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Stockpile ? for Fescue Fans

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Stocker Steve

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How do you balance out spring stocking on acres that will be set aside in the fall to grow stockpile?

Or do you just hay it once or twice and then set these acres aside in the fall to grow stockpile?
 

kenny thomas

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Many people can't do this but here is my plan. I graze it hard until mid May then I am lucky enough to have 2 farms with free grass that's not a good place for me to winter cows. I take about 2/3 of the cows to these farms and that leaves enough grass for the remainder plus allows me to stockpile.
In addition I will feed hay from about November 5th till Christmas then start strip grazing the stockpile.
 
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Stocker Steve

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kenny thomas":3a31u3a9 said:
So I actually could keep more cows there but couldn't graze as many days.

Right.
I have the more cows and can not graze as many days. OK if calf prices are high and hay prices are low, but...
 
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Stocker Steve

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kenny thomas":38v7vxs6 said:
Many people can't do this but here is my plan. I graze it hard until mid May then I am lucky enough to have 2 farms with free grass that's not a good place for me to winter cows. I take about 2/3 of the cows to these farms and that leaves enough grass for the remainder plus allows me to stockpile.

Great point. Cheap grass in poor wintering pastures can provide a break.
I was looking at running more yearlings and selling them in August to provide a break.
Your approach is simpler.
 

ddd75

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i make 2/3 cuttings depending then stockpile from usually sept on..

run cows on grass until xmas, feed for 3 months and back on grass by apr 20.
 

cfpinz

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kenny thomas":3bkc716z said:
Many people can't do this but here is my plan. I graze it hard until mid May then I am lucky enough to have 2 farms with free grass that's not a good place for me to winter cows. I take about 2/3 of the cows to these farms and that leaves enough grass for the remainder plus allows me to stockpile.
In addition I will feed hay from about November 5th till Christmas then start strip grazing the stockpile.

Pretty similar to how I handle things. Started feeding early November this year, will turn cows in on stockpile early December. We start calving Nov 15, so when I turn the cows in on the stockpile a good many of them have already calved. I'm not much on giving them too much grass just before calving, but think they benefit from it quite a bit once the calves are on the ground.
 

kenny thomas

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Stocker Steve":3ja5x2ia said:
kenny thomas":3ja5x2ia said:
So I actually could keep more cows there but couldn't graze as many days.

Right.
I have the more cows and can not graze as many days. OK if calf prices are high and hay prices are low, but...
Biggest plus for me is this is 4-5 weeks that I don't have to get out every day and feed. No running the tractor and ruting the fields that usually are muddy here most of the winter. Frozen ground is rare. I ride around in the side by side and move fence and check cows.
 
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Stocker Steve

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kenny thomas":2rhw6e0a said:
Biggest plus for me is this is 4-5 weeks that I don't have to get out every day and feed. No running the tractor and ruting the fields that usually are muddy here most of the winter. Frozen ground is rare. I ride around in the side by side and move fence and check cows.

We had an unusually wet fall and I totally agree on reducing the feeding labor. There is about a third of my pastures that should work for stockpiling. This could make us more flexible.

I think with the current cow/calf margins there could also be a small profit increase. Hay has not come down in price here like corn and beans, so heavy stocking and a shorter grazing season could reduce profits.
 

kenny thomas

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Stocker Steve":21vq5pxl said:
kenny thomas":21vq5pxl said:
Biggest plus for me is this is 4-5 weeks that I don't have to get out every day and feed. No running the tractor and ruting the fields that usually are muddy here most of the winter. Frozen ground is rare. I ride around in the side by side and move fence and check cows.

We had an unusually wet fall and I totally agree on reducing the feeding labor. There is about a third of my pastures that should work for stockpiling. This could make us more flexible.

I think with the current cow/calf margins there could also be a small profit increase. Hay has not come down in price here like corn and beans, so heavy stocking and a shorter grazing season could reduce profits.
One thing I must explain. I'm not in the cattle business to make a profit. That makes lots of difference in the perception of what can be done, if I make a profit, great deal. I put it all back into the farm. Some day selling the farm will be my profit. I bought a farm last year. 57 acres or rough pasture for 48, 000, i have a plan that shows spending 54,240 on it by next year for water systems, fencing. Fertilizer, seed, spraying, and bush hogging. My goal is to gave a profitable farm when I retire in a few years. I'm only 61.
 

littletom

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kenny thomas":3u5thb7s said:
Stocker Steve":3u5thb7s said:
kenny thomas":3u5thb7s said:
Biggest plus for me is this is 4-5 weeks that I don't have to get out every day and feed. No running the tractor and ruting the fields that usually are muddy here most of the winter. Frozen ground is rare. I ride around in the side by side and move fence and check cows.

We had an unusually wet fall and I totally agree on reducing the feeding labor. There is about a third of my pastures that should work for stockpiling. This could make us more flexible.

I think with the current cow/calf margins there could also be a small profit increase. Hay has not come down in price here like corn and beans, so heavy stocking and a shorter grazing season could reduce profits.
One thing I must explain. I'm not in the cattle business to make a profit. That makes lots of difference in the perception of what can be done, if I make a profit, great deal. I put it all back into the farm. Some day selling the farm will be my profit. I bought a farm last year. 57 acres or rough pasture for 48, 000, i have a plan that shows spending 54,240 on it by next year for water systems, fencing. Fertilizer, seed, spraying, and bush hogging. My goal is to gave a profitable farm when I retire in a few years. I'm only 61.
That sounds like alot to spend in one year. Plus the cows or you already have them?
 

kenny thomas

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Its over a 3 year period but i will finish in a year and a half. I'm cutting some timber next spring or I would finish it sooner.
 

kenny thomas

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littletom":ww8plcij said:
kenny thomas":ww8plcij said:
Stocker Steve":ww8plcij said:
We had an unusually wet fall and I totally agree on reducing the feeding labor. There is about a third of my pastures that should work for stockpiling. This could make us more flexible.

I think with the current cow/calf margins there could also be a small profit increase. Hay has not come down in price here like corn and beans, so heavy stocking and a shorter grazing season could reduce profits.
One thing I must explain. I'm not in the cattle business to make a profit. That makes lots of difference in the perception of what can be done, if I make a profit, great deal. I put it all back into the farm. Some day selling the farm will be my profit. I bought a farm last year. 57 acres or rough pasture for 48, 000, i have a plan that shows spending 54,240 on it by next year for water systems, fencing. Fertilizer, seed, spraying, and bush hogging. My goal is to gave a profitable farm when I retire in a few years. I'm only 61.
That sounds like alot to spend in one year. Plus the cows or you already have them?
Littletom, a few figures. $10,000 for a well, 17,000 for water tanks, lines, etc.
18,000 for fencing
6,000 for lime, fertilizer, and seed.
1500 for spraying.
Wait, I'm already over budget
 

talltimber

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I have not been getting much stockpiled. I have been growing in numbers and I have too many groups to tend and rotate-cows, bulls, weaned calves, yearling hfrs, high maintenance issues (lameness issues, calf problems, etc). If/when I can get down to a few groups then I will just rotate through all of it. I would then hold them on part of it, stockpiling the remainder. With my cow numbers I have too much grass in a short amount of time. Backgrounding my own fall calves helps with that, when I do it. I don't know that a guy can be very efficient with it when buying hay, and keeping a relatively steady head count.
I had ideas of rotating through as long as they could keep it ate, then skipping a patch and baling it, then grazing on the next go round. I don't have a baler yet, but I think that would be the way to do it. Or adjust your head count accordingly throughout the year.
I limed over half this year, and spread 30lbs N on about 10ac to try it on a patch I will put spring calvers on to calve. It will be ungrazed until then, first week of March or so
 

sstterry

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kenny thomas":1h4fa82e said:
Many people can't do this but here is my plan. I graze it hard until mid May then I am lucky enough to have 2 farms with free grass that's not a good place for me to winter cows. I take about 2/3 of the cows to these farms and that leaves enough grass for the remainder plus allows me to stockpile.
In addition I will feed hay from about November 5th till Christmas then start strip grazing the stockpile.

Do you supplement with hay during the time after Christmas? I have never heard of anyone in our area able to do this solely on stockpiled pasture.
 

kenny thomas

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sstterry":127zc04e said:
kenny thomas":127zc04e said:
Many people can't do this but here is my plan. I graze it hard until mid May then I am lucky enough to have 2 farms with free grass that's not a good place for me to winter cows. I take about 2/3 of the cows to these farms and that leaves enough grass for the remainder plus allows me to stockpile.
In addition I will feed hay from about November 5th till Christmas then start strip grazing the stockpile.

Do you supplement with hay during the time after Christmas? I have never heard of anyone in our area able to do this solely on stockpiled pasture.
I don't supplement with anything, I expect it to test over 14% protein so I would see no need to supplement . You are very welcome to come look and actually see the forage tests results.
 

Banjo

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kenny thomas":3qcuoy6o said:
sstterry":3qcuoy6o said:
kenny thomas":3qcuoy6o said:
Many people can't do this but here is my plan. I graze it hard until mid May then I am lucky enough to have 2 farms with free grass that's not a good place for me to winter cows. I take about 2/3 of the cows to these farms and that leaves enough grass for the remainder plus allows me to stockpile.
In addition I will feed hay from about November 5th till Christmas then start strip grazing the stockpile.

Do you supplement with hay during the time after Christmas? I have never heard of anyone in our area able to do this solely on stockpiled pasture.
I don't supplement with anything, I expect it to test over 14% protein so I would see no need to supplement . You are very welcome to come look and actually see the forage tests results.


Where do you get your tests done?
I had some hay tested this summer and I sent along a sample of some grass I was grazing at the time....to UK...they tested the hay but not the grass...said they don't do that.
 

kenny thomas

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VA Extension Service is taking the samples and having the tests done at no cost to me. If they do it I allow them to use the results for their meetings. I feel that it is a win win because they will take the samples in a non bias manner so the results will be good.
 

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