Pearl Millett hay

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Well-known member
Mar 4, 2008
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NE Kansas
Some of you may recall me saying I planted some pearl millet after wheat this past summer and mowed it for hay. I must say the cows are going crazy over it. Started feeding a little hay just this past week, had a little snow and much colder temps. About the right time of year to start feeding for us. Anyhow, the cows are easily eating that first, and moving to the brome second. They act like it tastes like candy!
What type of yield did you get from it? And did you have a favorable growing season?
cfpinz":23kkxxyi said:
What type of yield did you get from it? And did you have a favorable growing season?

I did not have a favorable growing season. August and September were well below average for temperatures. Moisture was good, temperatures not favorable whatsoever.

I planted the millet on July 10, first cutting was baled on August 31, second cutting on October 12 or 14th. 60 bales on the first cutting, 13 bales on the second. This all came off of 35 acres. My bales are 5x5.5 and weigh about 1800 lbs. Yield was actually pretty decent, but could have been better with some better temperatures.

Something I will keep in mind is whereever you drove over the stubble, it did not grow back very well. It is best to make one road while moving the hay off the field, as opposed to paths all over the field. I also had to mow it closer to the ground in some places because some of it got blown down in a rain and wind storm. It was about waist high at first cutting.

I fertilized it with 50 lbs/N/acre. I had about 21.50 per bale of hay in seed and fertilizer. I own my own hay equipment, so I didn't have to pay someone to do it. It obviously cost me something to do it, but there is no way I could have bought hay cheaper than what I raised it for. Big bales of hay around me are selling up to $60/bale for 5x5 bales.

It worked out pretty well, I thought. It was actually planted on a neighbor's wheat field. He normally lets it sit idle until the following spring. I didn't have to pay him any rent, as he didn't have to worry about weed control after the wheat was harvested. It really worked out pretty well. He also told me I could do it every year if I wanted to, and I plan on it. I think he'll get a nice Christmas present pretty soon.
cows love millet hay as your finding out.baled right its great itll streach your hay supplie.
We tried a small 4 acre patch of pearl millet this year also, as rotational grazing for weaned bottle calves. They normally came running when you called them, but not once they got in that millet up to the bottom of their shoulders. After the first grazing, I wished we had baled it instead, as there was so much trompled down. Plus, it took them 9 days to graze it, each of the 4 times we turned them in. That's over a month of lost production. Not counting the time lost by mowing, curing and baling. But would have been some timed saved that could have been spent growing. Also, not to mention whatever portion of the stand was damaged/thinned by their feet. Next time, I'll bale it.

Great stuff though. It grows like mad once the weather turns hot and it rains.

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