Stocker Steve

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Saw a write up from the 1940s where they made (low) silage piles out in the field, and then self fed it in front of a moveable wooden feed panel. They said when it was wet the hired man would apply straw (with a pitchfork) next to the feed panel... This would be too much for the wife so I would need to hire an Amish to make it work.

I tried self feeding some beet shreds in a crop field during the dead of winter. Just made a long pile with the semi and then drilled holes in front to put up the first electric strand. The single strand fence held cows but a couple calves were a problem. The ground thawed under the pile, and the juice soaked in, and the churned earth was like adobe the next summer. I think you need a ridge top sacrifice area or a pad...

With the price of hay the next couple years I am going back to some grazing corn for the tonnage per acre. I think investing a lot into inflexible "assets" like concrete pads and TMRs would be risky since the price of byproduct is increasing rapidly. I think TMRs are basically a commitment to feeding a corn silage and byproduct mix daily and that system is just too spendy for profitable beef cows.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Dry conditions and a late May hard frost never allowed forage to take off this spring. Our spring came in September. The common grasses greened up but there is not a lot of growth. They are obviously trying to survive till next year. "Improved" forages are taking off. Most noticeable is the OG, alfalfa, and chicory growth.

I finished seeding a oats and turnip mix into grazed out soy beans on 8/30. Will finish seeding a rye and hairy vetch mix into sprayed out sod today. It would have been better to plant earlier in August, but I really like planting into moisture after my SS and millet failures this summer.

Our basement sump pump has not run since last summer, so we are not out of it yet. Based on what grew this year - - silage corn is our most productive forage.
 
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